Recently, I went to a media event for Hotels.com, to reveal new offerings for holiday savings and insights on travel trends for 2016. Here are some highlights.
Perhaps Hotels.com’s big news is the release of a gift card that can be used toward its various participating hotels within the U.S. and Canada. What seems neat about the gift card is that it goes beyond specific brands, so for the most part you get to pick – and apply – from multiple options for where you want to stay. It only goes toward new hotel reservations.
The gift cards are said to have no application fees or exploration dates; just apply the balance when you’re making your booking. They can be sent electronically or as a plastic card. Amounts can start from $10 and go up to $500.
At the breakfast, Hotels.com’s North American VP and GM Josh Belkin shared some info about the company’s Cyber Monday sale. For Cyber Monday, Hotels.com is encouraging travelers to supply their email address and in return get sent a discount range that is said to give savings that can range from $250 to $1,000. Reservations have to be booked that day.
As for 2016, Hotels.com had various predictions for destinations on everything from stays to visits. They include:
- Queens will surpass Brooklyn as the most popular destination for NY visitors staying in the outer boroughs. If Lonely Planet was right about picking this borough as a must-see location, its diverse food scene and hotel offerings will be enticing.
- Buffalo will emerge as a top travel destination, as Hotels.com data finds Rust Belt cities like Buffalo (as well as Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh) have gotten an upswing in visitors for the past two years.
- Milwaukee is also on the upswing for visitors, and is projected to become a Hotels.com’s Top 50 Domestic Destination. It’s due to the Midwestern city’s brewery and culinary scene and other attractions.
- Mexico will gather more international visitors beyond its traditional places of Cancun and Maya Rivera, and Canada will continue to shine as an under-the-radar destination.