12 MAR 2019: Established for busy travel consumers who want a hotel room pronto, SnapTravel intends to alleviate hotel booking dilemmas by being your 'friend.' The Canadian based digital hotel booking company is best described as a “conversational commerce” hotel reservation system. They hosted an evening for TravelMassive social media influencers to share company news and awareness of their services.

It's SnapTravel Easy

SnapTravel allows people from around the world to book their hotels over messaging. Forget downloading an app or going online, SnapTravel users can take an app that’s already on their phone and use it to find and book the best hotel deals.  SnapTravel sends back the hotel booking confirmation in a text or message.

The live demo of the SnapTravel concept suffered a slight technical glitch but the consummate pro, Hussein Fazal, CEO of SnapTravel and key presenter fielded questions from the floor during a momentary delay.

“At SnapTravel we answer questions in real time,” adding the company uses chatbot technology to respond to initial inquiries and then uses 45 travel agents based in the Philippines who are available 24/7 to field questions.

Hotel Room Inventory

They manage 1.2 million rooms worldwide with 1000 daily bookings. The company, Hussein explains, sources properties directly, including smaller independents, properties through tour operators and OTAs, working with Booking.com, Hotels.com and Priceline.com.

Customers SnapTravel is geared to consumers seeking the best hotel deals (claiming savings between 30 to 50 percent per booking) via mobile text messaging. For those last-minute travellers they offer a virtual travel agent experience in the shape of a chatbot ninja.

Travel Industry Today spoke to Brett Reed, Head of Talent and People, who relayed that his friend secured a NYC hotel stay without using her cellphone's data plan by using the airport wi-fi. “They didn't have anymore data, and used the SnapTravel via Facebook Messenger,” he explained.

SnapTravel works through its own website www.SnapTravel.com and via devices such as Facebook Messenger, SMS, and WhatsApp but plans on moving into the AI voice platforms like Amazon, Alexa and Google Home.

“People don't want to download apps anymore,” said Hussein.

Prices are typically cheaper and bookings are secured via credit cards and Paypal through the SnapTravel platform.

Product Demand

According to SnapTravel there is a huge demand for this product.  “You can just see that the world is going mobile and people are using their phones more than their laptops,” adds Brett on the new hotel travel booking player.

The company has grown exponentially since it was established three years ago. Headquartered in Toronto with satellite offices in Istanbul, Spain and the Philippines, NBA All-star Stephen Curry is the latest investor.

“He's a good face for our brand,” says Hussein of a sports star who has become a friend.

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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