You can’t travel right now. But despite the shutdown caused by the coronavirus crisis you can still shop for hotel deals—for whenever the new normal returns to the hospitality industry. Cabin fever sufferers can pick from an eclectic mix of deals offered by a growing number of properties on a new website called We Travel Forward.
The site is an altruistic endeavor created by hospitality branding executive Amy Ogden and WeCreate Media founding partner Wade Breitzke. “We wanted to do some good for an industry that is suffering,” Ogden says.
The U.S. Travel Association projects that annual fiscal losses within the industry could total $355 billion and that 4.6 million jobs could be lost in the United States.
WeTravelForward.com is a catalogue of hotels offering future deals. After two weeks in existence, the site had 70 properties spread across 11 states. The hotels can be referenced by geography and by number of stars.
Ogden expects an influx of properties to be added during an ongoing ramp-up effort.
“It’s a consolidated place to see what deals are out there,” she says. “One of the best characteristics of the site is that it’s open sourced. It’s not formalized—every property has a different deal.”
Some listings simply take you to a booking site. Others offer $50 off a visit. Or discounts on meals. Some properties are doing 50-percent-off deals for three-night stays.
We Travel Forward Hotel Deals
A sampling of deals on the site includes:
Hotel E Santa Rosa – A Greystone Hotel: $50 for $100 gift cards (limit $900 per customer) for stays at this four-star boutique property in California’s Sonoma Valley.
The Galt House Hotel, Trademark Collection by Wyndham: For every $50 gift card you purchase, get a $25 gift card at this four-star Louisville (KY) waterfront hotel.
The Wink Hotel: Room nights can be purchased for $99 for use any time in 2020 at this newly renovated hotel in Washington D.C.
The website is truly a goodwill mission by its founders. “We don’t charge commissions or fees,” Ogden says. “It’s free for the hotels to be listed. It’s a way for them to reach out to people who want to spend money on travel but can’t right now.”
Will the site stick around after a sense of normalcy returns to the travel industry?
“We’re literally building this boat as we row it,” Ogden says. “There are no long-range plans now. But if there is a future use for it, sure.” J&J