There really isn’t an industry that daily deals haven’t touched, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise they’ve moved onto vacations. While subscribers once used these websites just to find restaurant coupons and cheap yoga classes, they’re now able to book luxury trips to Napa Valley and Hawaii. The allure is the same: buying something you might have always wanted at a price you never expected, and it’s that allure that has made daily deal software so successful. Obviously, a discount on a beachfront property rental will cost more than a case of wine, but the marketing still works to promote vacationing in an economic time where most luxuries have been cut.
Except during a few high-travel weeks, hotels, condos, and resorts have vacancies all the time; it seems like a natural solution for them to fill up their rooms using daily deal software. Marketing these available rooms independently can be counterproductive. A hotel announcing vacancies can inadvertently announce to people that it’s empty for a reason; having a third party offer the rooms at discounted prices makes people believe they’ve stumbled across a secret deal. And honestly, they have.
Groupon and other competitors have begun using their services to send more of their users out on vacations, and it’s working—so much so that a few of them are creating offshoot subscriptions that only offer vacations. An obvious benefit is that these online daily deals are not geographically constrained: while the traditional offers are city-specific, a resort package to the Caribbean can be purchased and later used by anyone across the nation. The more general advantage is the one that all daily deal software fulfills: generating a demand where the supply is already high. It’s a difficult economy for all businesses, but the vacation trade has felt some of the worst repercussions. Fortunately, online daily deals are combating that and getting more people out to travel.