latest startup to launch out of the Summer 2015 class of Y Combinator
is Roomblocker, which has developed an easy and modern way to book
discounted blocks of hotel rooms for groups and events.
though the Internet has revolutionized nearly everything about the
travel industry, the practice of booking blocks of rooms for events like
weddings or corporate outings has remained a surprisingly offline
process. Typically, event organizers book group travel accommodations
the old fashioned way: Calling various hotels, finding out if there is
availability for certain dates, inquiring about group rates, negotiating
discounts. It’s a lot of legwork.
That’s where Roomblocker comes
to the rescue. With Roomblocker, all an event organizer has to do is
fill out a quick survey about his or her group’s needs. The app then hooks up
the event planner with a dedicated concierge, who does all the work of
finding available hotels, negotiating the best rates and ironing out
various details. All the best options are presented on an easy-to-navigate dashboard, where the planner can select the hotel and package that suits them. Guests can then book their rooms themselves, via SMS, phone, or a
customized group reservation webpage.
While Roomblocker obviously makes life much easier for event planners, it’s also great from the hotels’ perspective — it streamlines a significant part of their business. Room
blocks account for around 25 percent of all hotel reservations made
annually, adding up to some $137 billion in sales worldwide.