E Hotelsbyday - The Option To Book Short Term Hotel Stays For Less

We had the opportunity to interview Yannis Moati, CEO and founder of HotelsByDay, the premier provider of day-stay hotel spaces in the U.S.
 


Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and HotelsByDay?
A: My name is Yannis Moati. I was born in Tunisia, a peaceful and enlightened country in North Africa, from a French father and an Italian mother. History was the main thread of my childhood, where everywhere I went and everything I touched while growing up had a deep connection with the past. It set the stage to my professional life, where while on summer breaks from college, I worked as a tour guide in Italy, France and Spain, mostly for American tourists.

Without giving away too much of my age, I can safely say that I am a 20 year veteran of planning travel arrangements in Europe, before setting my current specialty in promoting flexible stays: hotel rooms for a few hours, all available on HotelsByDay.com.

I was a travel agent before launching HotelsByDay back in early 2015. I identified the opportunity when I was faced with an increasing number of travellers that wanted flexibility in their hotel stays, and I simply could not have any from our long-standing partners. Hence, I decided to do something about it.

More info on this topic is listed in the Q&A section of our latest crowdfunding campaign.

 

Q: How did you get the idea for Hotels by Day?
A: Customer wanted it. Someone had to do it.
 

Q: How did you get your company out there into the industry? 
A: First, I assembled a founding team. We worked feverishly in building a business plan. We got seed funding, then we launched the company with massive amounts of PR. Which lead us within 12 months on the Shark Tank show, and the rest is history.
 

Q: What makes your company different from others in your space?  
A: Most other Online Travel Agents (or OTAs) sell commoditized overnight stays, which give you no flexibility whatsoever in possibly checking-in earlier than 3pm, and checking out the next day later than 11am. If every flights were landing and taking off at 12 noon, then there would be no need for our flexible hotel booking service.
 

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Kirk Sheffield 5 months ago Member's comment

How many hotels do you currently work with?

Yannis Moati 5 months ago Member's comment

Hi Kirk. We have over 1000 hotel signed-up in the USA. Not all are live at any one day. Especially during Corona. Our rate of sign-up last year was up 38%. This year will be much greater, as hotel will need our revenue source more than ever. Thank you.

Harry Goldstein 5 months ago Member's comment

This is an intriguing idea for a business model. But how is your company able to survive during this pandemic? With #coronavirus keeping people stuck at home, I assume all hotels are shuttered until further notice.

Anastasija Janevska 5 months ago Member's comment

Excellent question, I'd like to know this as well Yannis Moati.

Yannis Moati 5 months ago Member's comment

Hi everyone. True: the pandemic has slowed our growth, but:

1 - hotel sign-ups are up 900%

2 - our guests are hyperlocals (VS foreign tourists) and will be the first wave of bookings back at hotels, strengthening our partnerships

3 - we hold no physical inventory and little fixed expenses, with a team committed and willing to make sacrifices, we are not laying-off anyone and have enough cash to hold 6 months, gov. loans not withstanding.

We'll get through this. Scared. But alive.

Wannabe Warren 5 months ago Member's comment

I think your company will go far!

Harry Goldstein 5 months ago Member's comment

Yannis, great answers.

Beating Buffett 5 months ago Member's comment

Great idea Yannis Moati. Empty rooms at hotels are wasted money. It reminds me of the original Priceline idea of selling unused plane seats for cheap.

Flat Broke 5 months ago Member's comment

Why would any one want to stay at a hotel for just the day? People pay for a hotel specifically for a bed to spend the night. Why would someone need a bed for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Yannis Moati 5 months ago Member's comment

Hey. So we have 13% of our guests that use our platform to guarantee an early check-in & late check-out. We have another 25% that use the amenities of the hotel for the day, and 'daycation' by using pool, spa, sauna. We have 9% of naps. Another 28% for long layover at an airport hotel. And yes, Stock Vamp is also correct, we have a portion that also uses it for romance. Plenty of couples want to meet up at a hotel when the kids are in school. Day or night...

Adam Reynolds 5 months ago Member's comment

I really like this idea. So is it safe to assume that customers get a considerable savings when they book a hotel room for only select hours during the day?

Yannis Moati 5 months ago Member's comment

Rates for dayrooms are about 50% off night rooms, for an average of about 6 to 8 hours of stay during the day (mostly 10am to 4pm, or to 6pm)

Flat Broke 5 months ago Member's comment

That's pretty cool. How do you have so much data? People share why they are using the services?

Yannis Moati 5 months ago Member's comment

yes. 5 years of guest polls as well as data collection from collaborative front desk staff.

Kurt Benson 5 months ago Member's comment

This is ideal for business travellers etc, who need a place to freshen up, shower, change etc. before an important meeting. Or even just wants a comfortable place to relax or kill time. If it was affordable, I would do that more.

Stock Vamp 5 months ago Member's comment

Sex.

Flat Broke 5 months ago Member's comment

Lol, very funny, but I was serious.

Stock Vamp 5 months ago Member's comment

I was serious too. Where do you think most affairs happen? Business professionals need a safe place to sneak out during their lunch break for a quickee!

Backyard Hiker 5 months ago Member's comment

Sounds like an interesting idea, quite frankly, I'm surprised no one thought of it first.

Yannis Moati 5 months ago Member's comment

Well, dayrooms always existed. But haven't been digitized and tech-enabled before HotelsByDay in the USA and its peers in Europe.