NEW YORK -- Finding an online deal for Las Vegas these days is as
certain as being awash in neon while ambling along the Strip.
Agents already familiar with booking Las Vegas can always access
the latest destination information from a variety of sources
through TripAdvisor, at www.tripadvisor.com.
At the site, clicking on Las Vegas retrieves guidebook articles
about Las Vegas from DigitalCity.com, Frommers, Insider's Guide Online,
Lycos Travel, Wcities.com, Fodors and RandMcNally. TripAdvisor also
provides scores of links to recommended articles about Las Vegas,
with sources ranging from the Washington Post to the San Francisco
Bay Traveler -- although many of the selections are very dated.
Almost every major travel Web site, from Travelocity and Expedia
to Orbitz, offers Las Vegas specials and packages. Some supplier
sites offer commissionable bookings, while through others agents
would have to charge clients service fees. Among last-minute sites,
Site59 offers Las Vegas packages with 5% commissions, uncapped.
Late last month, the site was offering an $888.50 package for
two adults from Nov. 8 to 11, including roundtrip air from New York
(Kennedy) on Delta, a standard room at the Best Western Mardi Gras
Inn and a compact car from Avis. Southwest Airlines Vacations, Lowestfare.com, American Airlines Vacations and Delta
Vacations offer numerous air and hotel packages.
DeltaVacations.com, for instance, has an agent-only
site with commissionable bookings. Late last month, Delta Vacations
offered a package for two Dec. 14 to 16 from Atlanta for $1,186.
The package included Delta flights, an Emerald Tower room at the
MGM Grand, an Alamo midsize car rental and a travel protection
One quick way to get an overview of Web offerings is to use a
comparative shopping engine such as Qixo, Farechase or Sidestep.
These sites comb various online agency and supplier sites to
discover the best deals and provide booking capabilities. Searching
for a one-night stay in Las Vegas for Nov. 12, Qixo retrieved 64
offerings from HotelDiscounts, ranging from $39.95 at the Four
Queens to $329.95 at the Four Seasons.
In the weeks following the events of Sept. 11, a spokesman for
Priceline.com indicated that the distressed inventory
site had an abundance of inventory from traditional meeting
destinations like Las Vegas.
However, the company's name-your-own-price model, with the
identity of the supplier unknown until the itinerary is booked, is
likely not worth the effort for agents.