08 Feb BYHOURS – ROSA GONZÁLEZ
BYHOURS is the first online hotel booking platform and app that allows you to book microstays in hotels and lets you decide the time of arrival and departure. BYHOURS has introduced a new and disruptive business model in travel industry, about micro-stays and pay-per-use and based in flexibility, which also allow hotels to increase their income, as well as monetize and optimize their resources.
Founded in March of 2012 in Barcelona is a top Eurolatina! Rosa Gonzalez, PR&Comms Manager, shares her insights!
What makes LATAM a great opportunity for a European startup?
We have expanded our business in Latin America because of the common language and cultural&social ties and the strong underlying relationships between both regions, as we are a startup from Spain. There are obviously reasons for the basis of the attractiveness of the LATAM market. Doing some research and analyzing the market we realized that there was a niche because there was no such business in LATAM, there is something similar in Asia, specifically in India, focused on accommodation for hours in motels but directed to another type of client different from our client in LATAM .
To enter the Latin American market we have worked directly without local partners, It is important to it approach it the right way. We use our model that is already successfully proven in Europe. We collaborate with advertising; media outlets and marketing agencies that help us sell our product & service and target our niche market. We work hard on PR, communication and dissemination because it is key for customers to get familiar with BYHOURS and its business model.
In LATAM, we are present in nine countries and our model is eminently urban, based on large cities and capitals with an airport to attract a traveling business and international audience. We have local clients, for example, who are looking for meeting places, while an international client might look for a room to spend the waiting hours before his flight.
What are the main challenges startups are facing when expanding to LATAM/Europe?
For us, the positioning of our product for the segment of business, dynamic, professional and international clients, etc., hat seeks accommodation in a quality segment is key. We have worked hard to make that positioning and differentiate ourselves from the “motel” model that exists in other parts of the world.
Our model is based on technology and we take great care of the contact and proximity to our hotels in all our destinations since we are not competitors but their allies.
Although we do not need a physical presence in the countries in which we operate, we do have local teams adapted to the country and its peculiarities, including language, that improve the customer experience.
Next steps in Europe and LATAM:
In 2019, we plan to consolidate our business in Europe, making the rest of the markets grow at the level of our main markets nowadays (Germany and Spain). We will also open a headquarters in Mexico as we have raised some interest from some Mexican investment funds and hotel partners in the region very interested in our model and business. In addition, we believe that the experience in Mexico can help us take the leap to the USA this 2019.