The ‘near zero operational costs’ system allows Staypia to offer additional discounts on top of the lowest market price, in real-time.
Seoul, South Korea - South Korea-based leading AI solution startup Mycelebs is delivering ‘lower than the lowest price’ through its fully automated hotel discovery and booking service Staypia.
When it comes to leisure travel, the sheer volume of information and choices available prevent consumers from purchasing directly from suppliers. There is always a middleman, be it a travel agent or travel booking site, who takes commission at the consumer’s expense. Staypia aims to disrupt this market structure by replacing the middle ’man’ with AI technology.
Staypia uses an array of AI and data processing solutions to find the lowest price for 3.16 million hotels worldwide, in real-time. Thus, Mycelebs is able to operate Staypia at virtually no operating cost, focusing on constantly improving user experience through algorithm updates. This allows Mycelebs to provide additional discounts, on top of the lowest real-time price of select hotels, without compromising on the quality of its service or profits for the company.
Staypia is Mycelebs’ third B2C travel service that utilizes AI to operate autonomously and with success. As a provider of AI transformation solutions, Mycelebs has a strong track record of building AI-powered services and services on behalf of high profile clients. My Bucketlist was one such example, which later became Myceleb’s own operation within the Korean market. To date, the app accumulated nearly one million downloads and surpassed 2 billion Korean Won (equiv. USD 1.7 million) in gross sales.
Mycelebs aims to replicate the success on a global scale through Staypia. Staypia beta launched in the US in February 2021 and officially launched its website and mobile application globally in August 2021. It was built based on the popular features of My Bucketlist, but with more robust hotel directories around the world.
Since the launch, Mycelebs partnered with social media influencers to bring in new users for Staypia. The dedicated ‘regional captains’ promote Staypia to their followers through social media, in return for a small commission per bookings generated in their region. This further eliminates the need for sales and marketing representatives, and the relevant costs. This strategy has proven successful and Staypia membership has grown to more than 9,000 in just a matter of a few months, with a steady increase in return users.
Influencers are a vital part of Staypia’s growth strategy because people are increasingly looking to social media to get their travel plans sorted. In the US, more than half of Gen Zers and Millennials with summer travel plans are using social media to help them prepare. Staypia’s regional capital program is the travel industry’s first attempt at empowering travel influencers to offer a tangible, continued monetary incentive to promote a wide variety of travel destinations in their regions. This can fundamentally change the way travel advisors operate, and bring more diversity in tourism.
Mycelebs CEO Kyle Doh says “Advancement in AI means that traditional industries can rely on technology to reduce operational clutter significantly and cut unnecessary costs. The travel industry, with so much uncertainty and volatility surrounding its business environment, can benefit the most from AI transformation. The successes of My Bucketlist in Korea and growing popularity of Staypia in the Americas demonstrate that consumers are welcoming the change.”
Staypia recently rolled out a context-based travel recommendation feature ‘Travel Plus’ for its mobile app. It uses Mycelebs’ proprietary search and exploration system Key Talk to curate unique and novel travel destinations that are trending and relevant for each user. For example, it lists specific keywords such as ‘budget resort for solo travellers’, ‘quiet city hotel with a great view’, ‘hidden gem’. This means users can discover hotels and destinations based on their travel preferences, rather than geographic location. It will make travel planning more efficient and purposeful.