The Hopper travel app is designed to help users find the very best travel deals, particularly in terms of flights and accommodation. Launched in 2014, its point of difference is predicting trends in flight and hotel prices to help users identify the best time to travel based on their budgets.

As far as hoteliers are concerned, Hopper is essentially a metasearch engine, although unlike on Trivago and Agoda, a hotel can’t create and manage its own listing. Hopper gets hotel and vacation rental inventory from online travel agencies (such as Booking Holdings, SiteMinder and, until recently, Expedia Group) which it then offers to its users. It is therefore not an OTA, but rather a technology company that allows consumers to get better deals from OTAs and other booking providers.

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Is the Hopper App legit?

Yes, Hopper is perfectly legitimate. The company that was started by two ex-Expedia executives in 2007, and that more recently has earned unicorn status with a $1 billion valuation. As an accredited travel business, the app passes muster in terms of privacy, trust, and security, ensuring user information is kept safe. The brand partners with some of the biggest names in online travel, and has built up a strong history of finding the best travel deals for its loyal customer base.

Why hotels need to know about the Hopper app

Why should a hotelier concern themselves with Hopper?

Firstly, the Hopper travel app is incredibly popular, particularly with young people. It is the most downloaded travel app in North America – over 75 million people have booked through Hopper so far – and the company says its customers “are primarily Millennial and Gen Z”. This is a major reason why Hopper has chosen to stay as an app only, rather than expand into a desktop platform.

Hoteliers therefore need to be aware of Hopper because it is where a lot of young people go to book their travel – young people who will eventually become the most important demographic for any hotel business, no matter what their ideal guest might look like.

How to use Hopper travel app

The main reason behind Hopper’s success is the simplicity of the app. Here are a few of the most popular features and how to use them.

Hopper Flights

This feature searches the internet for the cheapest available flights. A user simply pops in the origin, destination and approximate travel dates, then Hopper offers up the best deals in a colour-coded calendar. Hopper claims that it is able to predict flight prices up to a year in advance with 95% accuracy.

Hopper Rental Cars

Similar to Hopper Flights, Hopper Rental Cars collates rental offerings from over 180 car hire brands, serving up options after users have given basic location, date and time information.

Hopper Hotels

Let Hopper Hotels know where you want to go and when you plan to be there, and it will serve up a selection of hotel rooms from its 2+ million accommodation options. Price prediction technology takes centre stage here too – users are told whether or not this is a good time to book, and can choose to watch the hotel for dips in price.

Hopper Homes

Vacation rentals have become big business for Hopper – the Hopper Homes feature offers a selection of 2.5 million vacation rentals from around the world. As with Hopper’s other features, users can earn Carrot Cash back on Hopper Homes bookings, worth up to 5% of the booking total.

Setting up notifications

The Hopper app’s ability to predict travel prices is its headline feature, and users can make the most of it by setting up notifications for chosen hotels and flights. Search for a flight or hotel, then click ‘Watch’. If the price of the flight or hotel dips, you’ll instantly be sent a push notification.

Hopper app: Pros and cons for small hotels

If your property is found on Hopper, should you promote the app? Should you actively tell potential guests that your hotel is available through Hopper? The following Hopper app pros and cons might help you decide.

Hopper app pros

  • A huge audience: 75 million people have already used Hopper. A hotelier would be wise to capitalise on this ever-growing audience.
  • Ease of booking: Hopper is all about user experience, which is why it’s the preferred booking option for so many travellers.
  • No-cost perks: If your guest books through Hopper they can earn Carrot Cash – which doesn’t cost you, the hotelier, a thing!

Hopper app cons

  • Budget focus: Primarily used by travellers looking for the lowest prices, Hopper tends to serve up bookings with lower profit margins.
  • No direct listing: Independent hotels aren’t able to list directly on Hopper, so cannot earn direct bookings.
  • Another middleman: Hopper is a metasearch engine that sits between hotel and guest, and will take a cut of the booking fee.

Is the Hopper app free?

Yes, the Hopper app is free for users to download. Like other metasearch engines, Hopper takes a commission on any bookings made through the app. Hoteliers don’t deal directly with Hopper, so you won’t have to worry about paying this fee – it will be taken from the commission charged by the booking channel that the reservation is ultimately made through.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).