Monday, October 05, 2009

A Hotel Twitter App With Staying Power - Inoqo

It was only a matter of time before a viable Twitter-specific online travel agent emerged. Its name is Inoqo.

Smartly focusing on Twitter's emerging niche as the real-time search engine, Inoqo uses city-specific Twitter feeds to pump out unique last-minute hotel deals. Bookings via Inoqo are exclusively for check-in within 48 hours, and Inoqo requires that offers be exclusive to the site.

As the model is set up, travelers needing a room on very short notice would follow the "city streams" for their destinations, and would then receive tweets touting any local offers. Because of the short-term nature of Inoqo, the offers would inherently be for distressed inventory, meaning rates could be exceptionally low.

And the travelers themselves are equally distressed, so conversion rates should be pretty solid. "Because it's 48 hours or less, it's very last-moment," says Inoqo founder Bretton Putter. "It's not a nice-to-have—they need to be somewhere in 48 hours."

Meanwhile, because these offers are short-term and sporadic, hotels can plausibly deny that they are engaging in that industry taboo of across-the-board discounting. Inoqo takes a 15% commission on bookings.

Inoqo faq

Unlike another high-profile Twitter booking app, TwiHotels, Inoqo doesn't require announcing your travel plans to the general public. That's a nice benefit, one that I'm pretty confident will help Inoqo topple TwiHotels fairly easily.

Putter tells me that Inoqo has already secured distribution agreements with about 100 hotels worldwide in this its first week. He says many more hotels have expressed interest in joining but are being held up by corporate brand regulations and legal red tape. But he's confident that "hundreds and hundreds" of hotels will be in the fold within a matter of weeks.

Source : HotelsMag
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