Yatra has launched an hourly hotel booking service called ‘Flexi Stay’ on select hotels. Customers can choose a check-in time and date while booking the hotel, but they have to book and pay for the room for a minimum of 4 hours. Launched in September, and live on the Yatra Android app, the service is available in New Delhi & Bangalore and the pilgrimage/temple towns of Shirdi and Tirupati.

Yatra co-founder Dhruv Shingri said Flexi Stay data shows that 35% of its users book rooms for a 4-four period, while 65% guests book it for over 16 hours. The service also sees longer stays of upto 36 hours, 40, 60 hours etc. Shingri claims that the bookings for Flexi Stay come from those “who otherwise [in case of only full-day bookings] would not have booked the hotel.”

Yatra claims to have 96,000 hotel partners in India, and another 4,000 outside India.

The company’s algorithm with offer rooms between Rs 49-199 per hour (depending on the hotel). It claims that customers will save upto 30% or more than traditional night-based booking. The algorithm is based on factors like the

  • 24-hour booking rate,
  • time of booking,
  • star category of hotel,
  • day of booking,
  • demand,
  • location,
  • city, etc.

Yatra claims to be the largest online hotel provider for corporates (700 corporate clients) but has floated this product for direct customers for now. It will soon extend the service for corporate clients, since most corporate employees utilize rooms for 12-14 hours, but pay for an entire night. The company claims that corporates will also save 30% on hotel bookings via Flexi Stay.

Without defining a time-frame, Yatra said it will soon launch in

  • 100 cities in India with select partner hotels
  • In select test markets outside India “especially for our corporate customers”

GoIbibo’s similar offering

GoIbibo (which merged with MakeMyTrip two years ago) launched an identical service early in 2017, offering rooms (also with select hotels) in bundles of 3 hours, 6 hours and so on. Goibibo’s had also said last year that demand was high in some metro cities and in religious towns like Katra, Tirupati, Shirdi, Varanasi, Amritsar, Rameshwaram.

Yatra Q1FY19 financials

Yatra posted a loss of Rs 31.2 crore for the quarter ended June 2018 (Q1FY19). Its losses had narrowed in the same quarter last year (Q1FY18) to Rs 4.83 crore, but expanded from the Rs 38 crore loss posted in the previous quarter (Q4 FY18). Total revenues stood at Rs 280 crore for the quarter, down 7.28% from Rs 302 crore in the same quarter last year. Adjusted Revenue increased to Rs 204 crore, up 24.8% on year.

  • Revenue: The Hotels and Packages business was muted, up 0.4% YoY to Rs 182.67 crore for the quarter, from Rs 183 crore in the same period last year.
  • Standalone room nights: The number of nights spent by the company’s customers (Room Nights) on its hotel listings was at 579,000 in Q1FY19, up by 23.5% YoY.

Our Yatra coverage here.