Excerpt from Travel Weekly
For the travel industry, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season have evolved from a vexing consumer distraction into one of the most important travel booking periods of the year, and the industry has expanded promotional strategies accordingly.
"Cyber Monday is the most popular booking day of the year across our company," said Eric Gavin, chief sales and marketing officer for Salamander Hotels & Resorts. The company has been offering post-Thanksgiving promotions for several years, but Gavin said bookings started to increase substantially at its properties about three years ago.
Camille Olivere, senior vice president of sales at Norwegian Cruise Line, said bookings made in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions are "right up there in the top-performing days that we see throughout the year."
And upscale operator Abercrombie & Kent said it typically sells out of the trips it features during its Cyber Monday holiday sale, which according to Stefanie Schmudde, director of product development and operations, "has proven to be a very successful way of encouraging aspirational travelers to trade up to Abercrombie & Kent."
Those kinds of results say a lot about holiday sales considering that prior to 2010-2011, most travel companies weren't offering Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals at all. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, three days later, have traditionally kicked off the period reserved for purchases related to holiday season gift-giving. But it wasn't until recently that travel companies decided to throw their hats into the ring.
"The time between Thanksgiving and New Year was typically slow for the travel industry," said Steve Cox, executive director of International Expeditions. "You wouldn't typically send brochures or sales emails because of the time people spend out of the office, the influx of retail promotions and the general distraction of the holiday season."