New Facebook App ‘Hotels WithMe’ Launched by Columbus Internet and Hotels.com
- First UK Facebook app for choosing a hotel
- Shared hotel shortlist with live availability and price updates
- An inventory of 120,000 hotels from Hotels.com
The new app enables friends, families and colleagues to get together through Facebook and share hotel information in order to make a collective decision on the property that best suits their travel needs.
Research (Source: travelhorizons, July 2009) has shown that 89% of travellers do so with friends, partners or colleagues, but until now there has been no way to make the choosing of the right hotel a collaborative process unless everyone was sitting in front of the same computer.
The new 'Hotels WithMe' app circumnavigates this issue by enabling travellers to search for the perfect hotel together with one or more of their Facebook friends. The chosen friends are invited to join a ‘trip’, from where they can search for hotels together as easily as if they were all looking at the same computer screen.
All members of the ‘trip’ can view the hotel searches in real time while additional functionality of the app also allows ‘trip’ members to vote for the hotels they prefer and write notes about them before adding them to a shortlist of proposals.
Once the proposals list is narrowed down it automatically updates in real time, so if a room-type becomes unavailable or the price changes, this is shown in the list immediately. Once all members of the ‘trip’ are agreed on the hotel, a quick click on the “book” button links straight through to the Hotels.com booking page.
‘Hotels WithMe’ includes the full range of Hotels.com’s property offering, numbering in excess of 120,000 and covering all classification of hotel from five star resorts and city centre boutique properties to local independent guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts in hundreds of locations around the world. The hotel information includes high-quality photos and detailed descriptions of the facilities. Google Maps and Google Streetview are also integrated, so users can research the location and area surrounding their accommodation.
“Hotels WithMe is perfectly adapted for the social-media generation, letting people plan trips together,” said Andrew Sittermann, CEO at Columbus Internet. “We're also really proud to be providing the first application on the web which lets people do this together in real-time in partnership with Hotels.com.”
Josie Shah, Head of Affiliates at Hotels.com, comments, “The new app will make the process of choosing and booking the perfect hotel for you with family, friends, and colleagues simple and straightforward, and most importantly a truly collaborative experience. We are pleased to be partnering with Columbus Internet in the UK to bring our world class hotel product to this app.”
About Hotels.com: As part of the Expedia group which operates in all major markets, Hotels.com offers more than 120,000 quality hotels, B&Bs and serviced apartments worldwide. If a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com will match it. Hotels.com benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry negotiating the best rates for its customers, plus there are 1.8m reviews from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers make an informed choice when booking. Hotels.com has recently launched its Welcome Rewards customer loyalty programme in the UK, where customers can earn a free night for every ten nights stayed (subject to Welcome Rewards terms and conditions as set out at ). Hotels.com won the Gold Award for best hotel booking site in Webuser magazine in February 2009. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres on 0871 200 0171.
About Columbus Internet: Columbus Internet provides innovative collaborative online applications, making it easy for people to make decisions and plans together. Their flagship application is Travel WithMe, a collaborative trip-planner. Columbus Internet is based in Berlin Germany and was founded in 2008.