TripCraft, a mobile solutions provider, launched a new hotel booking application and website, Vir.al. The app targets so-called Millennials, one of the faster growing demographics. Using curated, experience-based and destination-specific content, Vir.al enables users to create unique travel experiences in addition to booking a room. Vir.al can be used to plan travel in eight domestic destinations—New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Austin, and New Orleans. More U.S. and international destinations are slated to be added.
Unlike previous generations, 72 percent of Millennials prioritize experiences over luxury or material goods. Vir.al leverages this shift in customer preference by creating experiences that increase booking rates and revenue earned from this travel demographic, which is predicted to be the largest consumer segment in 2018.
Vir.al also offers a unique social influencer engine to benefit both hotels and guests. Hotels can use the Vir.al management console to identify socially active guests and incentivize them to book with their property. Socially active guests are valued customers because they are more likely to review and recommend properties online, which can increase a property’s booking rates and revenue over time. Millennials as a demographic tend to travel for longer periods of time and spend more during their trips.
Through the app’s social influencer engine, hotels can calculate a customer’s social media score and offer personalized perks and promotions to encourage them to book. From a customer standpoint, Vir.al enables potential gusts to use their social engagement score as a form of virtual currency. Vir.al users can also use the app’s social influencer to see what is trending on social forums for hotels, destinations, and events.
Vir.al also helps hotels take back a share the market from alternative accommodation providers by offering complete travel experiences, moderate pricing, and a large amount of user-generated content. According to FutureCast’s Millennial Brief on Travel & Lodging from 2016, the demographic is actively booking online and more likely to book based on content they viewed online.