For the travel industry, summertime connotes peak season, the time of year when many American and European travelers head off to take their main vacation.  Whether it’s a leisurely stay at some beach-side resort for ‘sun & fun’, a traipse to take in the culture and history of some storied city or countryside in a distant land, or fulfill a life-long aspiration by undertaking an experiential trip to one of the more unusual or exotic destinations around the world, summer is when the travel industry traditionally ‘heats up’.  However, this summer, the travel industry is even ‘hotter’, as a plethora of scorching travel deals is being offered by travel suppliers far and wide.  For many travel affiliates, this can translate into record profits today, as well as help to build a sustainable business for the future.

A 30,000 foot scan of the travel marketplace underscores the former point:

  • Leading destination specialist CheapCaribbean, is offering a 4-Night Virgin Islands Getaway package including air, starting at just $399 per person
  • Expedia is offering huge discounts in its Las Vegas program; for example, a two-night stay at the Luxor Hotel, one of Las Vegas’ top 4 star deluxe hotels and casinos, with round-trip air is priced at $248 per person
  • Cruise portal has space available for Carnival Cruise Line’s 7-day Alaska itinerary for August sailings on the Carnival Spirit, with per person, double occupancy cruise fares starting at $539, or, if Europe is more enticing, MSC Cruise Lines’ 7-day Eastern Mediterranean July departures on the Poesia are being offered for just $794 per person, double occupancy, with kids under 17 sailing free and free upgrades available
  • Upscale Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is offering their own ‘stimulus package’ to consumers, a ‘Buy 2 nights, Get 2 nights Free’ package (including a $100 food and beverage credit per stay) at several of their top resorts: the Wyndham Orlando Resort – Orlando; the Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa – A Wyndham Grand Resort – Rio Grande, PR; the Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino – Nassau, Bahamas; the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa – St. Thomas, USVI; and the Grand Bay Hotel – Isla Navidad Resort, in Manzanillo, Mexico
  • Online Travel Agency CheapoAir is offering round-trip airfares from most US gateways to European cities like Dublin, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Zurich and Moscow for under $600 round-trip through August 19th
  • At-destination activities portal Viator has loads of specials in its ‘Hot Travel Deals‘ section, all available at fairly significant discounts. Included among the various activities featured in its deals offering are several unique experiences like: a 7 hour Grand Canyon West Rim Air and Ground Day Trip from Las Vegas with Skywalk (30% discount); a Harrods Afternoon Tea and St Paul’s Cathedral London Tour (15% off); a two-hour walking tour of Paris centered on a World War 2 theme (10% discount); or, if your clients are into the TV series ‘Gossip Girl‘, a 3 hour guided bus tour that goes to locations that were used in filming the hit TV series (20% off)

The above list is by no means complete; rather, it’s merely representative of the types of travel supplier deals that are out there today, and likely to remain (or deepen) as we move onto the subsequent shoulder and low travel seasons that follow.

TravelDividends believes that those travel affiliates who take the time to understand the dynamics of the market, and the needs of their customers as well as their travel supplier partners, are best positioned to not only leverage the terrific discounts that are flooding the market today, but also in the process, helps to cement the business relationships with both sets of stakeholders that is so critical to assuring their future success.

Furthermore, TravelDividends is of the opinion that only by delineating the ‘right’ product mix for their travel portfolio, creating well-crafted, high-quality marketing campaigns, and building quality websites (rather than just kluging together dozens of sites that are short on substance / content, but stuffed with affiliate ads and Adsense), will travel affiliate marketers prosper once ‘the good times’ return to the travel industry in the future.

Do you agree with our assessments?  What’s been your experience thus far this summer – what impact has the travel discounting practices of the travel suppliers and the buying behavior of your customers had on your business?  What do you see as the future prospects of the travel affiliate industry?  We welcome your thoughts and ideas…Thanks!