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Amazon Destinations launches, offering local getaways in NY, LA, Seattle

Amazon’s bread and butter still consists of selling actual products, but lately the company has been increasing its efforts in offering services. Last month Amazon Home Services launched, offering everything from musical instrument lessons to grill cleaning, and now the company has launched a new service to help users find local getaways.

Amazon has dabbled in offering a few select deals on hotels in the past as part of Amazon Local, but that focused more on deals. The new service, dubbed Amazon Destinations, is aimed strictly at helping customers locate hotels within driving distance that might be off the beaten path. Unlike the Amazon Local hotels, the prices listed are the standard prices of the hotel, not discount prices.

“More than 40 percent of all U.S. domestic leisure trips are short-term getaways of 1-3 nights, and many of these trips are to nearby, drivable destinations,” Amazon spokesperson Tom Cook told TechCrunch. “However, travelers often have a hard time planning local getaways. It’s difficult to know where to go, the process is labor-intensive, and people often miss out on finding great places to stay.”

Amazon Destinations is currently available in the areas surrounding New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, though the “destinations” reach further. Browsing the site from New York, hotels in the Poconos, Catskills, and Adirondacks were listed as well as hotels in Vermont and Massachusetts. Users in Seattle will see getaway destinations throughout the Pacific Northwest offered, and those in Los Angeles will similarly see hotels throughout Southern California.

It isn’t yet clear whether Amazon will be bringing Amazon Destinations to other metropolitan areas, though if the company’s previous endeavors are any clue, it likely plans to monitor how well the new service does in existing locations and expand accordingly.

The ability to review hotels is already present, but given that Amazon Destinations just launched last night, it will probably take a few days at least until the site is populated with reviews.