• Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being rolled out across the travel industry have come to represent a growing amount of business for travel companies, which means more of them want in on the deal-driven frenzy.
  • “In terms of volume, Black Friday remains the largest sales day of the year for Gate 1 Travel,” said Marty Seslow, vice president of marketing and sales for the tour operator Gate 1 Travel.
  • This is the seventh year that Gate 1 is having a Black Friday sale to jumpstart sales for the following year, and the company said it has witnessed “significant growth” in sales each year during this promotional stretch.
  • Abercrombie & Kent said it too is seeing a boost in business. Since introducing a Cyber Monday promotion in 2011, A&K says that sales during the week after Thanksgiving have increased each year.
  • Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has traditionally been a day when retail stores roll out discounts intended to help motivate holiday shoppers. It is followed by Cyber Monday, when consumers continue to search for deals online. The distinction is all but null and void. Now the terms Black Friday and Cyber Monday simply signify a larger promotional period just before, during and after Thanksgiving week — a period that has become increasingly important for driving revenue in the travel industry.
  • “Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become more important — consumers and retailers are both looking for deals on all types of products and experiences, including travel,” said Kathy Mayor, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Line, which teamed up with online retail giant Amazon this year to offer a pre-Black Friday deal on cruise bookings made through Amazon.com (the first 1,150 customers who clicked through Carnival’s ad on Amazon and booked a Carnival cruise on Nov. 21-23 received a $50 voice-controlled Amazon Echo Dot).
  • The travel industry has spent the last several years working to get a larger slice of retail spending during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotional period and their efforts appear to be resonating with customers.
  • “Our approach is more aggressive this year,” said Lisa Stice, vice president global online marketing for global hospitality company Benchmark, which extended its offers from a Cyber Monday event to a four-day sale. “The reason is because last year the response was so big … so we decided to offer more this year.”
  • Lengthening the promotional period appears to be an approach numerous travel companies took this year to further capitalize on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending spree.
  • Royal Caribbean International, for instance, extended its sale from a one-day event to a three-day event this year, from Nov. 26-28. And Vicki Freed, the company’s senior vice president of sales, trade service and support, said the company is seeing greater sales during the Cyber Monday stretch.
  • “People who are ready to make purchases now, they are getting a head start on Wave, and they are getting a great offer,” said Freed.
  • And while those who have been in the game are starting to see more bookings, others in the travel industry have decided it’s time to join the fray.
  • For the first time, Amtrak is offering its customers a Black Friday sale this year, which will run from Friday, Nov. 25 through Monday, Nov. 28.