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Hotwire pulls the plug on Travel-Ticker discount travel site

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

You probably haven't missed the e-mails from Travel-Ticker amid all the discount e-mail offers clogging your inbox. But the site run by San Francisco-based Hotwire closed down Monday after a seven-year run.

"You will no longer receive communications -- including emails -- from Travel-Ticker. Rest assured, all travel bookings already made on Travel-Ticker will still be honored by our travel partners." That was part of the message sent to subscribers of the discount travel site.

Clem Bason, president of Hotwire, explains why the company took the action. "When we started Travel-Ticker seven years ago, there was no Groupon, Living Social, I could go on and on," he said Tuesday. "Now you are bombarded with e-mails. We saw declining rates of interaction with e-mail as a product."

Bason says that as Hotwire continued to grow, making gains on the international front in such places as Britain, Germany and Mexico, customer interest in the e-mail-driven Travel-Ticker model waned.

Indeed, even the mighty Groupon seems to be stumbling. U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday documented the slide of stock prices for the one-time online discount giant in a story titled "5 New Ways to Save if Groupon Closes Up Shop."

But back to Hotwire. Most immediately, the company will roll out a hotel app this month that makes it easier for smartphone users to book last-minute rooms. Why? "In our bookings over Labor Day, one of five came through a smartphone," he said.
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