Why Airbnb Turned to HotelTonight for Its Data Savvy
HotelTonight's acquisition by Airbnb last March represented a happy outcome, but it wasn't inevitable. Back in 2015, HotelTonight faced layoffs and fundraising hiccups. Here, co-founder and CEO Sam Shank shares some of the ways he got his company back on track.
HotelTonight got its start by helping people find last-minute hotel rates at upscale properties. It also helped hoteliers fill otherwise empty rooms with carefully targeted discounts. Over time, the company became a more flexible online travel agency. It expanded its booking window, added platforms, and debuted a digital concierge service.
Shank will appear on-stage at Skift Global Forum in New York City on September 19. As a prelude, we quizzed him on how his company has used data to thrive.
One surprising point: Shank doesn't believe data deserves all the hype it gets. "When making decisions, I always balance data with other inputs such as focus groups, market research, and industry trends," Shank said.