By Doyinsola Oladipo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc is partnering with travel booking site Priceline to offer discounts during Tuesday’s Prime Day, the first time an online travel agency has participated in the shopping event.
Retail spending has slowed, but U.S. consumers have kept spending on experiences like travel. Amazon is broadening its offerings to boost sign-ups as travel companies look to fill hotel rooms.
Amazon’s July 11-12 event will offer U.S. members 48 hours of deals including an additional 20% off Priceline’s Hotel Express deals, which offers 60% off hotels.
While the nation’s largest retailer by market value has been slashing costs and unsuccessful programs, the company saw an opportunity with Priceline, a unit of Booking Holdings.
Priceline is the first travel brand to offer an exclusive U.S. Prime Day deal, Amazon said. The booking site currently runs ads throughout Amazon’s portfolio of streaming and audio products.
“We want to meet customers where they are. We know travelers are shopping on Amazon and booking travel with Priceline,” said Lesley Klein, senior vice president of marketing at Priceline.
Travel spending as of May 2023 was up 5.5% year-to-date, according to research firm Tourism Economics. Overall services spending was up 8% in May from a year earlier, versus a 2% increase in spending on goods, U.S. government data shows.
Hotel demand in May has waned of late, though, falling below pre-pandemic levels for the third consecutive month, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
Booking Holdings has several sites, so this isn’t the first time the company has worked with Amazon on Prime deals. Booking.com is offering Prime members in Germany and Austria travel credits and discounts through next year.
Amazon several years ago attempted to build a hotel booking service called Amazon Destinations but it closed a few months after launching.
(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo in New York; Additional reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio)