Amazon in holiday mode as Amazon Destinations launched

22 Apr 2015

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Amazon’s new local getaway service Destinations has been launched, six months after the news leaked that the e-commerce giant was getting into the holiday mood.

Back in November, Amazon was reported to be planning the service that was known at the time as Amazon Travel, whereby it would create a marketplace for independent and boutique US hotels that struggle to compete with big chains.

This is pretty much what has come to pass, although the name given to the new service is in fact Amazon Destinations.

It essentially provides a list of locations near the user’s home for short stays, with the ability to book hotels and find out about local eateries and events.

Hosted as an extension to Amazon Local, suggestions are presented pretty cleanly, it must be said. It works with hoteliers directly, and updates quite regularly.

Amazon Destinations is a new offering from the e-commerce giant

For example, if you live in the Pacific North West of the US right now, Green Mountain Inn is offering a deal for US$111-a-night.

“Hit the road: Book local getaways” is the tagline on the site and, given Amazon’s brand, it could work wonders for both consumers looking to get away on the cheap, and relatively boutique and unknown ‘destinations’ looking to get a leg up.

There are no plans as yet to transfer this service to Europe, where Amazon would be competing with some fairly well established destination-offering deal sites – also, Amazon’s brand weakens the further it gets from the US border.

Still, as a punter, I say welcome aboard.

Holiday picture, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com