Would You Book Your Next Hotel Stay on Instagram?

Travel startup Tripscout is giving customers major discounts with just a DM

Shot of an unrecognizable woman using a mobile phone indoors

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In a world where it's more uncommon not to have social media than the opposite, it only makes sense for brands to utilize and promote their content on these services. If you spend time on Instagram, you're already familiar with the countless ads that pop up and pressure you to purchase things directly on the app. Now, you can get your pre-trip travel needs on the social platform and book your hotel there, too.

Social media travel startup Tripscout just launched a booking platform through the app under the user name @hotel. Through this new platform, customers are privy to hotel rooms for prices anywhere from 25 percent to 75 percent less than buyers would find on traditional booking sites.

How can you do it? Entirely through DMs.

Head to the @hotel Instagram account, and send them a message with the word "hotel" for personal deals.

"Social media is the new SEO, yet the legacy travel industry has been built on transactional interactions, driven by billions of annual advertising spend. We've approached the market quite differently. We've built a large, passionate, and loyal audience of frequent travelers, and we're excited to launch these game-changing private offers on Instagram, so they can travel more, travel better, and spend less in a post-pandemic world," said Konrad Waliszewski, Tripscout's CEO and co-founder, in a statement.

The company acquires these exclusive deals because of the nature of the account—the privacy of Instagram DM's allows them to bypass "price parity agreements" that other booking services are bound by. The brand's organic audience, as well, will enable them to focus more on savings rather than marketing and promotions.

Right now, the brand can offer private rates to thousands of hotels worldwide, primarily focusing on some of the most popular destinations for travelers—big cities like New York City and London and major vacation destinations like Mexico.

I decided to test the feature myself, creating a mock trip to the Dominican Republic. I sent a DM to the account with minimal details about my trip, and while I expected to chat with a person, I was instead greeted by the chatbot "Scout." It didn't seem to register any of the words I sent except for the world 'hotel,' and it immediately sent me a link to what looked like an online booking site. I entered my fake trip information, and a list of hotels came up. It looked exactly like Tripscout's existing online booking site, except all the prices were drastically cut—most by more than 60 percent in comparison to the online listings. There were even a few hotels that didn't appear online. Overall, I was, of course, impressed with the prices, but also the selection of hotels (which ranged from three-star to five-star properties) available on a short notice.

When asked by TravelPulse about Tripscout's future social media plans, Waliszewski said, "Right now, we are fully focused on delivering the best hotel booking experience in the world, but our vision is to leverage the Tripscout app to be the first super app of travel and support customers throughout their entire journey-from inspiration to planning to booking to exploring in-destination."

Want to give it a try? Head to the @hotel account and send them a DM!

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