Competition in the online booking space just got stiffer with the entry of new hotel distribution channel Staydilly, which touts to improve hotels’ RevPAR while offering travellers access to premium hotels at lower prices.
Launched in mid-October 2016, Staydilly is an opaque distribution channel that offers rooms from three- to five-star hotels at heavily discounted prices, by providing actual property photos, general location and facilities description. The hotel name, however, will only be revealed and made known to the traveller upon confirmation of booking.
Song: Staydilly to boost hotels’ occupany rates
CEO Song Eu Jin sees Staydilly as a channel to enhance hotels’ occupany rates and fill up rooms that would otherwise be left vacant. “We help hotels to sell a portion of their projected idle inventory and enable hoteliers to avoid price compression,” he told TTG Asia.
And by not revealing the property name until the booking is confirmed, hotels will be able to protect its branding efforts, Song remarked. Rates on Staydilly are also 30-40 per cent cheaper than the popular OTAs in the region, he added.
Song thinks what Staydilly is bringing to the table will benefit the industry as a whole, as the “mystery shopping model” offers an incremental solution to overcome the perennial RevPAR issue that’s afflicting many oversupplied cities in Asia.
“Increase in hotel rates need to come from increase in occupancy first,” he remarked, urging hoteliers to take back more control over their rates.
“Hotel rates currently work inversely to airfares, which is counter intuitive in my opinion. Shouldn’t hotels be charging top dollar (nearer the date of travel)?” he questioned.
When asked if Staydilly, as an alternative booking channel, will counter against hotels’ direct booking mission, Song stated: “We are not going after the same customers.
“Our target will be brand-agnostic customers who are less brand loyal but yet still seeking value and quality in their hotel stays,” he added. “I foresee us being a bigger challenge to last-minute booking apps instead.”
Staydilly is already “seeing good traction” with over 200 hotels signed up in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The company has just signed on its first hotel in Myanmar and is venturing into Vietnam next. Its target is to be present across all South-east Asian countries by the end of 2017.
However, Song also readily admits that cities like Singapore and Hong Kong, which have the region’s highest room rates, will pose the biggest challenge to Staydilly’s penetration in these markets.