The Amazon Destinations travel and hotel booking service is apparently at the end of its journey, as the website quietly shut down just six months after launch.
Amazon launched its Destinations back in April, leveraging the site as an innovative service for travel booking. The service focused on weekend retreats and local getaways, allowing users to find and plan a vacation within driving distance. The service offered listings for hotels, bed-and-breakfast and inns.
"We created Amazon Destinations to solve a problem most travelers face: how to easily plan and book a local getaway trip," Amazon spokesman Tom Cook said back in April, when Amazon launched the service. "Interestingly, more than 40% 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."
It now seems, however, that Amazon's efforts to offer a solution for planning local getaways was not very successful, as the service has now shut down just six months after launching.
Amazon issued no formal statement to announce its plans to discontinue Amazon Destinations, as it seems the service simply shut down without any warning. Accessing the Amazon Destinations website now simply states that "Effective October 13, 2015, Amazon Destinations stopped selling hotel reservations," as seen in the image above.
Clicking on "Learn More," meanwhile, leads to an "Important Update" notice that further elaborates on the matter. More specifically, the update notes that reservations through Amazon Destinations are no longer available on the Amazon Local app or on travel.amazon.com, but customers who already had a reservation prior to the service shutdown will still be able to use it. Earlier reservations are still valid and the hotels involved will honor them despite Amazon's decision to discontinue Destinations. Customers who made those reservations don't have to take any additional action to ensure the validity of the reservation.
The service will likely continue to function behind closed doors until all prior reservations are honored, but otherwise it's no longer operational. It remains unclear just why Amazon chose to close the service so soon after launch, but no additional information is available at this point.