Rocket Internet launches budget hotel network ZenRooms in SEA
By Digital News Asia December 1, 2015
- Aims to revolutionise the fragmented travel hotel accommodation market
- Booking a budget hotel room should be as easy as booking a taxi
SINGAPORE-based Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), a joint venture between Germany’s Rocket Internet and Qatar’s Ooredoo, has announced the official launch of the budget hotel network ZenRooms in South-East Asia.
ZenRooms aims to revolutionise the attractive but fragmented travel hotel accommodation market in the region by offering rooms starting as low as Rp123,000 (US$9), Rocket Internet said in a statement.
Launching with 250 properties in eight cities across Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, the company plans to quickly expand to other cities and countries, it added.
“ZenRooms is the largest launch for APACIG this year,” said APACIG chief executive officer Hanno Stegmann.
“The South East Asia budget accommodation market is large: US$10 billion per year. By offering guests the best value-for-money across the region, ZenRooms is well positioned to become the market-leading brand,” he added.
ZenRooms carefully selects the best independent hotels and guest houses, and invests in them to bring all rooms to the same strict standard of quality, Rocket Internet said. The company also audits all rooms to ensure that quality standards are met.
In doing so, ZenRooms shatters the conventional ‘quantity over quality’ thinking of other online booking platforms, it claimed.
ZenRooms also equips independent hotels to compete against branded hotel chains. This approach is central to ZenRooms’ ability to offer highly competitive rates, starting as low as US$9 per night.
This paves the way for more cost-conscious travellers in Asia to travel reliably, whether for business or leisure.
Founded by entrepreneurs Nathan Boublil and Kiren Tanna (pic above, l-r), ZenRooms underwent a one-month pilot in Indonesia before expanding to 200 locations with 1,000 rooms available across Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
It is currently available on desktop and mobile web, and will soon be adding Android and iOS apps to the mix, Rocket Internet said.
“At ZenRooms our mission is to provide the best way to have a reliable budget hotel experience, across the region, at the best price,” said cofounder and global managing director Kiren.
“There are more than 16,000 small independent budget hotels in Indonesia welcoming 80 million travellers every year.
“Independent budget hotels are cost-effective but often unreliable. Thus, travellers have to constantly do their own research, reading reviews across sites, just to book a single room.
“ZenRooms believes that no-one should have to spend much time booking a hotel. It should be as convenient as booking a taxi,” he added.
ZenRooms is also confident that once the ‘network effect’ is there, there would be the potential to add more features such as express check-in, chat-based room service, in-app transportation bookings and food ordering.
All the above are in ZenRooms’ roadmap, according to cofounder Nathan.
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