's new tool combines pricing trends and local information
02/10/2007|3:32:00 PM|ChinaTravelNews

Discount travel site has introduced TripStarter, a new tool that “helps travelers make smarter and more informed choices as they are beginning to plan a trip”. (2/8/2007)

According to the company, the new planning tool is the only online resource to offer historical air and hotel pricing data, helping travelers decide when and where to go on vacation and providing information on weather, local events and attractions for domestic and international destinations.

“With vacations, just as with life, timing is everything. Pick the right time, and you can enjoy significant savings on the cost of travel,” said Tim MacDonald, vice president –product, Hotwire.

“Consumers are aware of the volatility of airline fares. What is less known is that hotel rates also vary dramatically throughout the year and impact the cost of a trip. Our customers can now use the Hotwire TripStarter tool and benefit from our deep expertise in discount travel and get maximum vacation value,” said MacDonald.

The new feature informs trip planners by providing guidance on when is the best time to visit based on cost and weather, and what to do there, in one easy-to-use tool. With just a few clicks, customers can view both air and hotel prices for up to two years, along with weather and event information.

For money-saving travel recommendations customised to their origin and vacation destination, travelers have the option of going to and enter their departure and destination cities. Next, the Hotwire TripStarter tool will display charts with pricing trends for the previous 12 months based on the price of airfare for the traveler’s desired route and the average nightly rate at a three- or four-star hotel in the destination chosen.

The Hotwire TripStarter tool currently features hotel information for 120 destinations and airfare data for 157 destinations, with plans to add additional cities in the future.

Travelers can view recommendations on when is the optimal time for their vacation, including tips on what months offer the lowest prices on hotel and airfare. The tool also points to the best holidays for travel savings. Since price is just one important consideration when planning a trip, this tool also features weather details (including temperature and rainfall averages) and information on upcoming events and activities ranging from local celebrations and holidays to cultural attractions, music performances and sporting events.

The tool is based on published airfare pricing and availability data from several airline global distribution systems, and hotel pricing and availability from published sources. Historical pricing trends are based upon the lowest available Internet retail rates. Airfare rates are total per roundtrip, including taxes, while hotel rates are based on the nightly room rate.