Driven by the Growing Needs of On Demand Travelers, Priceline.com Unveils New "Tonight-Only" Search Making it Even Easier to Find Hotel Deals Anywhere, Anytime

Over half of priceline.com customers surveyed in 2015 are anything but last minute, planning for weeks but waiting until the last day to book the best deal

Jul 23, 2015, 12:11 ET from Priceline.com

NORWALK, Conn., July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a growing number of mobile-savvy travel planners and bookers, priceline.com, a leader in online and mobile travel, is today launching an updated "Tonight-Only Deals" mobile booking platform, with an enhanced search option and expanded list of participating hotels. Tonight-Only Deals (SM) offer consumers fully revealed details such as name of hotel, price, location, star and guest ratings and amenities.  The new search feature will allow consumers to easily search for Tonight-Only Deals by sorting them to the top of the list.  According to new research commissioned by the brand, twice as many Americans today are using mobile travel apps to book hotel accommodations compared to 2013*, and more than one third (35%) are doing so on a frequent basis.  As travelers become increasingly more comfortable booking same-day hotels via travel apps, priceline.com is making it easier for customers to find these savings by creating a more streamlined experience. With over 1,000 new properties recently added, Tonight-Only Deals product now features 4,000+ mobile-exclusive hotel deals up to 40 percent off.

Priceline.com also surveyed its own mobile customers to get a deeper understanding of today's mobile travel shoppers that continue to shape the app and found that mobile users are not necessarily the spontaneous or procrastinator types.  In fact, the majority (58%) of priceline.com's mobile customers are planning trips in advance but waiting until the very last minute to pull the trigger on booking the hotel, sometimes just hours before arrival, in order to get the best deal.  These new On Demand Travelers, who check hotel rates in advance and know they will get the best price close to or on the day they need a room, along with spontaneous travelers who decide to travel last minute (about 42% of priceline.com's mobile customer set), are shaping the continued digitization of travel, with the ability to plan and book anywhere, anytime.

"Those who reserve hotel rooms at the last minute, especially On Demand Travelers, continue to be the main drivers of mobile bookings as well as the inspiration for innovation around travel app products like priceline.com's Tonight-Only mobile hotel deals," said Brett Keller, Chief Marketing Officer for priceline.com.  "Priceline.com's latest expansion of Tonight-Only hotels gives our last-minute travelers even more confidence to find and book industry best deals at the very last minute."

Interestingly, while On Demand and spontaneous travelers have discovered the secret to scoring the best hotel deals, the average American has not yet caught on to the last-minute technique.  In fact, 70 percent of respondents to priceline.com's general population survey shared they frequently worry about overpaying for a hotel room, yet nearly half (46%) said they book far in advance in order to save money on their hotel stay.  Only 15 percent of respondents noted that they book at the last minute to save money.  However, of priceline.com customers surveyed, 77 percent had scored a deal when waiting until the last minute to book a hotel.

Additional comparative findings from the general population and customer surveys include:

  • Planning ahead is key for both audiences, but the approach is different: Seven weeks is the average amount of time Americans plan their vacations in advance.  Nearly half (46%) of Americans surveyed also booked their hotel rooms 4 or more weeks in advance; whereas 66% of priceline.com's customers researched hotel options within one to two weeks or less, potentially saving up to 40% on the room rate.
  • Travel "hacks" are common, but not all are effective: 77% of Americans noted that they try various travel hacks to save money on their hotel, including booking far in advance (46%) and booking only on certain days of the week (24%).  And, while many are using mobile travel apps, 51% have never booked hotel accommodations using an app, which means they are missing out on an entire set of exclusive deals only found on mobile.

The Tonight-Only Deals campaign includes a national television advertising campaign. Tonight-Only Deals are available on both Android and iOS mobile devices. To download the priceline.com iOS app, click here. To download the priceline.com Android app, click here. For more information, please visit www.priceline.com/media or connect with priceline.com on Facebook and Twitter.

*According to an eMarketer, Inc. report from April 2014 titled, "Travel Purchases on the Go: Mobile Hotel Booking Surges, but Other Transactions Lag," which includes data from mobile device users, age 18+, who booked travel via mobile device at least once in 2013.

About Priceline.com
Priceline.com, part of The Priceline Group [NASDAQ: PCLN], gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com's famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available, or Express Deals®, where travelers can take advantage of hotel discounts without bidding.

About the General Population Survey
The priceline.com survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults from June 22 to June 29, 2015, using an email invitation and an online survey.  Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18+.  For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About the Priceline.com Customer Data
Priceline.com conducted a survey of 4,837 last-minute mobile customers who made their most recent hotel booking the day before or same day of check-in on their mobile phone from January 2015 to May 2015 and have booked more hotels via mobile phone than desktop since January 2014. These customers were incentivized with a 10 percent Express Deals hotel coupon. The survey was fielded from June 2 to June 4, 2015.

For press information: Flavie Lemarchand-Wood, press@priceline.com

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150723/240787-INFO

SOURCE Priceline.com



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