Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Fri July 31 2015

Amazon Expands Amazon Destinations Travel Site

Travel Technology | Patrick Clarke | July 31, 2015

Amazon Expands Amazon Destinations Travel Site

Amazon has announced the expansion of its Amazon Destinations travel website, which now features hotel deals in nearly three U.S. destinations, TechCrunch reported.

Amazon Destinations launched this past April, aimed at travelers across several large markets including New York and Los Angeles. On Thursday, Amazon added the Southeast, Texas and the Gulf Coast and Northern California to the mix, targeting leisure travelers in Atlanta, Houston and San Francisco respectively. 

Those three regions join the Northeast, Southern California and the Pacific Northwest to make six total. 

The Southeast highlights hotel rates in Savannah, Myrtle Beach and Asheville, while the Texas and Gulf Coast region features popular destinations like Austin, the San Antonio Riverwalk, Hill Country, the Texas Gulf Coast and New Orleans. 

Northern California includes popular destinations like Napa, Lake Tahoe and Monterey and Carmel.

The breakdown of regions is what separates Amazon Destinations from other travel search engines. While it doesn't point users to the best hotel deals — only posting hotels' published rates or discounted prices — Amazon's new venture is designed to appeal to travelers looking for accommodations while planning a local leisure trip. 

Typically, the featured destinations are within reasonable driving distance for travelers in that region. 

"As the company noted before, this seemed like an untapped vertical to explore in the travel space as 40 percent of all U.S. domestic leisure trips were short-term getaways of one to three nights, and many were to nearby, driveable destinations," writes TechCrunch's Sarah Perez

Amazon Destinations presents hotels in these destinations with an opportunity to improve their visibility, as they don't have to pay up front to be featured. Instead, Amazon holds onto a percentage of the price the customer pays as a commission. 

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