We’ve got More Hotels!

We’ve recently updated our hotel database to include more than half a million hotels. That’s more than any other major hotel search engine out there!

What this means is that you’re more likely to find a great value room, wherever you search worldwide. This is because our higher resolution of coverage is more likely to snap up bargain rooms which other websites overlooked.

Take a look at these comparison graphs which look at HotelSweep, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Trivago and Roomkey – in every case except Brisbane, Australia, HotelSweep came out on top for the number of hotels returned by the query:

 

 

Hotel Sheep? Rumor Busted

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It would be nice if everything you read on the internet was as trustworthy as Yahoo News, but it seems we here at HotelSweep have been caught out!

Some of you may have come across this story about the ‘Hotel Sheep Guest House’ on Yahoo News. There is no such place (as far as we know – yet) in the land of the rising sun, but a lot of bloggers seem to have been taken in by our little bit of fun at the Hotel Sheep Blog.

Our fun was put to an end by Snopes.com, the classic online rumor busters, who wrote a highly detailed article explaining exactly how and why there is no hotel for sheep in Japan. We think that sometimes, a myth can have a value all its own, but clearly the good people at Snopes.com do not agree with this sentiment.

The Future of HotelSweep

HotelSweep launched with the budget traveler in mind, and the budget traveler will continue to be the focus as we develop the website. We’re always thinking of new ways to delve deeper into the mass of smaller hotels which escape the radar of the traditional travel sites. We solidly believe that we can continue to dig up gems where other services fall short.

We’re also looking to improve the search experience at every level, finding ways in which more information about a specific hotel can be provided, while not bombarding the user with information which is non critical to them making their ideal budget booking. Simplicity will continue to be the theme as far as the interface is concerned. We’re already looking at integrating the 2 separate search tabs into one mega-tab providing more useful results than ever before.

Of the estimated $33.8 billion in hotel rooms booked online in 2011, about 55 percent, or $18.6 billion, came directly through hotels’ own websites, according to Carroll Rheem, director of research at PhoCusWright Inc., a research firm. About 45 percent, or $15.2 billion, was booked through online travel agents — up from only $2 billion as recently as 2001, Rheem said.

It’s clear that while Online Travel Agents are a rising force in the industry, just over half of online bookings are made direct through the hoteliers’ own websites. This is a strong clue that Hoteliers are often saving the best rates for their own websites, though there may be other reasons people are booking direct. Nonetheless, this shows that HotelSweep’s direct approach looks more and more promising as a way of finding the very best rates for our users.

Commissions currently paid by hotel companies to OTAs can range from 5 percent to 30 percent and sometimes even climb as high as 60 percent, said Bjorn Hanson, dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University.

This is another key piece of information on the relationship status quo between Hotels and Online Travel Agents. The fees for listing, while variable, are often high – sometimes too high for small hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs. This leaves a gap wide open for Hotel Search Engines which do things differently, and HotelSweep’s direct information extraction algorithm is more than happy to list or even feature these small Hotels for free. Win for the Hotelier, and win for the budget traveler.

HotelSweep Mobile App Released

Search hotels directly from anywhere. Looking for a last minute hotel? Our app will get you the best price, then you can book and get a confirmation directly from the hotel.

 Most small hotels aren’t on hotel websites due to the cost of setting up an automated booking system.
 Many hotels save their best rates for their own websites where they don’t have to pay commission.

 HotelSweep uses unique information extraction technology to cover more small and boutique hotels.

 

Download FREE from the Android Marketplace

Or view QRCode 

Olympic Games 2012 Hotels – Still plenty to be found on HotelSweep

There are over 100,000 hotel rooms across London, but already it can be hard to find a hotel room at a reasonable rate during the Olympics. These inflated prices may put off tourists who aren’t coming just for the games.

UK tourism minister John Penrose said: “The principal trap is that potential domestic and foreign visitors who aren’t avid sporting fans can be put off visiting an entire country for the whole of an Olympic year.”

Despite evidence that some hotels have increased their July rates from less than £100 to nearly £200 (€120 to €240), VisitBritain’s David Leslie insisted prices “pretty much reflect” what would be usually charged in London during peak season

Not all the fault can be put on the hotels however. Hotel groups are complaining that the discounted rooms they have provided to Olympics organisers are being resold at massively inflated rates.

There are still many rooms to be found, particularly now that the Olympic games commitee to cancel a reservation fo 120,000 hotel rooms. A quick search on HotelSweep.co.uk, a hotel search engine that searches hotels directly rather than just travel agents like Expedia, returned a guest house in Acton with rooms from £24 and a hotel in Victoria with rooms from £34 during the games.

Introducing HotelSweep

Yesterday we officially opened up HotelSweep to the public! We’ve been getting some great reviews, as well as valuable feedback on what we can do better.

This is the press release, distributed thanks to NeonDrum:

With increasing competition in the online hotel search market, Cambridge-based HotelSweep is hoping to make its mark by using innovative information extraction technology to deliver a better user experience with greater speed, accuracy, search depth and diversity. www.hotelsweep.co.uk is a pricing web site which features a very high number of small hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs that are often missed by established search services dominated by the major traditional hotel chains.

“The user experience is everything and while HotelSweep covers the large hotel groups we provide a much more balanced search so that consumers are more likely to find a cheaper, better value room, simply through a superior diversity of results,” said Chris Doman, founder and co-developer of HotelSweep.

The vast majority of small hotels in the UK save their best rates for their own websites and are not listed on the big sites like Expedia. But many of these businesses, especially independent B&Bs, simply don’t know how to increase their visibility or don’t want to pay listing fees. HotelSweep goes direct to the establishment’s website, extracts the relevant data and informs the owner who has the opportunity to modify the data themselves.

“HotelSweep is a win-win solution for consumers who want a wide choice and the best prices and for independent hotel, guesthouse and B&B owners who get increased online visibility at no cost – just what the UK hotel industry needs going into 2012,” says Richard Lewis, co-developer of HotelSweep.

The hotel search market has always been competitive but new start-ups are appearing more rapidly than ever before. Newcomers to the sector include Room77 and Mobissimo, each with its own take on hotel search. Established players such as Marriott & Hilton have also joined forces to create the new booking engine RoomKey.com in a second attempt at reaching travellers directly. And in July last year, Google introduced Hotel Finder that is growing into a serious contender in the hotel search engine market.

“Newcomers and incumbents alike need to get creative and differentiate themselves to ensure a chance of gaining and holding market share,” said Chris Doman. “A combination of a fast, simple interface with the advanced hotel ‘deep search’ capability that embraces small hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs is what makes HotelSweep unique in the UK market. We expect that the results to speak for themselves.”

About HotelSweep
HotelSweep is a new venture that has developed a new type of hotel search engine, which directly accesses hotel websites for pricing information.
www.hotelsweep.co.uk

For more information, please contact
Christopher Doman or richard Lewis
HotelSweep
contact[at]hotelsweep[dot]com

Distributed on behalf of HotelSweep by NeonDrum news distribution service (http://www.neondrum.com)