Hotel late availability service laterooms.com has launched a mobile service for business travellers. Laterooms.com/mobile enables users to view the same services available on its main site, but in a format adapted for PDA and mobile phone screens.
Laterooms has a database of 500,000 late availability deals across the UK and worldwide, with over 14,000 properties ranging from five-star brands down to bed and breakfasts. The company says that 43 per cent of its bookings come from business travellers, and of these 40 per cent are made within a day of staying, figures that have led to it create a service for last minute bookings on the move. Says Tony Walsh, development director:
"We've kept the graphics light to ensure that the mobile site downloads quickly, and we've also profiled users to make sure the most relevant information is displayed. As this service is aimed at last minute bookings visitors are directed straight to the current date, rather than having to do a date search."
When users go to the mobile site, they are greeted with a home screen showing popular city choices (such as London, Manchester, Paris and Rome), or they can input their own place of choice. This then takes them through to a list of deals available on that day, which users can order by name, price, rating or distance.
Users can view descriptions of the hotels, and once a choice has been made, the visitor is given a unique code, which they then quote to the Laterooms' call centre operator to secure the booking – Laterooms says it has chosen this method of confirmation rather than payment through the mobile site, as it believes customers have more confidence in being told by an operator that their booking has been confirmed, and are still wary of security issues regarding quoting credit card details on mobile browsers.
Laterooms says it can save customers up to 70 per cent on hotel rates, and does not charge deposits or booking fees, or insist on cancellations policies (other than those enforced by the hotels themselves).
For more information visit laterooms.com/mobile.
Report by Mark Caswell