Amazon’s decision to route travel purchases through Amazon Local also signals a little bit about the company’s strategy for 2015. Amazon Local was founded in 2011, and since then has served as a deals aggregator and as an informal liaison for Amazon to build links with local businesses in strategic markets. But after the great deals rush of 2011 and the rise and fall of omnipresent online couponing, Amazon Local seemed to occupy an unsure place in Jeff Bezos’s ecosystem. This seems to be changing. Over the weekend, Amazon quietly put the finishing touches on a restaurant delivery service designed to compete with Seamless/GrubHub and Eat24. The delivery service, currently only available in Seattle, is also built on top of Amazon Local’s infrastructure. One of the things Amazon is leveraging is a local business portal originally developed for their deals service which allows individual businesses to quickly run promotions through them. Now, it seems, the same backend is being converted toward more purposes than simply offering loss-leading discounts for local stores, restaurants, and services. All this means that Amazon faces an outside chance - but a decent chance - of cracking the travel market. Well-established firms such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Kayak, and Priceline currently dominate the field, and Amazon has opted to build its own travel product organically rather than acquiring a potential competitor. The real question for now is if customers will see it as an appealing proposition… and if it will give Amazon inroads to sell airline tickets and rental cars sooner rather than later. Get the full story at Fast Company