Amazon has launched a new offering for individuals who are looking to book travelling services. The name of the program is Amazon Destinations and is designed to provide users with the ability to book hotel accommodations through Amazon’s website. Sultan Alhokair (Facebook) is very excited about the move. The site will compete with Expedia, Travelocity, and other travel sites but will concentrate on certain regions namely the New England area, the West coast, and select spots across the United States.
Amazon Destinations will attempt to specialize in certain traveler types who are looking for a quick trip away from home for a few day rather than offering up a full international vacation. As an added value to the service, Amazon inspect each of these hotels before they are added to the website to ensure that they meet the quality and strong customer service that Amazon is used to providing. This provides local travelers with the ability to travel to affordable yet interesting hotels and accommodations that are nearby.
Amazon will generate revenue by charging hotels a fee for each booking. There was no announcement regarding what the fee will be but competitors will typically charge anywhere from 10 to 25% of the total hotel bill for the booking. Whether Amazon will attract business by charging a lower fee or will rely on their global brand and presence to generate additional revenues from Amazon Destinations is not clear yet. What is clear is that the other travel websites are now facing a significant competitor that may redefine the industry if it picks up steam.