The practice of hotels charging for the whole day is about to change with some hospitality chains now offering stays for a shorter duration at a fraction of the per-day cost.
This move will primarily benefit pilgrims and other travellers who take a break from their journey for few hours en route to their destinations. Budget accommodations and branded hotels are foraying into the shorter stay segment of their properties near airports, railway stations and in pilgrims towns.
Hotel Lemon Tree initiated this move early this year. “We decided to adopt this strategy because in most of our business hotels, 60% to 70% of departures happen early morning and likewise arrivals happen in the evening,” said Devinder Kumar, general manager, Revenue Management and eCommerce, Lemon Tree.
Catering exclusively for shorter stays, FreshUp, a hospitality startup, is setting up an accommodation in Tirupathi with hourly rates. “We have bunker beds, meeting rooms and relaxation lounges suited for guests who would just like to freshen up for a couple of hours or more. We have 2 or 3 hour packages per person for about Rs 299,” said Vinil Reddy, founder, FreshUp. The company has set up a centre in Hyderabad and is looking to start facilities in Bengaluru, Chennai and Rameshwaram.
Bookings mostly happen with websites such as 6-hourly, Frotels, Mistay, 9to5.com, which serve as aggregators of the branded hotels and budget accommodations offering to book by the hour.
“There are vacant rooms available during the day hours (10 am – 2 pm) which we strategically vend through our website for better inventory management,” said Kumar of Lemontree. The company has witnessed a 100% increase in the bookings in the last three months since it has started offering this option.
It all started with OYO rooms accepting check-ins at 6 am and now hotels are warming up to the concept of using their inventory judiciously. With this option, budget hotels can use the same inventory twice.