A far cry from his days as Captain Kirk taking on space aliens, William
Shatner has returned to battle the economy in a new Priceline.com TV
campaign. In his longest-running role, Shatner enters year 11 as the
discount travel site’s celebrity spokesperson.
The first new spot shows a middle-aged couple about to enter a hotel when
they are captured and thrown into a van by two female agents. There they
find Shatner who chastises them by saying: “I could’ve found a better deal
in my sleep, if I slept.”
In his third year as the “Negotiator,” he will be promoting the fact that
Priceline.com’s “Name your own price” travel products can help consumers
save half off of hotels. Tag: “No one deals like we do.”
“These are unsettling times, and people need to know that it’s OK, even
good for them, to take time off and take a vacation,” said Shatner in a
statement. “The Negotiator reassures them that an affordable getaway is
still within their reach.”
Hot on the heels of other third-party travel services, Planet Eye, Nile Guide, TripTie, Driftr and TravelMuse join the planning
party, each bringing their own twist. The common denominator: user-driven content that leverages the power of social
PlanetEye has a heavy emphasis on visual searches; users can navigate the site by clicking on photographs and maps and
then save their favorites in their online “travel pack.” Nile Guide, TripTie and Driftr bring travelers firsthand reviews and
recommendations, based on other consumers’ experiences and travel suggestions. TravelMuse’s “find inspiration” button
gives interest-based lookers itinerary ideas.
Third-party travel planning sites abound. The next generation of travel planning powers up the personal research process by
using social networking tools to plan according to interest rather than package or price. Personalization of online travel
planning embodies what once upon a trip made travel agents a valuable part of the travel equation.
Alaska Airlines is running a Kids Fly Free to Southern California’s
Disneyland Resort promotion.
The offer is good from select West Coast cities and is part of a broader
vacation package deal that must be completed by mid-June.
Japan’s newly formed tourism agency has an ambitious goal: branding the
country as a premier travel destination for the world’s wealthy.
Japan formed the agency in October as part of a big push to nurture its
tourism industry. A few weeks later, it invited 23 travel agencies from various
countries to a conference called the Japan Luxury Travel Forum, promoting its
most extravagant hotels and exclusive getaway spots, which government
officials are hoping will entice the more affluent traveler.
In another move to reach out to the affluent, the agency plans to place ads in
luxury travel magazines and on high-end travel Web sites like Virtuoso.com.
“We felt we should target people whose plans aren’t affected by the economic
situation,” who are likely to be more affluent travelers, says Daisuke Idesawa,
an official of the Japan Tourism Agency. “Affluent travelers are attracted by
extraordinary experiences. Above, a celebration of cracking open a sake
cask,” said Idesawa.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Likely inspired by the popularity of Disney “hero,” Captain Jack Sparrow,
pirate-themed destinations are getting hotter. Lured by history (or maybe the
halberd axes, pistols and home-sewn underwear), consumers are investing in
piracy as a serious pastime. In fact, there are 30 national re-enactment groups
today, compared with only nine groups 15 years ago.
For pirate enthusiasts, themed vacations are popular. Tybee Island, Georgia,
officials estimate their local pirate festival brings in $2.6 million tourism dollars.
Cayman Islands’ 11-day annual “pirate invasion” is chock-full of entertainment
venues, costumes, games and fireworks.
The learn-a-little/live-a-little combo vacation offers something for everyone and
every interest level. Themed trips offer the epitome of traveling: escape from
reality, new experiences and, of course, a little pretend play.
Source: Iconoculture and Disney (picture)
Conde Nast Traveler, has launched a mobile Web site featuring a global
Sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the Conde Nast Traveler Tipping Guide offers
gratuity etiquette advice to travelers. Mobile users can visit the site and
search for the local tipping custom by country.
A spokesperson said “Conde Nast Traveler is the leading travel publisher in
the world and consistently hears from our readers questions about tipping
from around the globe; where to tip, who to tip and how much to tip?”
Source: MobileMarketer.com and Corbis (picture)
Expedia Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc., has introduced a new behavioral marketing product
called PassportAds, which gives advertisers an effective way to reach in-market travel consumers throughout the trip
purchasing lifecycle. Expedia.com reaches 50% of all online travel shoppers, allowing PassportAds to deliver unparalleled
reach to this highly qualified audience across the Internet using anonymous visitor data.
The first program of its kind in travel advertising, PassportAds anonymously identifies in-market travelers through quot;explicitquot;
search behaviors, such as a search for hotels in Hawaii. PassportAds then uses this anonymous search data to build
segments of highly qualified travel shoppers, and targets them with controlled frequency throughout their decision-making
lifecycle. Unlike typical contextual buys, advertisers can appear in front of these audience segments anywhere online.
Source: AP News
New online booking service RideCharge believes receipts are just
extra baggage for the business traveler. RideCharge users can book
taxis, sedans and shuttles online or via mobile phone. Fares can be
paid using the same method, so cashless cab riders don’t have to
head for the nearest ATM in order to make good on their fare.
RideCharge amps the convenience factor even more with its E-
receipt system, ensuring any traveler expensing their fare back to
company headquarters needn’t waste time asking for a receipt.
The busy business traveler has enough on their mind without
worrying about small details like having cash on hand or saving
receipts for reimbursement. RideCharge joins the online travel
bandwagon with simple solutions that merge convenience and
Newspaper writer Paul Smith is looking for a tweet deal. The U.K. resident hopes to
utilize the power of Twitter to travel around the globe in 30 days.
The self-imposed rules:
Housing options are procured by Tweet alone
He can only plan three days ahead
Money is just for food and drink
Must choose among Tweet offers within 48 hours
Stuck with no transit help extended after two days? Mission over
Smith’s adventure spotlights utilizing a virtual network in a real-world application. More
consumers are cultivating virtual relationships (personal, professional and even with
brands) that have a visceral impact on their everyday life.