When it comes to booking a hotel online, most people would use a price comparison site or application to hunt for the best price and offers available. But now, there is an even easier way to do this, via a browser extension.
Called Ratepunk, this extension compares hotel room prices across major online travel agencies (OTAs).
“Browser extensions, especially mobile ones, are not widely used yet. But in our assessment, they are the most convenient format to show the lowest hotel rates in seconds,” the company noted in a report by PhocusWire.
All consumers need to do is install the extension for free – there is no need to register or pay. Each time you search for a hotel on the web, Ratepunk pops up to display all the prices from its partner OTAs. At the moment there are nine OTAs listed including Expedia, Agoda, Booking.com and Trip.com, but the company is planning to add five more soon.
“The travel industry is a major duopoly of Booking.com and Expedia, and the lack of concurrence makes the pricing unfair for the customer. By introducing new products to the market, we give more opportunities to the consumer and a push to the major brands,” the company said in the report.
Ratepunk was founded earlier this year in Lithuania by two friends who also founded AirGuru, an interactive travel agency, flight-search and booking engine, nine years ago.
Grooming young stars
Meanwhile, a luxury hotel in Cambodia has pledged to nurture the next generation of hospitality stars by helping to build their skills and offer internship and work opportunities.
The Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh recently signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia’s National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NIEI). Through this agreement, the hotel will be providing resources, workshops and training sessions, as well as technical and curriculum consultation to the NIEI, in order to develop the skills of workers in the hospitality field.
“One of Cambodia’s most potent attributes is the natural hospitality of its people,” Juan Mercadante, the general manager of Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, said in a statement.
“By refining skills through internships at our hotel, we can maximise this human capital and offer these students invaluable experience and opportunities to grow their careers.”
The new arrangement between the hotel and the NIEI is in line with Hyatt’s RiseHY initiative, a global programme designed to pair the hospitality industry’s career opportunities with young people who need them. As part of the initiative, Hyatt hotels around the world will commit to hiring 10,000 “opportunity youth” – people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working – by 2025.