technology, hospitality, and plumbing…

Where are the niche hotel websites?

In General on July 27, 2010 at 21:58

One thing that surprises me is that there aren’t more hotel websites for specific niches, for people with particular passions, needs and pastimes. Of course, you aren’t likely to be aware of these niches unless you have a particular need, but still, there seems to be very little in the way of hotel sites catering to families with kids, or people with disabilities — and these aren’t really niches at all, in that they apply to an enormous number of people worldwide.

I was reading Chris Anderson’s excellent Free the other day, and he talks about the internet reducing the marginal cost of reaching a lot of people, reaching the very people with special tastes and requirements that had been difficult to market to in the past.

So why isn’t it happening? Am I being shortsighted? Are there lots of niche hotel sites out there? I’d love to see some examples of these…

Anthony Green – July 2010

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  1. Actually such niche websites do exist but usually through themed portals with a travel /hotel booking functionality managed through affiliation. This was a gold rush 5 or 6 years ago but never really took off. I believed users were more comfortable using pure third party travel sites. Having said that, reading your post, I see a big potential for themed sections within third party sites. At the moment taking a decision purely based on a name, a rate and a limited photo gallery is not enough of a filter.. Expedia might be too much of a monster to handle such a thing but smaller site such as http://www.asia-rooms.com should have the necessary flexibility to manage it.The only constraints is that it would have to be user-generated-content based as we cannot not rely on a hotel to judge whether they children friendly or not.. A children menu with fries is not enough but some GMs may just decide it is…
    Navigating through a “Golf resorts” or “Children friendly” section within one travel site, with all necessary supportive information (eg: amusement parks nearby etc.) is probably what we all need. One travel site, several experiences.

  2. Yes, i’ve seen some of this, on TripAdvisor, but it wasn’t really what i meant, i was talking about a specialised approach, rather than just an automated aggregation of different hotels taken from reviews and comments. Maybe you’re right, it’s impossible to match the scale of sites like TripAdvisor.

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