From a young age Yannis Moati, CEO & Founder of HotelsByDay, was bitten by the travel bug. After studying in Boston and co-founding an exotic travel company, Yannis set out to take a concept he came across while in Europe and gathered some of the hospitality industry’s brightest to help create his vision, HotelsByDay. HBD seamlessly unlocks latent intra-day room inventory, bringing guests the flexibility of short stays. Being recognized by publications like TIME, Forbes and Conde Nast Traveller, it’s no wonder why travelers are using HBD to book their next daycation.
What kind of customer would book a hotel for the day?
We’re looking to target business and leisure customers. For example, a business executive can book a daytime hotel room to recharge or relax before a meeting, or book a conference room for a presentation. Booking a daytime hotel room for a traveling family can help them squeeze in a quick nap before heading off to tour the next attractions, or allow a nursing mother take care of her baby.
What have been the biggest obstacles that you had to overcome when launching HBD?
I think our biggest obstacle is letting the world know that our service exists! Most people who come across the idea of HotelsByDay love our service. The challenge is having more and more people know that a solution like ours is available.
How do you choose which hotels will be available for bookings?
The exercise of choosing the correct Hotel is minutia work. It takes time to explain the model to the hospitality professionals, then we need to make sure based on data, geolocation, type of traffic, quality of property that the day booking formula would work for said property. Many hotels were turned down, when all factors did not meet our ‘sweet spot’ in the marketplace.
You have worked in the travel industry for over 10 years before the creation of HBD. How has this industry experience helped you create HBD?
While traveling on a familiarisation trip in Europe with a VIP group, hotel executives told me of a website doing day bookings and staying very regional (limited to Europe). A larger opportunity existed in the USA, thanks to a larger pool in the sharing economy model of using spaces that historically go unsold (in this case, a hotel sleeping room available anytime between 10 a.m./7 p.m.).
How did you end up in the hotel and hospitality industry?
I have always had a fascination with the travel industry from an early age. Right out of college, I co-founded Tunisian Exclusive Vacations and soon after I spend some time managing a New York-based global tour operations company.
Do you have any mentors or people who have deeply influenced you to become the entrepreneur you are today?
I have many, starting with my father who successfully built two factories and a chain of restaurants. My uncle (his brother) who launched a series of renowned night-clubs and also,lso my first boss who built a large brokerage firm in NYC late in life and went from zero to hero pretty quickly.
What new additions or features to HBD should your customers be on the lookout for?
We have recently added more hotels in Canada, as well as London, including a few near the London Heathrow Airport. We are continuously spreading the model to other cities and countries. Be sure to check out the locations, as well as a new service we’re launching soon called Flexbook. Flexbook is a hotel booking website that allows for early check-ins and late check-outs.
If you were to book a hotel for a day, where would you stay and why?
I would book a day stay hotel room at Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley Hotel located in London. This hotel recently got renovated and the design is spectacular. I also really enjoy the lounge and restaurant at this Thistle hotel location.
What are some of the main goals you most want to accomplish in professional career?
Goals change and continuously grow. If you asked me a year ago, I would have answered to launch a successful travel brand. Now, the goal is to set it to a path of world-wide recognition and build it strong enough to become a strategic partner in the field for a company that wants to venture into the burgeoning day space.
What advice do you have for managing and working with a team specifically in the travel industry?
Take time to understand what makes people tick, then assign them to this tick and turn them into pros in the field. Also, save 10% off your next booking at HotelsByDay using promo code TWIP10 when you checkout!
More facts about Yannis:
Personal Mantra: ‘Every day in every way, I’m getting stronger!’ – Tony Robbin
De-Stress Technique: Laugh
Latest Gadget: Apple Watch
Favorite App: NPR and Gimlet podcasts
Favorite Travel Brand: FlexBook.co
Next Vacation Destination: Italy