Yatra.com, one of India's leading online travel companies, has launched 'Flexi Stay', a unique feature, aimed at disrupting the travel industry in India. Yatra Flexi Stay, allows customers to book budget and premium (4/5 star) hotels with ANYTIME CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT, while only paying for the time-based usage of the room. Launched in September, 2018, it is currently being offered in two of India's largest metros - New Delhi & Bangalore, and two key religious towns - Shirdi and Tirupati. The feature combines proprietary cutting-edge technology with flexible booking and pay-per-use pricing strategies, to make for a platform that is simultaneously beneficial to end consumers as well as hoteliers
With Flexi Stay, Yatra is rethinking the traditional way of hotel booking by breaking down room inventory and pricing by hours (24 hour/day) to a newer 'pay for the time you stay' model rather than the traditional fixed time check-in/check-out model. Now a hotel guest can not only choose their own check in/check out dates, but also the preferred check in/check out times, while making a hotel booking.
"While there is a minimum stay requirement of just 4 hours, Flexi Stay booking data shows that 35% users book it for a 4-8 hour time period, while 65% guests book it for more than 16 hours. We are also seeing long tail users booking for 36 hours, 40, 60 hours and so on. So this is clearly much larger than just a day use market and these are users who otherwise would not have booked the hotel, but now have chosen to do so given the flexibility to customise their time and pay per use," says Dhruv Shringi, C o-Founder & CEO
Yatra Flexi Stay's unique Usage Based Pricing Algorithm offers pricing from INR 49/hour to INR 199/hour depending on the hotel and enables users to save 30% or more than traditional room night based booking. The pricing algorithm also takes into account more than 20 parameters such as full night room rate, time of booking, star category of hotel, day of booking, demand patterns for that hotel, location, city, etc. and suggests the final price to pay.
The table below illustrates how Yatra Flexi Stay compares with regular room night based booking, where the user pays for 15 hours vs. the traditional room night rate and saves 30%.
Yatra will soon be offering this Flexi Stay pricing advantage to its large corporate customer base and enable meaningful savings in their travel spends. "Most corporate employees who travel for one night, today pay for full room charges, while only utilizing the room for 12-14 hours. With Flexi Stay, they can simply book a hotel from 8PM in the night till 11am the following morning and pay just 70% of the full night price. That's a direct saving of 30%," -says Dhruv Shringi, Co - Founder & CEO
Currently in India, Hotel occupancy levels are hovering around the 60% range. Yatra's flexi-stay product not only benefits customers with lower pricing but also helps increase Hotel occupancy levels in India.
"We will soon launch Yatra Flexi Stay in 100 cities with select hotel partners and will revolutionise the hotel booking process and industry in India. We are also looking to launch this product in select test markets outside India especially for our corporate customers who tend to be frequent outbound traveller," - says Dhruv Shringi, Co - Founder & CEO in his closing comments.