Jetsetter Purchased By TripAdvisor, What Does This Mean For Flash Sales And Travel?

jetsetterFlash sale site Gilt Groupe has unloaded its lagging travel brand Jetsetter, which was quickly snapped up by TripAdvisor, news outlets reported this week.

Despite offering a well-respected reputation in the industry for decent flash sale deals for consumers interested in luxury travel experiences and recent advancements in its mobile application with tonight-only deals, Jetsetter has not been a strong revenue driver for the company, with some estimates putting the site as low as 10% of the Gilt Groupe’s overall revenue. In recent months, the site was losing as much as $2 million annually, Skift estimated.

This isn’t a shock – the founder and CEO of Jetsetter, Drew Patterson, was fired stepped down last year. He is now running another travel start up, Room 77.

This isn’t, of course, indicative that Gilt Groupe, which primarily deals with fashion, had a lack of experience in the travel space. The company CEO, Michelle Peluso, was the former CEO at Travelocity.

TripAdvisor announced on Tuesday that it was purchasing the site for an undisclosed amount, although rumor has it that the site was on the market for somewhere between $30 and $50 million.

“Jetsetter is an outstanding brand and I am absolutely delighted to welcome the Jetsetter team to the TripAdvisor family,” said Steve Kaufer, co-founder and CEO TripAdvisor, Inc. in a release. “We are excited by the opportunities this provides to continually help drive amazing value for our travelers staying at some of the world’s most highly-rated hotels.”

What will this mean for travelers? We’re not sure. TripAdvisor also owns SniqueAway, another high-end flash sale site that some would consider a competitor. The merging of the two sites could mean a stronger product, or less market competition overall. We’ll be eager to see which of the two brands remains after a few months, and if this signals the beginning of the end for the flash sale boom for travel, particularly as companies like Living Social and Groupon have reported struggles over recent months.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a note in the comments below.

[Image Credit: Jetsetter]

New travel sale site Sniqueaway: a first look

The team behind TripAdvisor has joined the online flash sale market with SniqueAway, launching September 20. The sample sale site is the latest to join the the ranks of Jetsetter.com, Vacationist, Voyage Prive and auction-based site Off & Away in the market to offer limited time discounts on luxury properties around the globe for a limited members-only audience.

“We’ve watched and learned and now we’re ready to party with the players who have proven the private sale model to be a winner,” said Massimo De Nadai, general manager for Smarter Travel Media, the parent company of both TripAdvisor and SniqueAway.

The site will offer both four and five-star properties like The Greenbrier in West Virginia and The Crane in Barbados on its inaugural lineup. To qualify, resorts must have a minimum four star rating, with limited exceptions for small and very new properties that have not yet developed a following on TripAdvisor.com.

Like other sale sites, SniqueAway will utilize both its existing member base within TripAdvisor and the “refer a friend” functionality to promote the site, which promises a $25 credit to the referrer when a new member purchases their first trip.

On SniqueAway, TripAdvisor hotel reviews are shown alongside limited-time, members-only offers, providing trusted traveler opinions of the hotels, making it easy to book a room before they sell out.

To gain early access to the site, use the link www.sniqueaway.com/invite/gadlingdotcom to secure membership and stay tuned for a full comparison review in the coming weeks.