What most first-time visitors to Korea feel baffled by is the abundance of first-class hotels around the country. This does not necessarily mean an absence of inexpensive accommodation. Cheap motels actually represent a significant portion of the South Korean hospitality market. Though the Korean motel industry has seen steady growth – thanks to the demand from young travelers and couples on tight budgets – businesses have been largely fragmented, run by local owners without much expertise in advertising and marketing.
This advertising gap between owners and roomers is what WithWeb’s Yeogi-Ottae (translated How about Here) hopes to fill. Released as an upgraded version in June, the app has more than 1,700 registered motels, offering the largest motel database among its contenders like Yanolja. Yeogi, however, tries to do more than bring a large number of choices to the table. To keep the searching process simple, Yeogi tracks user locations to list the nearest and highest-rated motels on its home screen. Each search result further displays room panoramas, user reviews, pricing, and map location of the motel.
With Yeogi, users save $5 for each booking and an extra $5 for first-time reservations. Users can save even more by writing reviews to receive free coupons or reward points for future reservations. Rewards are redeemed via NFC or QR codes instead of complex strings of promotion codes. At check-in, Yeogi users have an option to simply wave their mobile devices to securely verify their user profile and discount eligibility. With these features, Yeogi has recorded more than 100,000 downloads since its release.
The app however does not offer in-app room reservations. Users instead have to call motels directly using the provided numbers. While Yeogi is not the only service without reservation services, developer WithWeb claims that it does not expect to introduce in-app purchases in the near future. For now, it plans to incorporate hotels and pensions into its database to become an all-round, leading room-finding app in Korea.
–Inspired by Platum