HEDNA's 2011 Spirit of Innovation award recognizes a key travel innovator that is driving the industry in a new direction. During the "Meet the Innovators" session, the five nominees presented to attendees, who then cast their votes to recognize the best innovation in travel and the hospitality industry.
Just shy of a year old, HotelTonight is a 100 percent mobile service that provides consumers with access to available hotel rooms at special rates for that evening, said Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight. Content is optimized for the mobile experience and the site makes it easy to decide on a hotel room in various US locations based on the three to six offerings for that night. HotelTonight's customers are impulse bookers, said Shank, with 91 percent of customers booking a hotel they've never stayed at before. The company partners with hotels and takes commission on any transactions. It expects to expand internationally in the near future.
"We're extremely honored to receive recognition from an esteemed organization like HEDNA, which is providing real solutions for the travel industry" said Sam Shank, CEO. "With HotelTonight, hotels can offer mobile consumers impulse rates without jeopardizing their revenue or brand management objectives. Consumers win by getting unmatched deals at fantastic hotels."
In addition to HotelTonight, four other innovators presented to the Winter Conference attendees. They were Adam Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Hipmunk, Inc.; Gautam Lulla, COO of TravelTripper; Chris Patridge, executive vice president and co-founder of Backbid.com; and Eytan Seidman, co-founder and vice president products of .
"The Spirit of Innovation Award honors the trendsetters who are moving our business forward and providing innovative means to make it easy for consumers to book travel," said Melanie Ryan Owens, HEDNA president and Vice President with Orbitz Worldwide. "HEDNA would like to thank all the innovators for sharing their visions with us."
The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Founded in 1991, all of HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient. Additional information on HEDNA is available by calling +1 202-204-8400 or by visiting .