Amazon announced today that it was expanding the local travel service into the metropolitan areas in and around Atlanta, Houston and San Fransisco; it was also expanded across the northeast metropolitan area to include cities that are drivable to Boston. This expansion now brings Amazon Destinations into six metro regions and 35 getaway destinations. In a sign of its commitment to its growing hotel business, Amazon appointed Tim Lane, an ex-Expedia lodging-operations vice president, to the new position of general manager of Amazon Destinations. Amazon Destinations is a hive off of Amazon Local, and allows hotels, resorts and bed and breakfasts to advertise there and for users to sort by location. Think of it as a cross between Expedia,,, Airbnb and Hotel Tonight with a twist. The twist, as hyped by Amazon, is that the site automatically posts popular destinations based on where the user lives. With a tagline “Hit the road: Book local getaways,” Amazon is setting itself apart by offering a way to find unique weekend getaways that are close to home. Get the full story at and TechCrunch and Skift