Is ShermansTravel readying private sales for luxury hotels, cruise lines?NewsBy Dennis Schaal | December 14, 2010Share This article was originally published on Deal publisherShermansTravel Media apparently is considering entering the flash sales arena with an online private sales offering for hotels and cruises.The venture apparently would focus on the luxury hotel and cruise market.ShermansTravel Media includes two main brands -- ShermansTravel.com and a print publication, Smart Luxury Travel.ShermansTravel.com is the deal-oriented entity, focusing on "cheap flights" and ""cheap hotels" where consumers can search partner sites to find savings of "up to 70%."In contrast to its deals newsletters and website, Smart Luxury Travel magazine promotes upscale properties and destinations and seemingly would be more compatible with the kind of inventory under consideration for the private sales offering.It is unknown how far along ShermansTravel is in launching a private sales site, but the company is staffing up for the venture.When asked about the initiative, Darren Frei, the editorial director for ShermansTravel, said: "I can just say that we are exploring the private sale business model, but I don't have further details at this time."While it is difficult to confirm, the venture could find ShermansTravel, a deal search site, entering the transactions business.In advertising for a Director of E-Commerce/Luxury Private Sale, ShermansTravel indicated that the new-hire would "work with [the] supplier relations team to acquire and negotiate wholesale agreements with hotel and cruise suppliers, identify and build strategic partners, and more."With private sale sites such as Jetsetter and VoyagePrivé serving as inspiration, and local deals sites such as Groupon leading the way, ShermansTravel undoubtedly is just one of numerous travel sites poised to enter the flash-sales fray.Private sales sites generally offer members negotiated discounts on upscale properties and vacations. Suppliers believe they can offer these deals to private sales sites without diluting their brands because the discounts are not available to the general public.