“It simply shows that consumers like the channel,” Sam Yip, senior research manager at media and telecoms analyst Telsyte told delegates at the Traveltech conference this week. But Dean McEvoy, founder of group buying website Spreets, told a panel discussion that consumers are driven not by rates but a “great experience”. Additional components, such as meals or outings, were key to the deals’ success, he said. Group buying companies differentiate themselves from online travel agents, stressing that they provide an “inspirational” marketing service, which justified their high margins. “We work on a consultative basis with partners to generate demand when there is no demand in the marketplace,” Travelzoo general manager Brad Gurrie said. Get the full story at Travel Weekly