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Article
january 19, 2011
Chic Travel Sites

The succesful marketing model of communities of members and clients replicated for affordable high-end travel / luxury tourism industries.

After the appearance of a virtual community of members, clients or, as we may call them, impulsive buyers in many online websites with restricted access by an “invitation only” scheme, offering significant discounts on top-end fashion brands items through websites such as: privalia.com, gilt.com and ofertix.com – the latter having achieved a remarkable success in online marketing, having achieved a considerable worldwide mass of users in a short period – it was just a matter of time that the very same model was replicated in the affordable high-end travel / luxury tourism industries.

One of the pioneers in creating this online website concept in the European market is Voyage Privé, a French company founded in 2008, which is considered as the first high-end travel private club in Europe. Their numbers say it all: the French site receives over 2.5 million hits per month, its revenues have grown 130% in 2009*, when it sent 350.000 people on vacation owing to their extremely competitive deals. (2010 data is to be published in the following months)

Voyageprive.com basically works on the basis of strategic alliances with high-end hotels chains, assuring them a high occupancy through collective purchase, thus getting a better bargain. Its added value is the ideal combination of luxury and price. Every day a new list of worldwide destinations is published strictly for their members and including weekend vacation packages o or longer stays. The discounts offered range between 30 to 70% off the usual retail sale prices.



Another successful example of online website is Jetsetter (its name says it all), a private online community providing members with insider access, expert knowledge, and exclusive deals on the worldwide vacation packages. The best of it is that they feature hotel premises that are selected and reviewed by a team of globe-trotting correspondents.

One of my favorites sites is bloomspot.com, an US website competing with jetsetter.com in luxury stays, although their big difference/competitive advantage is that they also offer large discounts in high-end spas, restaurants, bars, etc. To mention similar websites in Spain, we can name restalo.es and groupon.es, both offering discounts up to 70% in spas, restaurants and hotels.

There is a wide variety of sites based upon the “invitation only” concept, which seems to enjoy a considerable level of demand. Presumably, the sites having the best designs and usability will surely prevail within the high-end travel online community market.


Claudio F. Hasbun
Analyst – C4T


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