Travel technology site Skift broke the story in November that Amazon would launch a new hotel service. It reported at the time that the concept would target weekend getaways “within driving distance from major metropolitan areas” and would include published hotel rates and not just steep discounts.
Each metro area has featured destinations, including five in the US Pacific Northwest, four in Southern California and eight in the Northeast.
“More than 40% of all US domestic leisure trips are short-term getaways of 1-3 nights, and many of these trips are to nearby, drivable destinations,” Amazon spokesman Tom Cook said.
“However, travellers often have a hard time planning local getaways. It’s difficult to know where to go, the process is labour-intensive, and people often miss out on finding great places to stay.”
Amazon declined to say whether it was expanding Amazon Destinations to other US cities – let alone extending it offshore to other countries.
Amazon is the largest internet-based retailer in the US. Having started out as an online bookstore, Amazon.com diversified into selling DVDs, CDs, video and MP3 downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys and jewellery.
The company also produces consumer electronics.
Amazon maintains separate retail websites for the US, Australia, Britain and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, China, India and Mexico.
Written by Peter Needham