Untapped rooms: Chew sees an opportunity to support hotels in managing excess inventory. NEWLY launched JustTonite hopes to boost the local hospitality market by tapping the gap in impulse travels. The online hotel booking platform enables consumers to book a stay for one night only and check-in after 6pm at any of the hotels listed on the platform with prices of rooms starting from RM50. JustTonite founder Hanley Chew notes that the hospitality industry in Malaysia has suffered tremendously in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With hotels relying on business travel, MICE business and discretionary leisure travel, the ongoing international travel ban has caused a significant decline of about 80% in the market. As such, domestic travels are expected to prop up the hospitality sector in the short term. “We have identified a gap to fill in the market. Local travellers are making instantaneous decisions to travel anywhere domestically for just one night, while hotels need to fill up distressed inventory and drive revenue at the eleventh hour to stay afloat in the current situation, ” says Chew. Increased efforts from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture have further boosted domestic tourism, as Chew notes that the term “staycation” became the buzzword last year after the domestic travel ban was lifted. “Recovery prospects for international tourism remain at an unpredictable state, but one thing is certain, domestic travel will remain as the single largest income contributor to hotels this year. “There appears to be an untapped market for spur-of-the-moment travel, and JustTonite is set to do just that, to cater to both the demand for such, as well as the supply, an abundance of hotel rooms left empty before the end of every day, ” says Malaysia Association of Hotel chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng. Customers are required to sign up for an account on JustTonite, choose and pay for the hotel they wish to stay for the night and an instant confirmation will be sent to them. “With last-minute decisions becoming a new norm, we see the opportunity to support hotels in managing excess inventory and generating additional revenue. It is key that hotel owners understand new travel preferences to secure travel customers. We are currently welcoming hotels to list their properties on our platform, ” adds Chew. JustTonite plans to also expand its services to include transportation and attractions in the future and will soon be available as an app for download.
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