Beginning October 24, Booking.com will offer an exclusive one-night stay for two inside The San Francisco Dungeon. This spooky jaunt will include a room made to look like a cell inside the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. The holiday promotion calls attention to Booking Experiences, the travel site’s new mobile product.
The San Francisco Dungeon is an underground attraction located in the city’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Visitors will learn about San Francisco’s history through 360-degree sets, live performers, an underground boat ride and a watery drop ride called “Escape Alcatraz.”
Visitors will also be given VIP access to the last show of the evening, then taken to their “cells” where they will be issued dungeon-themed pajamas, snacks and a “spooky” welcome cocktail. Actors will perform bedtime ghost stories and a medium will lead visitors in a “witching hour” séance. In the morning, guests will be treated to breakfast in bed, along with a swag bag.
Booking.com launched its Booking Experiences portal in the US last month, initially offering exclusive meet-and-greet experiences with DJ Khaled. The mobile tool offers experiences to users once they have booked accommodations, such as local tourist attractions or shows, all through a personalized QR code. To accommodate changing plans, consumers can book experiences and only pay once the QR code has been scanned on-site.
Experiences are offering the travel industry a new stream of income, tapping into young consumers’ desire for memories and the “travel brag.” Travel activities, which includes tours, activities and events, is the third-largest segment in travel, according to Deloitte, accounting for 10 percent of global travel revenue. Revenue generated by travel experiences is expected to reach $183 billion by 2020.
Historical and heritage experiences are particularly popular, according to TripAdvisor, which experienced a 98 percent increase in bookings last year.
Consumers have largely shifted their expenditures from goods to experiences in recent years, especially among the millennial generation. This trend, observes McKinsey and Company, is driven by the fear of missing out (FOMO) and social media likes.
Combining this pursuit of experiences with Halloween—one of America’s top spending holidays—is a good start for Booking.com’s new Booking Experiences portal. According to the National Retail Foundation, nearly a quarter of Americans plan to visit a haunted house this Halloween, so sleeping in one will make for a unique travel brag, indeed.