You may have noticed over the past 10 years that the term ‘Flash Sales’ has become big in the world of commerce.  This shopping trend has grown at such a pace that many customers simply now wait for the best deals to arrive.

So what is a flash sale?

A flash sale is a discount or promotion offered by an online or on the street retailer for a short period of time (normally 1 or 2 weeks). The quantity of the product offered is normally limited, which often means that the discounts are higher or more significant than everyday prices. During the proposed short booking window, you can generally pick up designer brands, as well as, mid-range brands with as much as 50 – 70% off the retail cost. Usually closed membership sites or shopping clubs give customers the illusion that you are being offered an ‘exclusive deal’ that no one else can get!

How does this work in travel?

There are a multitude of travel companies promoting via flash sale platforms.  Some of the most recognised brands include:  Secret Escapes ( , Voyage Prive (, Jetsetter (, Holiday Pirates (, Skyscanner (, Groupon (, Travelbird (, Wowcher ( ) and Travelzoo ( and tour operators, amongst other mediums. The key to any successful flash sale is based on the timing of the sale (suiting the audience and having no direct competition), having sufficient stock (making sure there are enough rooms/ flights available at the offer rate), providing added value and / or discounted rates (better than or lower than the usual deal).

The future of flash sales?

For a number of years, the sceptics have said that the flash sale world’s days are numbered.  However, this could be no further from the truth, as there has been a marked growth in flash sales platforms appearing, plus tour operators trying to promote via this channel (be it direct or via an established mode).  In short, the success of such promotional activities really does depend on the deals being exclusive, interesting and providing value for money.

Select Representation (who specialise in hotel & DMC representation in the APAC region to include Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand & Vietnam for clients wishing to expand their sales opportunities in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway & Iceland) feel that long-term multi-centre trips and complex touring deals are likely to continue to flourish via flash sales, as they are much harder to bench mark.  It’s clear that stand alone flight + hotel offers are very easy to compare and therefore more price driven.