Using Curated Mobile Apps—and Mobile Payments—to Book Hotel Rooms a New Way

March 6, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

For anyone who’s booked a hotel room lately, the experience is probably about the same as the last time you booked a room, or even the first time. That comparatively static pace may not be so for long. This is evidenced by the work of Porter & Sail, who are not only letting hotel room shoppers shop and discover, but using mobile payments-style technology to actually make purchases from the discovery phase.

Porter & Sail is working to be a “one-stop shop” for travel, allowing users to not only find and book rooms at properties, but also completely curate the details of their stay, arrival, and finding places within that destination to visit. Further, it even allows shoppers to find their next big destination in one fell swoop.

The big focus at Porter & Sail is “feasibility,” reports note. For instance, a New York traveler may crave some warmer climes after the duet of polar vortexes that hit this winter, yet not be able to travel as far as the Bahamas or Jamaica. However, there may be other viable alternatives—Miami, for example, or even Nashville—and Porter & Sail looks to offer the best of what the user wants, and may not even know he or she wanted at the time.

It also addresses, reports note, one critical problem of standard online travel agencies: option overload. By presenting its choices in a curated fashion, it cuts down on the raw explosions of words and numbers that so many have to deal with going through online travel agencies.

I’m not sure just how complex the OTA picture is here—I’ve looked up a couple destinations myself—but there is something to presenting fewer options with greater depth. Though here, you’re more likely to get a high-end “boutique” hotel than you are, say, a Hampton Inn, you’re also more likely to get something that presents a greater “experience.” Given that millennials have often been seen valuing experiences over things, such a move might be exactly what’s needed to get the millennial spender into the fold.

Only time will tell how well this plan works over the alternatives, but given millennial preferences as we’ve seen them so far, apps like this may be just the ticket travel’s been waiting for.