Online travel agencies may have another competitor to contend with. Yesterday, Amazon launched its own travel service, Amazon Destinations, which is aimed at finding getaway destinations within driving distance.
The Internet retail giant announced plans to enter the travel arena last November, and has since offered hotel discounts of 40-60 percent off through its larger brand, Amazon Local. The new product has an increased selection of properties—from smaller lodges and bed-and-breakfasts, to upscale hotels and resorts.
Amazon Destinations, available online and via the mobile app, posts hotels’ published rates. Hotels can participate at no cost; however a percentage of the price the customer pays is collected. The website already shows user reviews similar to websites such as Expedia, TripAdvisor and Yelp.
According to the website, properties are handpicked based on unique experiences, quality, customer service, price and location. At the moment, accommodations are only offered around New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.