Amazon Launches Amazon Destinations Booking Service
PHOTO: California's Central Coast is one of the many scenic outdoor destinations featured on the new Amazon Destinations, (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
Amazon Inc. introduced Amazon Destinations on Monday, featuring about 150 hospitality properties in adventure travel areas surrounding metropolitan hotspots.
Showcased under Amazon Local, Amazon Destinations marks another venture into the travel market for Amazon. This time, Amazon is working directly with hoteliers to offer rooms at their published rates or discounted prices.
Right now, travelers can find hotels in three major regions: the Pacific Northwest, Southern California and the Northeast. Within these regions, travelers will be able to stay at several major tourist attractions, including Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, the Oregon Coast, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, California's Central Coast, Big Bear, the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the Hamptons.
The site mainly focuses on independent hotels, with some larger brands sprinkled in. It also appears to be centered on authenticity and adventure travel, two major trends in the travel industry today. That focus is evident in the site’s current tagline: “Hit the road: Book local getaways.”
The Pacific Northwest is described with such words as “misty beaches,” “lush forests,” “foodie fare,” “seaside havens” and “mountain resorts.” Southern California is a place of “sandy shores,” “sunny skies” and “modern coastal cuisine.” In the Northeast, discover “steep terrain,” “rocky shores,” “historic towns” and “seaside pleasures.”
While this could obviously be a win for travelers, it’s particularly noteworthy for hoteliers. They now have somewhere else to turn beyond major online travel agencies such as Expedia (Expedia.com, Hotels.com) and Priceline (Priceline.com, Booking.com), which dominate the OTA market. Even if Amazon Destination’s commission rates are similar to Expedia and Priceline, hoteliers get a little variety.
Amazon tested the travel space in 2012 when it began listing hotels at discounted prices in major U.S. cities, but Amazon Destinations is its first major jump into the hospitality industry.
Amazon Destinations is currently available on desktop. Amazon’s mobile apps are being updated to include the travel service.
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