MiStay, a hospitality start-up which allows booking rooms by pack of hours, has expanded its presence to 8 metro cities in India. They are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Gurgaon.
In these cities, MiStay has partnered with around 50 hotels which have been handpicked using stringent quality criteria and offer booking of rooms by hours. These hotels cover all price range from budget hotels to 5 star hotels.
“This development is consistent with our focus to cater to the business travel segment. Business travellers often require room for a few hours but they often end up paying for an entire day. We, thus feel that the accommodation expense of a company can be reduced by more than 40%. We are now open to tie-ups with corporates, and our growth in 8 key business cities will enable us to meet the diverse hotel accommodation needs of our partners”, said Sandeep, the Co-founder and CEO of MiStay.
MiStay was launched in April 2016 in 2 cities (Delhi & Gurgaon) and with 12 hotels. The idea of MiStay was born when Sandeep was denied the room even though it was booked online during his trip to Amritsar as he had reached the hotel before the standard check-in time of 12 noon. Even though the room was used only for a few hours, he ended up paying for a one and half day due to the rigid check-in/ check-out timings.
There was once a time when we had to hire a cab for an entire day even if we needed it only for a few hours. Services like Ola and Uber have made such a dent in the cab industry that it has become difficult to imagine such a scenario. Unfortunately, when it comes to hotel booking, people still book a room for an entire day even when they need it for a few hours.
“It is unethical and unfair to be charged for an entire day when we use a room for only few hours. We started MiStay with the aim of breaking the age-old traditions and changing the rules of hospitality to make travel flexible and fair to travellers," said Sandeep.
The average hotel occupancy rate in India is less than 60%. This concept of micro-stay not only benefits travellers but also gives hotels a new line of business. Hotels can increase their revenue by tapping into a new customer segment. This makes it a win-win proposition for both travellers and hotels.
While the benefit of offering rooms by hours is obvious, it does come with logistical challenges and operational complexities. “We have developed an easy-to-use extranet software for hoteliers that has enabled them to update room rates and availability in real time. They can select the hours and the rates they want to sell a room at to optimize hotel inventory. Our technology ensures seamless experience for customers as well as hoteliers,” added Pranav, the Co-founder & CTO of MiStay.
Another key aspect that differentiates MiStay from other players in the industry is the extreme duediligence in partnering with hotels. All the partner hotels are strategically located near key business hubs in the cities or near transit areas such as airports & railway stations. More than 75% of the MiStay partner hotels have a Tripadvisor rating of more than 4.
“We also have to deal with the stigma associated with booking room by hours. People often think that such concept only attracts couples. We are confident to break the taboo with booking room by hours and be the trend-setter.”, said Sandeep.