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Online hotel deals a hot gift item

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Steve Chiotakis: After today’s holiday, our attention will likely turn to shopping.
On Monday — known as Cyber Monday to some — many of us start retail shopping from our work computers. And the deals we’ll see? Well this year, for the first time, some hotel chains are chiming in, as Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Chains like Starwood and Affinia hotels are offering deals on stays here and abroad.

Mark Woodworth of PKF Hospitality Research says the traditional Cyber Monday purchase usually involves tangible items. But he says services, like spa treatments, are increasingly popular presents.

Mark Woodworth: Why not have hotels package their services in such a way that makes it easier for that consumer to buy, particularly via the Internet?

Mark Woodworth says there’s good reason hotels are taking advantage of Cyber Monday this year:

Woodworth: While demand has contracted dramatically as a result of a weak economic environment, we’ve had significant increases in supply opening up in many markets around the country.

So there’s a glut of hotel rooms and not enough bodies to fill them. He says demand will increase in the second half of next year, and by early 2011, prices will go up again.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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