Embracing The Travel Comeback: HotelPlanner Combines Gig Based Travel Agent Concierge Platform With AI-Enabled Technology

HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence capabilities and a 24/7 global gig-economy based travel agent concierge platform to serve all traveler hotel needs from a single platform.

Tim Hentschel

Photo Credit: HotelPlanner

HotelPlanner CEO, Tim Hentschel, recently spoke with Haute Living about the company’s continued growth and its successful adaptations to uncertain times as the travel industry continues to recover.

Haute Living: Can you explain what it is that makes HotelPlanner so attractive to the group travel customer?

Tim Hentschel: We’ve been in business for 18 years. We are founder-owned and operated, and our Co-founder and CIO John Prince (top of his class at Northeastern in computer science) runs our proprietary AI-enabled booking engine entirely in-house. Inherently, cutting-edge technology is behind everything we do. We like to combine high-tech with high-touch, and that is why we are superior in the areas of group hotel bookings — all of the major online travel agencies (i.e., Expedia, Booking, etc.) use our services. In 2020, we also launched a first-of-its-kind gig economy call center with the same high-tech and high-touch concept in mind.

HL: Your company has shown a lot of foresight and resourcefulness with taking advantage of the gig economy. How much would you say resourcefulness aligns with your company’s mentality? 

TH: Quite a bit. Obviously, COVID-19 has been very hard on the travel industry, so our pivot made sense because the gig economy allows us to provide localized and customized service. This is important because during COVID, people had a lot of questions about local protocols, which hotels were still operating and to what capacity, and what regulations these hotels were operating under. As we come out of COVID and travel rebounds strongly, the demand for personalized service just keeps increasing — we currently have about 3,500 gig economy travel agents, so it’s clear that people really like the service.

Photo Credit: HotelPlanner

HL: Due to the consequences of the pandemic, do you think there is going to be a shift where travel becomes an even larger part of our global culture? 

TH: I can tell you that the rebound has been very quick and very robust. The volume that we are seeing is huge, and the customers that we are getting are less price sensitive than I’ve ever seen in the 20-year history of selling hotel rooms online. It shows that there’s a strong desire for getting back out there on the road and in the sky. People want to treat themselves, so this return to travel has been dominated by leisure travelers. These are people who are eagerly looking for new experiences and to live life again now that the pandemic is more or less behind us.

HL: We understand that your company has had recent success in more than doubling your revenue. To what would you attribute this success?

TH: I think it’s a combination of the demand for localized service through our gig-based travel agent concierge platform, as well as the high demand from the travel industry with everyone wanting to get back out there and travel again. So really, we’ve got two very positive tailwinds going for us right now.