For savvy travelers always looking to score the next hot deal on a trip, there's a new subscription service in town. The team behind popular flight deals service Dollar Flight Club has launched into the hotel space with the debut of The Hotel Project, a membership-based program that offers subscribers deals worth up to $200 per booking.
"Over the past three years, we've had over one million people start using Dollar Flight Club's flight deal alert service, which has allowed us to gather a large amount of data on what problems still exist in the travel space," says Kyle Maltz, COO and partner of Dollar Flight Club and The Hotel Project. "As soon as customers started asking for hotel recommendations, we knew we needed to apply a similar subscription business model to the hotel industry to really provide a ton of value to both hotels and our customers."
The Hotel Project costs subscribers just $20 per year to join, with every booking guaranteeing low rates and perks such as room upgrades or discounts at restaurants that are valued between $20 and $200, meaning you'll make your money back in just one trip. On the surface, the service seems similar to its competitors, like Tablet Hotels' Tablet Plus program, but The Hotel Project has a significant difference: it doesn't charge its hotels commission, meaning a hotel is earning 100 percent of revenue from bookings, just as it would from direct bookings.
On traditional third-party booking sites like Hotels.com or Expedia—which are called online travel agencies, or OTAs, in the biz—hotels have to pay 30 percent commission on all bookings to be listed. That's why hotels always prefer that travelers book directly.
"Traditional hotel booking and listing sites have taken advantage of hotels for much too long simply because hotels didn't have many options," says Maltz. "Our subscription service was built to allow hotels to regain their commission by paying $0 instead of 30 percent, control more of the process, and then transfer a portion of those savings back to our travelers in the form of perks, room upgrades, and room rate discounts."
Another huge benefit for both hotels and guests is that there's no dealing with a middle man in terms of communication. When you book through a third-party OTA, you're bound by that OTA's terms, and you also need to communicate with that OTA about any changes to your booking—hotels are mostly left out of the picture. But with The Hotel Project, hotels and guests communicate directly with one another.
"When someone books through a booking reseller, no customer information is transferred to the hotel, which leads to customer support issues, lack of upsell opportunity, and eliminates the opportunity for hotels to get customers on loyalty programs," says Maltz. "This old setup is just not fair to hotels, and we wanted to change that for them. As the world opens back up, we're set up to help hotels bounce back by giving them back the revenue they deserve and provide travelers with deals they won't find elsewhere."