Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Former Jasons Chief Executive to head mobile start-up

I see that a familiar face to many moteliers, Matthew Mayne announced today that he is heading the company behind a Kiwi last-minute accommodation booking app, Stay Today.

Previously called Get A Room, the Stay Today iPhone app takes the concept of last minute booking to the extreme by allowing customers to book rooms from noon until 2am only for that night.

Stay Today's consumer positioning is simple: "Book late. Save more"
  • "Out with friends and the thought of forking out for a taxi doesn’t appeal? Maybe a date’s going pretty well.
  • With Stay Today you can now lock in a last minute stay in a CBD hotel at a great rate while on the go! 
  • And because we’re truly a last minute booking service we’ve able to secure some amazing deals."
Accommodation providers that are willing to drop tariff below parity with OTAs and offer a late-night check-in service can provide distressed same day inventory to Stay Today. Although this would appeal to hotels that traditionally offer 24-hour service, I see that motels are also part of the accommodation mix on offer.

When considering Stay Today as a marketing channel, accommodation providers need to get their head around some differences compared to mainstream OTAs. The app does not appear to be hooked up to mainstream channel management software and loading of inventory is done by the team at Stay Today. Some accommodation providers may also be put off by the necessity to provide a late night check-in service and sensitive to the possibility of dealing with low-quality guests that may have spent a night out on the town - hopefully the vast majority of guests with a $1,000 iPhone and a credit card dictate that they are of a reasonable caliber?

Is there a consumer market for this type of booking channel? We know that consumers are increasingly making last-minute booking decisions and mobile is driving this trend. Overseas OTAs with mobile apps or mobilised websites are finding that the majority of bookings via mobile devices are made on the same day.

The idea of an app exclusively for same-day reservations is not new, as there are similar apps on offer by overseas providers. These apps are commonly operated by large scale OTAs with established brands as an add-on to their core business. Probably the most high profile is's "Tonight" that squeezes their existing accommodation inventory into a same-day booking app.

As a stand-alone, one-trick pony, Stay Today presents a clean consumer offer without the clutter by offering only a limited amount of accommodation choice in selected main centres. From a consumer perspective, the "less is more" accommodation choice isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as there is a sufficient number of rooms available in key locations.

The 12-month development in Slovenia seems to have paid off with the app looking reasonably slick and the user interface easy to use. Once the user sets up an account (a process that takes less than a minute), Stay Today's claim that you are able to "book in less than 10 seconds" is achievable. 

The voice of Stay Today's marketing appears to be targeting Gen-Y upwardly mobile hipsters that are wielding iPhones. This tone may also appeal to wannabe older generations that like to keep up with trends and tend to book accommodation more often. 

It's great that a Kiwi company is taking a risk and providing an alternative accommodation booking channel. Their success will be dependent upon building mass brand loyalty and it will be interesting to follow their progress...
News release
4th July 2012 – Under Embargo

Former Jasons Chief Executive to head mobile start-up

The former CEO of Jasons Travel Media has today been appointed Managing Director of technology start-up Stay Today. 

Stay Today is a same-day hotel booking service, accessible via smart-phone app.  The service is aimed at people who need to book a hotel while on the go, such as business travellers and late night revelers who need to book a hotel while on the go. The rates offered are cheaper than online prices, and are discounted further as the day progresses.

The firm is the first mobile-only hotel booking company in Australasia.  Mayne believes this gives Stay Today an edge over traditional hotel booking companies.  “Although hotel websites are slowly moving into mobile, their apps are difficult to use because these companies weren’t built with mobile in mind” he says.  “Stay Today was built from the ground up for mobile.  The result is you can book on the go in less than 10 seconds, and for a better price than on the web”. 

Mayne believes in the disruptive power of Stay Today’s model.  The company is projecting revenues of over ten million in its third year, largely from international markets.   “From my years in tourism, I have never seen a model as disruptive as this” says Mayne.  “With the trend toward same-day booking and the explosive penetration of smartphones, this business is poised to be a huge kiwi success story”.  

Mayne joins an experienced management team of three.  His appointment is timely. After a full year’s development in Slovenia, the Stay Today app launches commercially this week with over 60 hotel partners across Australia and New Zealand.  It can be downloaded from the Apple app store or from the Stay Today website at

Matthew Mayne has over twelve years’ experience in digital.  Prior to his role as CEO at Jasons Travel Media Ltd, he spent seven years in the United Kingdom where he held a variety of senior digital positions including roles at British Telecom, Racing UK and Channel 4.  Matthew holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and is a Marketing Honours graduate from Victoria University.

For further enquiries:
Matthew Mayne, Managing Director Stay Today - 022 122 8924

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