An app to book a hotel room at super short notice – you’d think someone would have thought of that already. But you'd be wrong.
As it turns out, recent AUT marketing graduate Veronica Nobbs has been able to cash in on this gap in the app market.
She's just launched Get a Room, a mobile app that offers punters hotel rooms at the cheapest rates when they’re booking at the last minute from their mobile.
The idea was sparked while Nobbs was working as a market analyst for travel company Jasons.
She says lead times – that is, the time between booking and staying – are getting shorter and shorter.
“Increasingly, I saw that customers were booking on the same day as their stay and hotels often have rooms going spare."
Get a Room has been launched in Auckland and Wellington, with Rotorua and Queenstown to follow soon.
Here’s how it works: Get a Room is a free iPhone app that offers potential hotel bookers discounted rooms for that day at three hotels in each city.
The cheap rooms become available at midday, after Get a Room has done the price negotiations with its hotel partners in the morning.
Nobbs says the app is targeted at business travellers and late night party people who might not want to taxi home.
She hopes Get a Room will be launched in more cities across the country, and in Melbourne and Sydney by Christmas.
“We want to get New Zealand right first and then look further afield.”
Nobbs has funded a lot of the venture herself, but with her savings now depleted, she’s working with a couple of others with healthier looking bank balances.
In the end, though, Nobbs couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to develop the app.
“I thought, in a year’s time, I might see someone else doing something like it.”
Better to get in first with the good idea, savings and all, than to be beaten to it.