As inflation continues to sting, more travelers are expected to hunt for bargains this year, and the industry is responding by offering deals across the travel landscape, from hotels to cruises and tours.
“Despite inflation and higher prices, we continue to see a strong preference for experiences with travel,” said Brett Keller, the chief executive of the online travel agency Priceline, which will hold one of its biggest sales this month, including 30 percent off select hotel stays and up to 50 percent off rental cars.
Given strong demand, travel companies can usually hold fast on prices, but by offering seasonal sales, they can hedge against changes in the future.
“There is a benefit to hoteliers in securing bookings with more lead time so they can more accurately understand demand,” said Christine Guadenzi, the director of sales and marketing for the Family Coppola Hideaways, a collection of small hotels that includes the coastal Turtle Inn in Belize, which will offer 20 percent off room rates booked Nov. 24 to Dec. 15 (discounted rates start at $335 a night, compared to the usual $419 price tag).
Some of those deals may end up under Christmas trees as vacations are increasingly positioned as gifts.
“It’s still a treat-yourself vibe, but that may change this year as we’ve seen this bigger push for experiences rather than material gifts,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews.com, a website that tracks sales. She expects more promotions highlighting friends’ getaways and family trips.