Cyber Monday deals at Best Western, Loews, Miraval and more

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

The last of the holiday sales aren’t over yet. Cyber Monday heats up with its own round of one-day (or longer) sales and specials. Here are some hotel offers going on right now.

Best Western: Buy a $100 Best Western gift card good at hotels worldwide and receive a $20 gift card for Best Western, Amazon, BestBuy or Target. Online shoppers have to enroll in the hotel’s free rewards program to get this deal. Good until 10:59 PST Monday (today).

Westin Monache Resort in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.: This hotel near Mammoth Mountain ski resort takes about 25% off regular rates starting at $209 a night plus tax. The online-only offer is good for stays through April (when rooms are cheapest) and there’s no minimum stay required. The sale starts Monday (today) and lasts through Dec. 4.

Z NYC Hotel in Long Island City, N.Y.: The hotel offers rooms for $128 a night plus tax, but it takes some finessing to cash in on the savings. First, the deal is offered only between 9 and 9:28 a.m. PST Monday only by calling (877) 256-5556 and providing the code “CYBER.” Second, the offer requires a two-night stay starting on the 28th of each month (Jan. 28, Feb. 28, and so on) during the first six months of the year. Rooms regularly go for $205 a night and more, so if you can make the dates work for you, go for it!

Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson: The all-inclusive spa’s 24-hour sale takes 30% off regular rates for stays through Jan. 15 (some blackout dates apply). Rates start at $375 per person and the deal requires a minimum stay of three nights. The price sounds steep, but it includes a casita-style room, a $130 resort credit each night (good for spa services, a round of golf and more), all meals and snacks, fitness and yoga classes, resort amenities and transfers from the airport. To get the deal, call (800) 232-3969 or book online from 6 a.m. Monday (today) to 6 a.m. Tuesday and use the code “HOLIDAY.”

Loews Hotels Resorts: The hotel chain takes 20% off its best rate at 15 hotels nationwide (including locations at Coronado Bay in San Diego and Santa Monica but excludes hotels in Orlando) and comes with free in-room Internet service. The online sale is on now and ends at 8:59 p.m. PST Monday for stays through March 31. Some restrictions apply.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for travelers

U.S., Mexico and Canada: Shell Vacation Hospitality puts room rates at 23 hotels on sale

California and international destinations: Viceroy Hotel Group discounts rooms for Facebook ‘friends’

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-cyber-monday-travel-deals-20111128,1,7130762.story

Gearing up for Cyber Monday

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals



11/27/2011 07:31 PM



By: Web Staff

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UNITED STATES — Although Black Friday is behind us, Monday is another chance to score some deals, thanks to what some now call Cyber Monday.

‘Cyber Monday’ has quickly become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
Besides the deals, many websites also offer free shipping.

Analysts are expecting an abundance of deals to bring in record online sales this year.

One local company, Yuupon.com is making its holiday debut and is focused on travel deals, where you can find vacations for at least 40 percent off.

Founder Mary Song said even those on Facebook can take part in the Cyber Monday fun.

Song said, “We are going to post a picture of a secret hotel and the first person that guesses it on Facebook will win a three night stay at that hotel. And everyone who participates in trying to guess the name of the hotel and the location of the hotel will be entered in to a drawing for some giveaway runner-up prizes.”

Cyber Monday has spread throughout the world. Shoppers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, New Zealand and Chile can also get in on deals.

Article source: http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/top_stories/565180/gearing-up-for-cyber-monday

Australia’s OurDeal Highlights Travel Deals

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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The Australian deal industry is booming, and one of its biggest players is bring more to the table.

Group buying retailer OurDeal has announced the launch of OurDeal Escape, which is a site focused on deals for domestic and international vacations.

OurDeal is owned by Australian companies News Limited and Network Ten, and has been running travel deals successfully within their regular site since it launched in May 2010. OurDeal will now provide its members with travel deals in a separate, specialized section dedicated to everything travel. The site will be updated weekly with new, exclusive international and domestic deals.

The site, which goes live today, is being led by Sam Linder, the new Head of Travel for OurDeal. Linder was formerly the Australian Marketing manager for Wego.com, which is one of Asia’s largest travel search engines. He was responsible for launching Wego in the Australian market in 2008.

Linder talks about the differences between the old travel section of OurDeal and the new launch:
“We have a very exciting roadmap ahead for OurDeal Escape. First will be a new distinctly travel look and feel, which will be very different to the rest of the OurDeal site. Soon after launch we will be introducing a variety of unique travel planning tools features that we believe will set us apart from all other Australian travel deal sites.”

“Included in these are in fact features that will help to build more long term partner relationships through branding opportunities and member engagement directly with the brands themselves. Our approach is different than most, we will be working closely with our partners to establish a more regular strategic approach to the deals,” he continued.

OurDeal is fortunate to have the backing of Channel 10 and News Corporation to enhance their competitive advantage in the bustling Australian daily deals industry. Specially chosen deals will be supported by television and print coverage for the utmost saturation possible.

In celebration of the launch, OurDeal is giving away $20,000 in travel, providing 12 winners with prizes to start the New Year off right. 4 winners will receive a $3,000 OurDeal Escape vouchers plus $1,000 in spending money, and eight will receive a $500 escape voucher.  The TV and print support of the contest is expected to draw eager travelers to the site just in time to plan their 2012 trips.

“With the instability of the global economy still hanging over our heads and with the AUD slipping back below parity with the USD last week we do expect to see strong demand in our domestic deal offering over the next few months as Aussie travelers may opt for a holiday closer to home. So although destinations such as Asia and the Pacific are still going to be very popular, we see a great opportunity to work with the local providers to help push their Australian domestic opportunities” Lindner said.

For right now OurDeal Escapes is focused on value-packaged accommodations, but they plan to expand into supplying deals across a broad range of travel categories.

Find out more by visiting www.ourdeal.com.au/escape
Source: eTravelBlackboard

Article source: http://www.dailydealmedia.com/127ourdeal-launches-travel-site/

Woodstock, Vt., hosts annual equestrian parade (AP)

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

WOODSTOCK, Vt. – Horses will grace the 28th annual Wassail Weekend next month in Woodstock.

Organizers say the highlight is the annual equestrian parade on Saturday Dec. 10.

Other activities are planned throughout the weekend including the Billings Farm Museum’s Christmas at the Farm on Friday, Dec. 9, where visitors can experience the traditions of a 19th century Woodstock Christmas.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20111128/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_wassail_weekend

Custom holidays for LGBTs in India

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

The romance between India and gay tourists is growing and, cashing in on the interest, many Indian and international gay travel agencies are keenly pursuing the market by organising packages and special deals to cater to this niche segment.

In the same context, the national capital Monday hosted the first Asian symposium on gay and lesbian tourism, attended by travel agents, agencies, hotels and airlines.

“India is slowly but surely catching up on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) travel radar as a preferred destination due to its culture, spirituality, awesome destinations and history,” Abhinav Goel, founder of OutJourneys.com, a travel agency dedicated to gay travel, said.

According to Goel, the growth potential for gay tourists is so high that it has attracted even established players like Sita, Thomas Cook and Cox Kings to the emerging travel segment.

“Today there are around 10 travel players which are providing services to the sector including established names and boutique operations,” said Goel, who is also one of the organisers of the event.

The symposium is being partnered by the likes of American Airlines, Tourism Thailand, International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and attendees like Taj and Oberoi hotels.

“We have a good representation at the summit. All this is because the companies today want to know how to market a particular product to this new kind of tourists,” Goel said.

Goel said the symposium would be attended by 11 international journalists who write on LGBT issues and will travel to Indian tourist locations.

“They will visit Delhi-Jaipur and Udaipur to see for themselves the friendly tourist environment here. It is important for international customers to know what India is offering,” Goel said.

Meanwhile, IGLTA, which is a UN-accredited body to look after the travel trade industry of this niche segment, said that with an improving environment in India regarding the gay issue the country will surely attract more LGBT customers.

“With the political climate changing in India it makes it more viable for travel agencies to expand,” said IGLTA president John Tanzella.

Currently, three dedicated gay travel boutique agencies and 10 general tour operators, including travel trade majors like Sita Tours and Travels, are also members with IGLTA.

As many as five gay travel agencies in India offer customised packages including surrogacy tours, spiritual camps, weddings and honeymoon packages and a promise of an experience sans negative incidents that they face in conservative cultures.

“Customised packages which provide tours related to activities such as yoga, spiritual, weddings, honeymoon or even surrogacy are the attractions for gay tourists,” Goel said.

While weddings do not carry any legal status in India, gay visitors do it anyway to experience the traditional Indian wedding.

The niche sector provides services such as gay-friendly lodging, transfer and guides in a protected environment, in which they impart specific training to hotel staff, drivers and guides to act in the same courteous manner as they would to any other customer.

Though there is no specific data on the actual numbers of gay overseas tourists, the numbers would be huge even if one percent of all tourists are from the queer community. In 2010, India welcomed 5.58 million foreign tourists, up 9.3 per cent over 2009.

The average travel packages to India starts at $200-$600 per night per person or couple depending on the package.

Article source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/travel/Custom-holidays-for-LGBTs-in-India/articleshow/10903932.cms

Christmas steals: Cheapest holiday air travel deals

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

It seems flight deals this festive season refuse to let up, much to the delight of passengers who are now in a booking frenzy to grab those last-minute bargains before the Christmas and New Year peak travel period rolls around.

Emirates has launched yet another three-day sale across 30 destinations, which ends November 30, 2011 and offers savings up to 35 per cent.

And before you fret about blackout dates, this offer is valid for outbound travel till March 31, 2012.

If you are still unsure where to even start clicking for a bargain, Emirates 24|7 trawls the domains to put together the best flight plan for all those who are homeward bound this festive season.

The travel dates we have selected range from December 23 to January 2; as for the deals, they are available across the board as of today. 

Cairo, Egypt

Price deal: Dh2,230

Airline: Emirates

“Ever since the onset of the Arab Spring, I have had to curb my travel to Egypt; but this holiday season I am very keen on returning home to see the family,” Bassam Rafat, an accountant in Dubai.

With Emirates now on sale, until November 30, return airfare to Cairo on the carrier is costing just Dh2,230.

Available via: Emirates.com

Depart at 15.20pm and arrive at 17.25pm in Cairo Return at 12.15pm and arrive at 14.45pm in Dubai Karachi, Pakistan

Cost: Dh771

Airline: Flydubai

“This is wedding season in Pakistan, and I desperately want to get home with my family for the several marriages we have to attend, but the pricing is sometimes not feasible, especially on full-service airlines,” said Latifa Khan, a homemaker in Dubai.

We are quite sure even she would be packing her bags at a Dh771 return fare bargain on low cost carrier, flydubai.

Available via: Flydubai.com

Departs at 21.25pm and arrives 00.25am

Returns 1.10am and arrives 2.40am

 

Beirut, Lebanon

Cost: Dh2,194

Airline: Etihad Airways

With its close proximity to the UAE, over the years, the lure of Beirut is not just limited to those homeward bound for the holidays, but also to those looking to head to the party capital of the region over the festive break.

With budget carriers throwing up prices that range between Dh2,500 and Dh3,200, here’s a deal via Etihad Airways that still calls for a bargain during this peak travel period.

Available via: Ebookers.com

Depart at 12.40pm and arrive at 14.25pm in Beirut

Return: 4am and arrive at 9.05am in Abu Dhabi

 

Mumbai, India

Cost: Dh1,440 for one-stop; Dh1,558 for non-stop

Airlines: Gulf Air and Air Arabia

For the vast Indian population that resides across the UAE, the festive travel period can sometimes see an average Dh1,200-priced flight shoot north of Dh2,000, with a frenzy over the limited seats available for travel on this sector.

Here are deals that may be priced higher than your mean average, but at Dh1,440 for a flight with one stopover and Dh1,558 for a direct one, we aren’t complaining.

Available via: Orbitz.com and Airarabia.com

Gulf Air departs 9.20pm and arrives 4.55am, with a one-hour 15 min layover in Bahrain It returns 5.55am, with a 12.10 arrival, and a 2.5 hour layover in Bahrain

Air Arabia departs 23.50pm from Sharjah, arrival at 4.15am Returns at 21.25pm and arrives at 23.05pm in Sharjah 

 

London Heathrow, UK

Price deal: Dh2,205

Airline: Qatar Airways

“I am desperate to return home for Christmas and New Year’s and spend time with the family, but the ticket fares alone require me to rob a bank and then some,” said Amy Myers, a Dubai-based PR consultant.

Myers isn’t alone in her annual trek home over the festive period, with London being one of the most sought after sector during this season.

We found a return airfare via US-based flight booking engine, Orbitz.com, which makes her Christmas wish come true at a minimal cost of Dh2,205.

Available via: Orbitz.com

Depart 3.10pm, arrive 10pm, with a two-hour layover in Doha Return 8.30pm, arrive 9.15am, with a 55-minute layover in Doha

 

New York JFK, US

Cost: Dh4,767

Airline: Qatar Airways

For Jhanavi Thaker and her two children, this New York bargain deal at Dh4,767 not only allows the family to spend the festive season with their husband/father respectively, but also allows the kids to experience a white winter once again.

“Living in Dubai away from my husband has been taxing on the family, but we have had our reasons,” said Thaker. “I was, however, fretting over the Dh6,000 and up fares and wondering how we could all possibly spend this time together, considering my husband is unable to travel.

“These prices are the Christmas miracle I was looking for.”

Available via: Ebookers.com

Depart 6.40am, arrive 2.10pm, with a one-hour layover in Doha Return 22.50pm, arrive 10.45pm, with a one-hour, 15 min layover in Doha

 

Sydney, Australia

Cost: Dh6,082

Airline: Korean Air (with one sector operated by Emirates)

Shannon Morris, a Dubai-based investment banker says that after five years in the emirates, she has stopped travelling to Sydney over any public or festive holidays because the airfares quoted are enough to burn a hole in her wallet and give her heartburn.

“One of the fares I was quoted over this year’s festive period on a popular airline’s website was Dh17,580!” she exclaimed. “It was airway robbery if there was ever such a term coined.”

Morris, who said she was willing to endure a layover if it meant being home for the holidays, could grab this bargain at Dh6,082 while she still can on Korean Air. Here’s the skinny…

Available via: Vayama.com

Departs: 3.30am, arrives at 7.10am next day, with a three-hour layover in Seoul

Returns: 9am departure and arrives 5am next day, with a 6.5 hours layover Seoul

 

Manila, Philippines

Cost: Dh3,538

Airline: China Southern Airlines

Dubai-based music instructor, Marcos Ramon, returning home for Christmas and New Year means spending time with his wife and three-year-old daughter.

“It is a struggle to cover overheads every month and send money home at the same time for my family,” said Ramon, who also supports his aged parents.

He said that travel home is a luxury he usually can’t afford because flights to Manila usually reach Dh5,000-Dh6,000 over the festive period with a surge of passengers from Gulf countries.

But at Dh3,538, even Ramon is having a rethink to spend Christmas with his family.

Website: Ebookers.com

Departs: 1.40am, arrives at 4.35pm, with a layover of one hour, 45 minutes in Guangzhou

Returns: 12.10pm departure, arrives at 00.10am, with a four-hour, 40 minute layover

 

Article source: http://www.emirates247.com/business/corporate/christmas-steals-cheapest-holiday-air-travel-deals-2011-11-28-1.430517

Cyber Monday Travel Deals

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

CLEVELAND – 1. Hotels

Yes, many hotels are looking to cash in on Cyber Monday including Starwood Hotels and Resorts which is offering up to 35% off, according to USA Today. The prices vary and are non-refundable but if you know you’re going to be traveling, it could save you a few pennies.

2. Airfares

Most airlines aren’t offering Cyber Monday deals, but a few including Virgin Atlantic has some bargain routes priced as low as $39 each way, plus taxes and fees. Also, Fronteir Airlines is also offering doulble miles on qualifying purchases.

3. Kindle 2

Amazon is rumored to post these at $89, but get them early. The Kindle 2 has always on connectivity for buying books. If you miss this deal, try Buy.com for $99.

4. Luggage

These take a beating and if you’re looking for something fun, affordable and durable… I have your pick. It’s the Brookestone 20″ Dash Upright Wheeled luggage. It comes in several bright shades to match to a favorite sports team or college color and all four wheels are multi-directional. Priced around $100, you’ll qualify for free shipping at many retailers.

5. 4GB USB Drives

Okay, not the flashiest gift but practical for those on the go. I found them priced from $5-10 for Cyber Monday. Staples is offing on 70% off for $5.99. Makes a great stocking stuffer.

6. Travel Apparel

Heard of Scottevest? It’s a company that makes streamlined clothes designed for travel and packing. Today, their offering 30% off on select merchandise if you use the code CYBER30 when you check out.

Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/traffic/traffic_blogs/cyber-monday-travel-deals

Online travel CEOs talk tech, changes

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

USA TODAY assembled five of the industry’s top executives in Hollywood, Fla., this month for a discussion on the industry’s latest developments: Jeffery Boyd, CEO of Priceline.com; Carl Sparks, CEO of Travelocity Global; Scott Durchslag, president of Expedia Worldwide; Stephen Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor; and Barney Harford, CEO of Orbitz Worldwide.

The hour-long event was moderated by USA TODAY’s Veronica Gould Stoddart and Roger Yu. The text has been edited for clarity and length.

USA TODAY:Some customers believe the user experience and technology at online travel agencies (OTAs) haven’t changed much in recent years. Your response?

Boyd: I don’t agree. All of us have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building faster, better user interfaces. Our Booking.com offers hotels in 90 countries and 50 languages and 170,000 hotels, a number (that) is up 60% year-over-year. A lot of that represents new geography. Mobile platforms (are) a massive positive change in user experience and functionality.

Durchslag: There is an opportunity for the travel industry to be more innovative, really embracing technology. We’re looking at a (service in which) Expedia (is becoming) the Netflix of travel, to stream you perfect trips with highly relevant and personalized offers. I don’t think the consumer really wants to go shop at six different sites.

Sparks: We see very different browsing and booking profiles (on mobile platforms). One of our key products is Travelocity Top Secret Hotels, where you don’t know (the hotel) you’re (buying). These last-minute deals to get away have been very successful, double-digit percentage (growth). On mobile, it (has grown) three times.

Harford: (In) the recommended hotels module we just launched, we (look at) people who shopped for a particular hotel but ended up at (another), finding other hotels that are similar. We want to recognize the attributes of each consumer. For example, our data show that consumers who purchase on a Mac vs. a PC typically book a room that’s $20 more expensive. You can imagine the richness of that kind of information. We put over $145 million (into) a five-year re-platforming project — building a common platform (for) all of our brands. A couple of years ago, we might have launched the site four, five, six times a year. This year, we expect to do over 800 (changes on) the site.

Durchslag: We were stuck for quite a while on a technology platform. But all but three of all of (our) pages on the site will change by this time next year. Given the complexity of all the back-end systems, it’s no small thing.

USA TODAY:Marriott and Starwood now run their customers’ reviews and guarantee reviews are from their guests. How do you make sure your reviews are accurate and honest?

Kaufer: We’re very aware people are depending upon TripAdvisor for the right answer, the trustworthy answer. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble. (In our survey), 98% of consumers said they believe the reviews on TripAdvisor. We launched hundreds of thousands of tips on hotels. We have millions of candid photos. It’s pretty hard to shave the truth with a photo. We’re perfectly fine if Marriott, Starwood and anyone else carry reviews on their own site. We would love to work with them to help collect reviews. They can leverage our trusted brand … (because) the consumers are going to be skeptical that (the hotels) are not filtering out the bad reviews.

USA TODAY:What have you done to ensure that hotels aren’t paying for good reviews on TripAdvisor?

Kaufer: We’re pleased to see more and more hoteliers writing management responses. We’re very clear to hoteliers that if you engage in writing fake reviews, it’s illegal in most countries (including the USA). If we catch you, we first give you a warning and then a big red badge. It has an impact on business.

USA TODAY:Expedia recently partnered with Groupon for daily getaway deals. How is that initiative going?

Durchslag: We’re now up into millions of folks who have registered. It is the fastest trajectory takeoff of anything we’ve launched. It is not cannibalistic; it is complementary. We have learned a ton working with (Groupon) that would have taken us a year or more to figure out on our own. I know there’s a lot of speculation. Is this sustainable? It is early. It’s the first inning. But everything that we’re seeing leads me to believe that it is big.

USA TODAY:When we tried Expedia/Groupon Getaways, we found deals that weren’t quite 50% to 60% off as advertised. How can you ensure that your deals are really good?

Durchslag: That’s part of the learning curve. It’s not always a perfect process. We’re getting better and better. You’re going to lose consumer confidence if you don’t (offer) something that’s better. I think if you did that same check today, you would have a different outcome.

USA TODAY:Are any of the other online travel sites working on something similar?

Harford: We’ve launched Orbitz Insider Steals, which is a 72-hour window, member-only set of offerings that come out every week. We were concerned about the voucher-type model, where you (might not be able) to go on a particular weekend that you want to go. So we went with this (model) — these are the dates available today, and you need to make the booking right now.

Kaufer: Our Sneak Away flash sale product is only talking about properties that the millions of consumers out there have said, “Hey, this is a great place.” What we all like about the concept is that it’s inspiring more travel.

Sparks: I think (daily deals) may end up being a little bit more of a niche than the mainstream for most of our businesses. It is going to be one or two or three percent of the business. So we focus more on having everyday great deals. In (Travelocity’s) Top Secret Hotels, (hotels are) about 50% (off).

Boyd: I probably have a different view on how compelling the deals are. Some of them look like everyday promotional pricing that the hotels provide to a lot of other distribution channels. And that’s not fulfilling the promise they’re trying to make to the customer. So I think Groupon has to be very careful. If we invest in flash sales, we would do that to build our own brands. We wouldn’t do that to help Groupon.

USA TODAY:Tapping your social network for travel advice is a big trend, and a lot of start-ups are after the business. What are your plans?

Kaufer: It’s a beautiful promise. The challenge is scale, scale, scale. How many of your friends have actually jotted down all of their thoughts on all of the places they have been? None of them, I promise you. I wish all of these innovators luck in getting there. We’re a Facebook partner. Even if you’ve never been on TripAdvisor, you can see the travel-related things that (say) six of your 200 friends have done recently.

Durchslag: We did a big very viral promotion called Friend Trips. It was a million-dollar sweepstakes. We basically went from (about) 100,000 Facebook fans to about 1.1 million in about five weeks. But it’s a bridge from there to booking a trip. We’re thinking much more broadly (to include) discovery, booking, the trip, the help you need and sharing the trip afterward … and making it so simple that it becomes effortless. That’s the next level.

Sparks: We launched Ask and Answer. Consumers can ask questions about the property. We found that three-quarters of customers still have questions, particularly (about) hotel bookings, even after they finish their online research on multiple sites. We have nearly 15,000 questions up already in the first month. Hoteliers and other consumers can answer (them).

USA TODAY:More travel sites are placing a premium on travel (editorial) content. Is this a priority for you?

Boyd: We have content that is relevant to consumers at the point where they’re getting ready to decide to make a reservation. And not throw in there, “By the way, you can go out to dinner at Hollywood Prime.” We offer city guides on some of our (sites). But we haven’t found that to be a point of differentiation in where consumers are deciding to shop.

Sparks: Yes, that would be similar for Travelocity. What they need is more great content about (their) hotel. We’ve been much more focused on getting that right.

Kaufer: (With our new) Mobile City guides, you pull out the phone and figure out the next walking tour in London. Our premise is that we’re helping you so much at all of the touch points except the booking piece. Then, you’ll come back and start trip planning with us.

Harford: Google’s acquisition of Zagat is intriguing. We’re doing some experimentation around semantic analysis to understand the signals inherent in large amounts of content. (In) family travel, people are talking about kid-friendly amenities. If we’re able to extract that, show a set of reviews that talk about those amenities and (show) family-friendly hotels, that’s a lot more useful to consumers.

USA TODAY:Google entered the flight search business with Google Flights after buying ITA Software. Your impression so far?

Harford: It’s a pretty incomplete product. Forty percent of consumers who purchase travel online are purchasing through travel agencies. The airlines have made pretty clear that they don’t want to have metasearch sites (such as Google Flights and Kayak) offering OTA prices. If you’re a Google trying to build a metasite, or if you’re a Kayak, it makes that value proposition very challenging. Increasingly, you can’t even buy interline itineraries (on some metasearch sites), where you go out on one carrier and back on another.

Durchslag: It is surprising because Google stands behind putting the consumer first in terms of choices. And that wasn’t done here. Hotels have very strong feelings about some of us here. But what they’ve paid to us is probably a fraction of what they would potentially pay to Google.

Kaufer: It’s a surprise, because Google claims to always be about the consumer. I immediately went to use it, and (I thought) “why would I come back?” If I’m looking for the best price and the widest selection, I would have to use an OTA because Google Flights doesn’t offer that.

USA TODAY:Regarding your efforts with mobile technology, how fast will mobile take over your traditional business in the next five years?

Kaufer: I don’t see desktop research being replaced (by mobile). But we have 10 million downloads of our app. There are really nice apps coming out from all of those around the table.

Sparks: Very fast. I mean, 30% to 40% of the business in the time frame that you’re talking about. You might get together with a bunch of friends and say, “Hey, we should really go to Vegas.” And everyone leaves and forgets about it. With mobile, we actually (book) it right then.

Harford: We’re surprised how fast it’s happening. On CheapTickets, 8% of its hotel reservations are done on a mobile website. And that isn’t even with an app. We’ve launched the Orbitz Hotels app for iPad, which allows you to book in just three taps. We’re seeing that 65% of our mobile bookings are for same-day reservations, (vs.) 12% to 14% on our desktop site.

Durchslag: We see the same thing. I also think the separation between the mobile Web experience and the app experience is going to become less and less.

Boyd: There are products available in a mobile environment that are not available on your desktop. Tonight-Only Hotels on Priceline is a perfect example. We had a freak Northeast snowstorm at the end of October in New England. In Connecticut, more than half the people were without power for days and days. And we literally watched the hotel reservations light up on our mobile devices.

Sparks: It’s a great time because it forces us to be more innovative. You want to make it easy to get to a transaction very fast (on a small device). If you’re doing it for a tablet, you might think of it more as a lean-back kind of experience, flipping through pages.

Durchslag: You have to make better choices. You can show 50, 100, endless search results on a desktop. On a 3.5-inch display, you can see maybe three or four. When you have to make those choices for the consumer, it forces innovations.

Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/story/2011-11-27/Online-travel-CEOs-talk-tech-changes/51425388/1

Cyber Monday includes travel deals

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

CNN’s Josh Levs reports on travel deals for Cyber Monday.

Article source: http://www.kens5.com/news/Cyber-Monday-deals-can-get-you-to-Hawaii-134568718.html

Cyber Monday Travel Deals

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Now that Black Friday is over, it is time to focus on Cyber Monday! Below is a list of all the travel deals for
November 28th. Keep in mind that many of these deals will go fast, so make sure to not delay! Try to figure out in advance the vacations that you are looking for and the price you would be willing to pay. Also, make sure to take a look at the cancellation policies – some will be more generous than others. Happy Cyber Monday!!

Cyber Monday Travel Deals

  1. Marriott’s Florida Resorts: Offer savings up to 25% with rates starting from $95 to $186 per night. Available online on Monday, Nov. 28 only, the savings can be applied on stays from
    Nov. 29, 2011 through Jan. 8, 2012. For reservations, visit
    www.marriott.com/floridacybermonday or visit
    www.marriott.com and enter the
    promotional code DOD. There are black out dates, so I would not assume to find a great steal for Christmas week, but you never know!
  2. The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek: For the 24 hours of Cyber Monday, guests who book a Friday and Saturday night stay will receive Sunday night free. Rates start at $209 and the offer is available for travel Nov. 28, 2011 through Jan. 30, 2012, based on availability.
    www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com
  3. Affinia Hotels – NYC, Chicago, and Washington DC: Starting at midnight on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28), Affinia Hotels is offering
    10%off best available rates for stays through Nov, 28, 2012. Rates start as low as $109 in Chicago, $119 in D.C. and $161 in NYC. In addition, guests who book on Cyber Monday will receive a $50 credit to be used at the hotel for in-room goodies like treats from the mini bar, room service and more. To book visit
    www.affinia.com/cyber on Nov. 28 and use promotional code:
    CYBER1.
  4. Windsor Court Hotel New Orleans: Offering
    20% off best available rates for select dates in December and January. Valid for travel through Jan. 31, 2012. Complimentary daily breakfast in The Grill Room or en-suite, based on double occupancy. Room upgrade upon check-in, based on availability. 15% off in all FB outlets during guests’ stay, including The Grill Room, Polo Club Lounge, and Le Salon. Rates at the Windsor Court Hotel begin at $345. To take advantage of this offer, guests may book online at
    www.windsorcourthotel.com and use the code
    CYBER, valid on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 only.
  5. Jetsetter.com: Up to 50% Off Deals Hourly Giveaways.
    NEW Flash Sale Every Hour at Prices 40%-50% Off from 9 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST on Cyber Monday, Nov. 28. Each vacation will be available for only 24-hours, or while availability lasts. Deals will range from a hot Las Vegas hotel and an eco-friendly resort in Costa Rica, to added-value offerings such as a free upgrade to a penthouse or a complimentary private villa chef paired with Jetsetter Homes. Additionally, each hour, Jetsetter will surprise and delight one lucky member making a Cyber Monday purchase. Jetsetter might pay for someone’s trip, foot the bill for airfare, or provide a free consultation with one of Jetsetter’s Personal Travel Planners. Winners will be announced every hour from 9 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST, via Facebook.
    www.jetsetter.com/cybermonday
  6. Travelocity: Savings of
    up to 50% off. Offers might include third night free, 50% off at hotels in Hawaii, 40% off hotels in downtown Chicago, etc. Cyber Monday Booking site:
    Travelocity.com/cybermonday
  7. Starwood Hotels: Offering a one day sale of up to 40% off their regular rates January 1 – April 30, 2012. On Cyber Monday these rates will be available via a special site: 
    Starwood’s Cyber Monday site. This is an instance where Social Media will come in handy – If you are friends with them on
    Facebook or follow them on
    Twitter you will get early access to the site on Sunday at 6pm EST – you can access it
    here.
  8. Loews Hotels: Offering 20% off their base rate one day only for travel between November 29, 2011 and March 31, 2012. The Cyber Monday promotions can be found by on their
    website.
  9. Seven Stars Resort: Resort on Grace Bay Beach in Turks Caicos is offering a
    $100 resort credit to any resort offer with at least a four-night stay. To book your vacation, visit
    www.SevenStarsGraceBay.com and then call the 1-800 number (866-570-7777) to have the $100 resort credit applied. You must call on November 28th and mention promotion code
    “CYBERSEVENSTARS”  on November 28
    th and mention promo code: Available for a full 24-hours on November 28th.
  10. Abercrombie Kent: Savings of up to 50% on travel around the world. Travel deals are limited and savings start at 9am CST on November 28th. Deals will last through December 3rd at 1pm CST. You can find all the travel destinations and prices
    here.
  11. Kimpton Hotels Restaurants – Florida: Sale on all new bookings made online on Monday November 28th. All rates include complimentary Wi-Fi. Travel dates are through January 31, 2012. The Florida resorts include: Surfcomber Miami South Beach, EPIC Miami, and Vero Beach Hotel Spa. Reservations and sale rates can be found
    here – use promotion code
    “CYBER.”
  12. Kimpton Hotels Restaurants – Washington, DC: Save at eleven Kimpton hotels in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Promotion runs from 12am EST on Monday November 28th for 72-hours. Promotion prices will include
    upgraded rooms for the same price as a regular room. Room rates can be found
    here.

©
Deals We Like, a
BoardingArea Blog

Article source: http://travel.usatoday.com/alliance/flights/boardingarea/post/2011/11/Deals-We-Like---Cyber-Monday-Travel-Deals/573043/1