From private-jet clubs to theme park memberships, subscription services are increasingly the way to go when it comes to vacations and other leisure trips.
For example, Internet sites Tripadvisor and Scott’s Cheap Flights — both free to users in their basic versions — this year have each rolled out premium membership plans that offer those willing to pay an annual fee extra perks and access to special pricing.
Now, Travel + Leisure Co., which owns about 20 resort, travel club and lifestyle travel brands, is staking its claim to the space with its new online Travel + Leisure Club, tied to editorial content published in its signature Travel + Leisure magazine.
While all readers will now be able to book trips to destinations featured in the publication via the new, free Travel + Leisure GO platform, club members will get premium perks like exclusive itineraries and preferred pricing and benefits, according to Travel +Leisure Group President Noah Brodsky.
“When we acquired the Travel + Leisure brand back in January, one of the things we heard many times from editors, subscribers and advertisers was that with all this incredible content, it’s crazy there’s no ‘book now’ button — so that’s what we’ve done,” he said, referring to the acquisition of the brand by the former Wyndham Destinations, now Travel + Leisure Co., from Meredith Corp. in a $100 million deal.
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“And we’ve launched a subscription travel club, which gets you access to some incredible Travel + Leisure content, exclusive itineraries and editor-inspired trips, along with really good preferred pricing and benefits,” Brodsky added.
Subscription services are a trend across all industries, thanks to the content and value the model offers consumers, he said.
“That’s what we’re betting on here: That Travel + Leisure is a brand that can be the strongest player in the travel subscription space,” Brodsky said.
Membership costs $9.95 per month at a special introductory rate, after a free 30-day trial period. That fee will eventually rise to $19.95 but at press time there was no timeframe for a price hike, according to a spokesperson.
Subscribers get an average 25% off retail rates at hotels and resorts, and members-only pricing on car rentals, activities and more, according to the company. Inventory consists of more than 600,000 properties, over 345,000 activity options, and products and services from all major car rental companies and dozens of major air carriers.