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HotelTonight doubles down on international focus via mobile app updates

By
December 12, 2012

After launching internationally earlier this year, hotel booking application HotelTonight has rolled out a series of application updates that aim to help consumers book last-minute reservations.

The HotelTonight apps have been updated to convert currencies, as well as translate content. In addition, HotelTonight has also added digital gift cards that can be redeemed within the company’s apps.

“We have spent the last two months rewriting the app in the native language from the ground up,” said Jared Simon, chief operating officer at HotelTonight, San Francisco.

“We promised that our goal is to become ubiquitous – we are committed to launching around the world and putting a tremendous amount of resources behind it,” he said.

Mobile translation
The goal behind translating the apps is to make content more localized.

Languages that the apps have been translated in include Spanish, Italian, French and German.

In conjunction with the translation features, HotelTonight is expanding its services to Paris, Nice, Amsterdam and Brussels.

HotelTonight’s services have also launched in Acapulco, Mexico City, Lake Tahoe, Calgary, and Vail and Breckenridge, CO.

In total, HotelTonight is available in 70 destinations.

Currencies have also been converted to streamline the booking process. Euros, British pounds, Mexican pesos, Canadian dollars and U.S. dollars can be converted within the app.

Digital gift cards
The app updates are being rolled out across all of HotelTonight’s apps, which are available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Consumers can buy the digital gift cards either on HotelTonight’s Web site or through the app.

Users then choose the amount of their virtual gift card and are sent an email with a promotion code. Gift cards can then be redeemed when consumers check-out.

Since HotelTonight is an app-only booking service, digital gift cards help the company on several different levels.

First, it helps the brand spread its message to consumers who might not be familiar with how HotelTonight works.

In addition, the initiative helps HotelTonight increase the number of app downloads, which gives the company the opportunity to create more of a one-on-one relationship with consumers.

Once users have downloaded the app, HotelTonight can tailor content to a user’s preference, including language and location.

HotelTonight has been ramping up its mobile strategy in the past year.

Most recently, the company added recommendations and a new design to create a more personalized app (see story).

Additionally, the company took its products internationally in June (see story).

“We felt like the HotelTonight model would play into the spontaneous travel nature in Europe,” Mr. Simon said. “It is proving itself so we are doubling down on it.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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