Tag Archives: travel deals

Groupon & Expedia's "Sort of a Discount on Your Next Getaway" Partnership

Tnooz has announced that Groupon and Expedia are teaming up to offer “deeply discounted travel deals” to its customer base.  This sounds like a novel concept so how will it work?

Travel deals need to include a couple of components in order to make this thing really hum and be compelling. This is a getaway isn’t it? You know getting away from point A to point B.  Well if you need to get somewhere it has to be by car or plane right?  You can walk but that wouldn’t be much of a deal would it?  I mean walking from say New York City to Florida doesn’t make much sense now does it?

OK.  You could drive your own car and still take advantage of a deeply discounted compelling travel deal couldn’t you?  Yes you could but would you really feel like you got a really deeply discounted travel deal if you were driving your own car?  I prefer to rent a car on my travel deals because it makes me feel like I am on a getaway.  Driving my own car isn’t my idea of fun and I want my getaway to be fun so on my getaway I will rent a car.

I am sure Groupon and Expedia can sell me a deeply discounted rate like the one that I found at Advantage Car Rental at the San Diego Airport for $7.44 a day, according to today’s availability from carrental.com.  So what would be a deeply discounted rate from Groupon and Expedia?  Could I get it for half price and then I could save about $3.72 a day.  Now that’s what I call a deep discount.  Well I am renting the car for four days and I am saving $14 bucks.  That’s a heck of a deal isn’t it?  Imagine renting a car for a day for about what you pay for a gallon of gas.  What a country!

I got ahead of myself here didn’t I?  I like to fly when I go on trips.  I do go on trips and drive, like to my parents house, but that’s not really a trip.  A trip is like going to San Francisco or Paris, France.  I haven’t been to Paris in a long time and hope that it hasn’t changed that much but I still would like to go back there and use some of the French that I learned in high school 20 years ago.  Parlay vous Francie is about all I can remember right now.  Of course they speak Francie.

OK.  If I fly say American Airlines, what kind of deep discount is Groupon and Expedia going to get from them? They hate each others guts don’t they?  Well American maybe doesn’t hate Groupon but they do hate Expedia for trying to push them around a couple of months ago so let’s not kid each other American is not going to be invited to this deeply discounted party.  For that matter I don’t think that JetBlue or Southwest will be bringing presents either.  It really doesn’t look like this deeply discounted thing is working out before it’s debut now does it?

Oh my gosh.  I forgot one other part of the equation and that’s where I’m going to put my head in a bed on my deeply discounted compelling travel deal.  Remember I am not going to my folks house on this trip so I prefer to get a hotel room.  I slept in a twin bed or on the couch when I went to my parents house so I prefer to sleep in a king size bed when I am on the road.  You know how it feels when you stretch from one end of the bed to the other and your toes can’t reach the other corner of the bed?  In a twin bed my feet always hung over the edge of the foot board which was made out of wood.  That hurts!  The couch wasn’t much better. It kind of slumped in the middle so my back was always hurting me the next morning.

A hotel.  Isn’t that the only place left to squeeze the blood out of this turnip? My Mom use to say this when what she really meant is that someone was getting the short end of the stick.

Well if I searched for my hotel room directly on the hotel’s website I could get a really deeply discounted deal now couldn’t I?  They do guarantee the lowest rate don’t they?  So how could Groupon and Expedia beat that deal unless they have some sort of “understanding” with the hotel that won’t allow the hotel to sell me a better rate than they could.

These sort of things are very confusing to me.  A hotel can’t sell something they own (a guest room) cheaper than what Expedia can sell it for.  I thought it would be the other way around.  Isn’t this like the cat wagging the dog’s tail? My Mom use to say this when what she really meant was someone was getting the short end of the stick.

So since the hotel will most likely throw in the room as part of the equation for a price that’s lower than what I can book it for then maybe this new alliance between Groupon Getaways and Expedia should be called “Sort of a Discount on Your Next Getaway”.

Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook or contact him by email.

Calculate The Cost Of Using An OTA

Take the first step to breaking your addiction to OTAs – Identify Your Hidden Costs. Use the Madigan Pratt Hidden Cost Calculator by clicking on this link to find out what you’re spending to market through the OTAs.

Just enter in your hotel information. Then, use the calculator to play out several “what if” scenarios to try and reduce costs. What would you save if you could reduce OTAs as a percentage of total revenue – keeping all other factors the same?

After you’ve recovered from the shock register your hotel on Hotelmine.com and begin to book more business direct.  No Commissions or GDS fees.

Check The Buzz About Hotelmine

There’s a lot happening since the recent launch of the Hotelmine.com website this past week.  Thanks to all of the hotels that are participating and we look forward to adding more hotels this week.

Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook or contact him by email.

Groups International Set To Soft Launch Travel Startup Hotelmine.com™ February 14, 2011

Hotelmine lowers a hotel’s distribution and conversion costs and provides greater transparency and choice for the consumer

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 – HOUSTON, TX—Groups International has announced that on February 14, 2011 it will soft launch Hotelmine.com, a new leisure travel site that serves as a “direct connect” between hotels and consumers who are ready to travel. 

“Hotels have been successful in offering consumers the ability to purchase guest rooms, special promotions, and packages through their websites,” said Chris Wenz, Partner and Co-Founder of Groups International, “but don’t have the same latitude with indirect distribution channels like an online travel agency (OTA) or the Global Distribution Systems (GDS).” What makes Hotelmine different is that it is designed to facilitate the same product offerings and the consumer books direct with the hotel through the hotel’s booking channels.

“We’ve gathered input from hundreds of hoteliers over the past two years and based upon their feedback we created a platform that allows hotels to market and sell products the way they want to sell them in a transparent environment where consumers can make an informed decision about which hotel best suites their budget or tastes,” said Wenz.  “This is a win-win for both hotels and consumers.”

Pre-registration is currently underway and hotels who would like to participate in the program can forward their contact information to info@hotelmine.com in order to receive registration instructions.

About Groups International

Based in Houston, Texas, Groups International provides services and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets and is the parent company to iGroupManagement™, iGroupHotels™, iGroupMeetings™, iGroupAdvisor™, iGroupPlanner™, and Hotelmine™.

If you would like additional information regarding Groups International and Hotelmine or you would like to schedule an interview with Chris Wenz, please contact him at the following email address:


Chris Wenz

COO, Partner & Co-Founder

Groups International