Flash Travel is the best thing to ever hit the hotel business. Unless it’s the worst…
People often complain that life is complicated. They're wrong. With the acceleration of information, the changing economy, the intricacies of global interconnectivity, and the massive upheaval in digital communications, life is not complicated, it's complex. This important distinction is more than mere wordplay, as explained by Duncan Green, strategic advisor for Oxfam GB and author of From Poverty to Power: "Complicated means if you study it hard, you can predict what happens when you intervene. In contrast, a complex system has so many feedback loops and uncertainties that you can never know how it will react.... "
Complexity is why every meeting you schedule is rescheduled, and why your attempts to pin down drinks with a friend slide all over the social map. Planning is less effective in the whirl of complexity, and that includes the very act of getting away from it all. In our era of vanishing jobs and crashing markets, setting a distant date on the calendar looks a lot like wishful thinking. Thankfully, from the vexation of complexity has materialized a new option to chart our turbulent world: Flash Travel.
Last-minute, mobile-app-driven hotel booking is a rising trend, reforming the landscape of the hospitality industry. Leaving laptops behind, forgoing search and compare on their home computers, more travelers are just going mobile (phone). Market research firm PhoCusWright projects that by 2014, 20 percent of hotel bookings will be made by tablet and mobile phones. Projections like this make the flash travel app a hot market, and 2013 has been their year. Pioneering U.S. brands like Hotel Tonight offer last-minute deals on hotel rooms that have attracted millions of mobile users, and nearly $50 million in venture capital. In Europe, flash travel app providers like Hot Hotels and Blink are fighting to capitalize on the lure of last-minute travel in the attraction-dense landscape of the Continent. Just around the globe, Hotel Quickly, flush with Hong Kong venture capital, is staking out South East Asia, perhaps the most mobile-friendly, smart-phone-drenched market in the world. Clearly, as the world changes, the way we travel through it is also transforming.