ETS Session Summary #2: A FLASH (SALE) IN THE PAN?

This is the second in a series of “E-Tourism Summit “Session Summaries”   in which noted travel industry journalist Judy Jacobs encapsulates select presentations that may be of interest to readers.  E-Tourism would like to thank the 53 presenters who made the event so valuable for attendees as well as our sponsors. 

A Flash (sale) in The Pan: Real deals do make a difference. They attract business and get people to come who have never been before. And beyond that, they’ve changed the selling of travel. Those who attended the “A Flash (Sale) in the Pan, Daily Deals Help Market Travel” breakout session at the eTourism Summit learned the details from three experts.

“Extreme deals have changed things. You’ve allowed a whole new subset of consumers to buy things they’ve never tried before,” says Adam Heintz, director, strategy and development, new business initiatives at Living Social. “The other side is are you degrading your brand? Are you selling things cheaper than you should.”

Using sites like Living Social, Yuupon and Daily Hookup can be good business for hotels and attractions.

According to Heintz:

  • 88 percent of those who buy vouchers through Living Social are first time visitors to a property.
  • There’s an average 235 percent increase in traffic to a hotel’s website during the time the property is up on Living Social.
  • 70 percent of the people who buy weren’t actively looking to go on vacation.

Kevin Williams, regional market manager of Yuupon, which has been in business for 18 months and is the only deal company that focuses strictly on travel, says that deals mean “The customer is getting out the door and traveling again and may become a regular customer.”

His company’s market managers help hotels design their product and also supply editorial write-ups. Although the cost of the room may be far less than rack rate, the average spend of guests often exceeds the offer, when things like F&B and spa treatments are included.

The Daily Hookup, a deal site that targets affluent gay men, has a slightly different approach. “We don’t think of ourselves as a discount site but a customer acquisition site for you,” says Bob Michitarian, the company’s senior vice president of business development.  “We are offering a highly desirable segment of the traveling public that’s hard to reach – that will spend more, that will be back and are more likely to go someplace recommended by their social network. “

His company’s deals are chosen by what it calls curators, men who are hand-selected trendsetters in four major destinations – San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. – with more to be added. These people are not paid rather consider it an honor to be associated with Daily Hookup. The company gives 10% of all revenue to LGBT causes.

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