There’s been a bit of a retrenchment in travel private sales – not a lot of newcomers lately, but some notable news:
Jetsetter continues to innovate and leverage its audience by becoming an expert travel site and moving revenue away from only flash sales. They also state they’re seeing success from non-hotel offerings (villas, etc) which is probably true. They’ve got the ear of Techcrunch anyway.
Andrew Harper Travel
I missed this in January, but Andrew Harper, the members-only luxury travel site, announced a private sale offering. It’s different than their regular Auctions offering, which is members-only, because you don’t bid, you book directly. A bit late, but they’ve jumped on the bandwagon.
Looking very similar to everything else, e-booking.com is a very un-inspiring name for a new private sale site I first heard about through this blog's comments. "Up to 40% off, luxury hotels you won't find anywhere else." The company is located in Switzerland, and is already on the death row watch list as they haven't updated their Facebook or Twitter since December 2011.
I’ve updated my complete list of Flash Sale Websites for Travel here.
Thailand Fast Deals
And last but not least, the first vertically (challenged) flash sale website for travel, created by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. ThailandFastDeals.com is a bit different because in addition to hotels, it offers flights, tour packages through Thailand’s travel partners. It also makes all pricing visible without registration, so it’s not a members-only site, just a clearinghouse for good deals.
It will be hard to keep people engaged the same way other sites offer a broad selection of destinations to a captive email list – how often does the average American go to Thailand? But, globally this might be an interesting play, especially if they can get it to rank in organic search results and find travelers actively looking for Thailand vacations.