You turn to Amazon.com for everything from books to birthday gifts. Now, the online retail powerhouse wants you to visit its website when planning a vacation, too.
The company launched "Amazon Destinations" this week, a portal that features hotel destinations in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California and the Northeast. It bills itself as a service for planning local trips, as seen in its tagline: "Hit the road: Book local getaways."
In addition to hotel listings and package deals, the site also features restaurant and activities reviews. There's no word yet whether Amazon will expand beyond these areas. Hotels that wish to be part of the site are not auotmatically granted access. On the page directed at merchants, Amazon says, "We handpick hotels based on property quality, customer service levels, price, location, and more. In addition, we apply knowledge of our local experts."
Don't expect to find discount-only deals on the site. According to travel news site Skift, "Amazon opted to expand beyond Amazon Local’s strict adherence to deeply discounted hotel rates in favor of published rates and a new business model with standard commissions because it wanted more flexibility to work with hotels on an ongoing basis -- and not just when hotels need to fill some rooms at rock-bottom rates."
Users may book accommodations through the Amazon website and mobile apps.