Living Social extends Escapes brand to UK

Deals service LivingSocial has extended its Escapes travel and holidays brand to the UK.

Escapes, until now only available in the US, will give LivingSocial’s UK members access to four and five-star hotel deals and experiences.

LivingSocial Escape’s general manger for Europe Nick Stafford said the company had a good ‘pipeline of partners’ of UK hotels as well as a good mix of product which reflected where people want to go on holidays.

He denied the service was just another flash sale website with promotions running for a week for departures of up to 12 months in advance.

“It’s about unique experiences, it’s not a last minute holiday platform. The partners we are working with are four and five-star hotels so we’re not chasing the lowest price point.

Partners pay LivingSocial a marketing fee for customers who take up the deals while the deals service passes on revenue from vouchers purchased whether they are redeemed or not.

Stafford said the marketing was not like a commission. “I don’t believe we’re simply providing a transaction. If you look at how travel is sold today, we believe we improve the way it is sold. It has become commoditised with decisions driven by price. We’re promoting their brand and putting it in front of our members.”

He added that the company was now running up to 35 Escapes deals a week in the US and that further scale would be had from increasing local promotions.

Stafford also said promotions can also increase traffic to merchants’ websites by up to five times both while the promotion is running and for about a week afterwards.

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