The Spanish hotel sector increased its profits by more than 5.5 million euros in 2014 through the sale of rooms-by-the-hour, according to data from the online booking platform ByHours, which indicates that cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao are the ones with the most bookings, especially on weekdays.
This trend, which began in Spain, has generated more than 150,000 transactions for the room-by-the-hour hotel bookings in 2014, which meant an increase of 150% over the previous year.
ByHours allows its customers to book hotel rooms in different hour packs. 60% of users book the 3-hour pack; 25% prefer the 6-hour pack and 15% book the 12-hour pack. Although the price varies according to the hotel rating, the city, or the time of year, the average ticket booking costs 38 euros.
The cities receiving most searches for hotels-by-the-hour are Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, totaling more than 50% of the bookings, while the most booked cities are Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Zaragoza and Valencia, totaling 75% of the total bookings.
The days with the most bookings are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and many of the hotels tend to be located near train stations or airports and tend to be used mainly for business and during working hours.
"Consumers need flexibility and to see the hotel industry as a modern sector, open to innovation and to facilitating their day-to-day needs. Although we are at the stage of attracting customers, and we are focusing on this, almost 40% are repeat visitors, and that is a very good figure, "said the company founder, Christian Rodriguez.
50% of the guests book through the website, followed by apps (35%) compared to 15% that do so using a mobile device. The latter group is growing each month and their average spending is higher.
"The platform is simple and very intuitive," the company’s CEO explains, and he maintains that it is also "very comfortable" for the hotels because they can adjust the check-in and check-out times of the different hour packages and limit the number of rooms for sale at all times.
In this regard, Jorge Miller, head of Silken Hotels in the downtown area, confirmed that the sale of rooms-by-the-hour has benefited them.
"On those days when there is not enough demand, ByHours.com allows you to sell rooms that would otherwise be unoccupied. This is an important value added in the current scenario," he said.