Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Travelocity launches 'Top Secret Hotels'.


I came across this post by Hudson Crossing which comments on the launch of a new product on Travelocity 'Top Secret Hotels'.

This new product launch has pretty much flown under the radar and I wonder what the thinking behind this was, possibly as this is new ground for Travelocity they are waiting to build up the supply of hotels that are happy to sign up to this model.

Their sister company in Europe, lastminute.com has seen massive success with this product, so much so that my information shows that it now makes up for over 40% of all their London hotel bookings, not bad!

So why does this product work so well for both the compnay and the punter? Three main reason come to mind;

a) The very nature of finding a bargain - 4* and 5* houses for 3* prices
b) Engagement (a lot of buzz around engagment at the moment) - if you involve your customer in the search/hunt for the property your bringing them further and further into your online world, the longer you have them on your site the greater the possibilty of a purchase
c) Brand trust and loyalty - if the product truly does what it says it does - 5* living at 3* prices then you have increased the trust in your Brand and can be sure of a level of loyalty.

It's a product that's win/win/win for supplier/OTA/customer and the folk at lastminute.com must beleive so as they've just lauched 'Top Secret Flights'.

There are some interesting parellels in the Hudson Crossing post levelled at Travelocity for their Top Secret Hotels and the lastminute.com Top Secret Flights, both seem to be in their infancy and therefore both suffer from not enough product, this I am assured will change as suppliers see the benefit of this new way of getting their product to market.

If your interested Hotel Checkin have a Q&A with Travelocity President Tracy Weber