Over-indulging drives last-minute bookings

Expedia.com survey has released the results of a study around what causes a spike in last-minute mobile hotel bookings during different national holidays.

Conducted online by Harris Interactive among 2,893 online US adults, the study examined consumer willingness to use a mobile device to book a hotel room within 24 hours, and the various reasons for doing so.

An analysis of Expedia booking patterns shows that the week leading up to New Year’s Eve tends to see a surge in hotel rooms booked via mobile at the last minute.

Such bookings are up to 50 per cent higher than similar bookings in November and the first half of December.

Many last-minute holiday bookings, in fact, are made late at night, after the New Year has been rung in.

According to the Harris Study, among adults with a history of booking a last-minute room on New Year’s Eve, the most commonly cited reason (selected by 50 per cent of these respondents) was necessity; they had consumed one or two drinks too many and elected to spend the night in a hotel.

The second-most cited reason (selected by 35 per cent of these respondents) was personal; they had found love (or believed they had), and chose to explore those emotions immediately, in a nearby hotel room.

The third most-cited reason (27 per cent of these respondents) was pure whimsy – they felt they owed it to themselves to start the year in a comfortable hotel bed, perhaps with a free continental breakfast.

Unnamed “Other” reasons were cited by 22 per cent of these respondents, and a full three per cent of these consumers gave no reason whatsoever for booking a last-minute room on New Year’s Eve via mobile.

They just went ahead and did it.

Expedia regularly sees mobile last-minute booking spikes during the holidays.

In the first quarter of 2012, the busiest mobile booking period was around Valentine’s Day weekend.

The next-busiest booking period was around St Patrick’s Day, while the weekend following New Year’s Eve was the third-busiest.

These patterns suggest that romance and revelry are among the prime causes of mobile hotel bookings, no matter the time of year.

And when the two factors combine, mobile booking surge.

Expedia offers hotel booking via its apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Windows 8 tablets.
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