The Groupon-Expedia partnership has deepened with Groupon Getaways now getting its own tab on the Expedia.com homepage along with hotels, cars, flights, cruise and other products.
The flash sales site and Expedia partnered and launched hotel sales in July 2011. There had been some talk, including from Priceline CEO Jeffery Boyd, in particular, wondering whether Expedia was making a mistake in promoting a brand other than its own.
The two companies may provide some more information about how Groupon Getaways is doing in the next couple of days as they both release their fourth quarter and full-year earnings results, but for now, at least, Expedia appears to be all in.
When you select the Groupon Getaways tab on Expedia.com, you navigate to a Groupon Getaways page with hotel deals geared to your home region as a starting point.
Hotel deals and packages might include a one-night stay for two adults ($178) at the Westport Inn in Westport, Connecticut, an 11-day guided safari with airfare and meals for two adults and up to two kids (from $939) in Tanzania from Safari Ventures, or a five-night stay for two at the Nikki Beach Bungalow Resort with massage ($599) in Thailand.
Groupon Getaways comes with an Ask a Question feature for each deal which other online hotel sellers might consider emulating.
With Ask a Question, travelers can ask hotel management or other merchants questions about the property or the deal.
So if you're considering buying the deal for the Mana Island Resort and Spa in Fiji, you can peruse more than 125 questions and answers about the property and the deal details, with most of the answers provided by someone from the property.
The questions and answers range from how to get to the property from the airport to costs associated with bringing three kids and availability dates.
Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler says Groupon began using the Ask a Question feature in 2009 and adopted it for Groupon Getaways soon after launch.
Many social travel sites, from Gogobot to World Nomads, have implemented question and answer formats, and Groupon's twist -- a question and answer setup between consumers and hotels -- is a welcome addition.