GURGAON, India, 17 October 2018: India’s online travel company, Yatra.com has launched ‘Flexi Stay’, a feature, the company says will disrupt the country’s travel industry.
Yatra Flexi Stay allows customers to book budget and premium (four and five-star) hotels with an anytime check-in or checkout, with payment based on actual time the hotel room was occupied.
Launched last month the booking facility is currently being offered in two major cities, New Delhi and Bangalore, as well as key religious towns; Shirdi and Tirupati.
Yatra claims it is rethinking the traditional way of hotel booking that are based on pricing by hours (24 hour/day) to a newer ‘pay for the time you stay’ model.
Now a hotel guest can not only choose their own check in/checkout dates, but also the preferred check in/checkout times when making a hotel booking.
There is a minimum stay of four hours built into the booking system, but research conducted by Yatra suggests around 35% of its hotel guests stay for four to eight hours, while 65% of guests stay more than 16 hours.
“We are also seeing long tail users booking for 36 hours, 40, 60 hours and so on. So this is clearly much larger than just a day use market and these are users who otherwise would not have booked the hotel, but now have chosen to do so given the flexibility to customise their time and pay per use,” said Yatra co-founder and CEO Dhruv Shringi.
Yatra Flexi Stay’s pricing Algorithm offers a range of rates from INR 49/hour to INR 199/hour depending on the hotel and enables users to save 30% or more than traditional room night based booking.
The pricing algorithm also takes into account more than 20 parameters such as full-night room rate, time of booking, star category of hotel, day of booking, demand patterns for that hotel, location, city, etc. and suggests the final price to pay.
When compared with the traditional room night flat rate, a 15-hour stay saves 30%.
“Most corporate employees who travel for one night, today pay for full room charges, while only using the room for 12 to 14 hours. With Flexi Stay, they can simply book a hotel from 2000 at night until 1100 the following morning and pay just 70% of the full-night rate. That’s a direct saving of 30%.”
The plan is to have the scheme up and running in 100 cities with select hotel partners, with the biggest potential in the corporate travel market to India’s major cities.
Launched in 2006, Yatra Online Inc is the parent company of Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. which is based in Gurugram, India with over 700 corporate customers and one of India’s leading online travel companies and operates the website Yatra.com.
As a leading platform of accommodation options, Yatra provides real-time bookings for more than 96,000 hotels in India and over 1,000,000 hotels around the world.