Talking to Marketing Week, Ryanair’s CMO, Kenny Jacobs, said that the service, which launches on 1 October will include a wide range of accommodation, such as hotels, hostels, B&B’s, homestays and villas. It is aimed at larger brands with “aggregated inventory”, rather than working directly with individual B&B’s or hotels.
“A good candidate has the right inventory of accommodation types. They should be a valued player because we are a valued brand and I think they need to be on our wave length when it comes to digital,” he explained. “I hope the announcement this morning interests a variety of players, including the usual suspects Airbnb, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Homestay and Hostel World.”
Ryanair says it has witnessed more customers buying products and services from it, including Ryanair car hire which launched in August last year. “The accommodation space is changing in terms of people looking for a bigger variety. There was a time people would only stay in one type of accommodation, but now consumers like variety,” he said.
“People who win will always have the biggest brands. This is why brands, such as Booking.com, are and always will be successful”
Kenny Jacobs, CMO, Ryanair
Although many hotels have been pushing for customers to book direct, including the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Jacobs believes that booking through larger platforms will remain popular due to their reach. “If I was a big hotel group I would want to work with Ryanair for the direct traffic it can provide, as the most visited airline website.”
Ryanair Rooms comes as a “logical extension” for the company because it already offers the first step of the customer’s travel journey through flights. “In five years time no one will have 30 different apps on their smartphone. People who win will always have the biggest brands. This is why brands, such as Booking.com, are and always will be successful.”