Beginning today, travelers visiting Fort Lauderdale will be able to stretch their travel dollars by prepaying for their meals using Destination Meals (www.DestinationMeals.com).
Destination Meals was officially launched today by Travel Leaders Group Chairman and Founder Michael Batt, who is starting the venture outside of Travel Leaders Group. Travel Leaders agents will be able to sell and earn commission on the service.
Visiting out-of-state travelers will be offered $30 promotional discount vouchers for $15 prepaid to be used at any of a select group of ultimately close to 100 establishments appealing to leisure and business travelers.
The vouchers can be purchased through a variety of channels, beginning with travel agencies, along with major airline, car rental and other distribution partners, as well as directly through www.destinationmeals.com.
Destination Meals is designed to capture and deliver incremental leisure and corporate visitor traffic to member merchants. While Destination Meals is initially launching in Fort Lauderdale, the program is set to significantly expand to other top travel destinations throughout the United States.
Destination Meals is the brainchild of co-founders and entrepreneurs Michael Batt and Edward A. Cespedes. Batt is also the Founder and Chairman of Travel Leaders Group, a North American travel company that generates nearly $17 billion in travel sales through its approximately 6,000 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies.
Edward A. Cespedes is CEO at PayMeOn, a business focused on monetizing social networks, as well as the owner of the “social income”trademark. The two came together in 2012 to develop Destination Meals, a company created specifically to benefit both travelers and restaurant owners.
“It’s a very simple concept –travelers get a substantial discount that is not available to locals, and restaurants that typically can’t afford to market to out of town customers will benefit from greatly increased numbers of visitors, especially during the quieter midweek days,” explained Batt.
“Nearly 200,000 leisure and corporate travelers arrive in Fort Lauderdale every week – all prepared to spend their highly sought-after tourism dollars in the area’s 4,000-plus restaurants. Ultimately, Destination Meals will provide an important subsection of them with the option of prepaying for their meals at close to 100 of the best establishments in town. For example, a family of four visiting Fort Lauderdale for four days eating two meals a day could save $120 during their trip – a great, compelling value," Batt said.
Each Destination Meals promotional voucher will be redeemable exclusively at Member establishments. In the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, redemption of the vouchers will be strictly limited to no more than 100 of over 4,000 potential restaurant options. Local residents will not be eligible to purchase these promotional vouchers as they need a valid non-local credit card to purchase vouchers. The credit card has to be registered to an address at least 100 miles away from the local market.
As for participating restaurants, Destination Meals is an invitation-only Membership program, limited to less than 5 percent of a destination’s high quality restaurants and entertainment venues with a range of food, style, location and price points.
Destination Meals Members are linked with some of the largest and most prominent travel and tourism distribution partners in the world, including travel agencies, airlines, car rental companies and other companies that touch the consumer throughout their travel experience.
“The beauty for local restaurateurs becoming Members in Destination Meals is that they don’t have to worry about unnecessary local market dilution because it simply will not be available to locals,”explained Cespedes.“Instead, it will drive a totally disproportionate share of leisure and corporate visitors to their establishments. In the case of Fort Lauderdale, there are approximately 7 million incoming visitors to its airport, along with 4 million drive visitors.”
Batt agrees: “Destination Meals will be highly stimulative in generating incremental demand for travel. Eating out is a major expense and by guiding larger amounts of visiting traffic into our selected restaurants, we can create sustainable preferred economics for Destination Meals restaurants that can then pass on significant savings to travelers. We estimate the average savings for a leisure traveler will average 20 percent off menu prices and close to 16 percent for a business traveler.”