Farecast Adds Prediction Tools For Hotels

Farecast, the airfare price prediction site, has expanded its coverage and price prediction tools to a new beta service for hotels. For the launch the new hotel price predictions work in the top 30 U.S. destinations and pull in data from partner sites like Orbitz, Cheaptickets, and ReserveTravel, as well as Farecast’s own information.

The results for a hotel search are displayed on a color-coded map with price and other details. Red pins indicate good deals, while blue ones stand for over-priced results. Clicking on a hotel will display a graph of prices over time — particularly the fluctuation on either end of your intended stay. >>Full Story

Thoughts// Ah, give the people what they want. “I just want to know if this $259 hotel room is a good deal?” A simple solution to a question that (I would safely assume) many travelers ask. As I think more about this new prediction tool, I wonder why major hotel chains (or other travel-related companies) have not been providing this type of service for travelers. True, there would be times when prices at the hotel would be high and ‘over-priced’, but I wonder if consumers would simply look for weeks or weekends that show as ‘deals.’ Perhaps structure the rating system in a more favorable way for the hotel…’Great Deal, Deal, Normal, High Occupancy (read, expensive). Or, could some of the larger hotel chains direct travelers to other hotels within the brand that may offer a better deal.

We are already seeing some of this thinking within the airline industry. Many carriers, including Delta, display easy-to-read search results on which flights are the best bargains for that day. Bargain flights may be at inopportune times, but they at least give the consumer more options and a greater sense of what they are paying for.

Instead of thinking how you are going to ‘hide’ high prices or unfavorable aspects, start thinking about how your company, and the related businesses within it, can help consumers find a better solution and a better bargain…so they still choose to fly, stay or dine with you.

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