Has Tripadvisor just changed the game and provided an alternate OTA? Read on…
Today Tripadvisor announced a new membership program for travellers and says for the first time, hotels and accommodations can expand their visibility and reach to a traveller audience, by participating directly in Tripadvisor Plus.
Tripadvisor Plus is a subscription service where, for an annual membership fee, travellers get exclusive access to rate discounts and guest perks (think: Amazon Prime/Netflix for travel). Today it was announced that hotels in Australia and New Zealand will be able to participate directly for the first time.
For hotels, this is significant because it signals a brand new model for attracting guests in a way that both enhances the guest experience and reduces their third-party costs. Tripadvisor says it works like this:
Hotels are charged zero commission and zero up-front fees in order to participate in Tripadvisor Plus. The revenue comes from the traveller via paid subscriptions. This cost-saving can then be passed (in part or whole) to the guest, via rate discounts and guest perks (like free breakfast, a welcome gift, spa credit), etc.
Tripadvisor Plus hotels receive special badging and increased visibility on the Tripadvisor platform, helping them to stand out from the competition and increase bookings at a lower cost than traditional channels – providing a crucial cost-saving to hotels as the hospitality industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program is free for hotels to join, with no upfront costs and zero commission rates.
How it works…
Tripadvisor Plus offers an innovative alternative to the traditional online model of room distribution for hotels. Rather than spend as much as 30 percent per booking on commission fees, hotels can now significantly reduce their third party costs and pass on some of those savings to their guests via discounts and perks, increasing room demand and enhancing the guest experience at the same time.
By offering these savings and perks to Tripadvisor Plus subscribers, hotels increase their visibility on the world’s largest travel platform, among both subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Tripadvisor Plus accommodations receive special badging and enhanced placement within the best value sort order reflective of the strength of their offering to travelers.
Discounted room rates available via Tripadvisor Plus can only be viewed by Tripadvisor members and can only be booked by Tripadvisor Plus subscribers, ensuring those rates are not widely available on the open internet, thereby preserving a hotel’s rate integrity.
Furthermore, by participating directly in the program, Tripadvisor Plus hotels get full access to all of the customer information from each reservation.
Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer, Tripadvisor said: “Tripadvisor Plus is a game-changer for both travelers and hoteliers. Travelers get to enjoy a memorable experience thanks to special perks and discounts – and hotels have a brand new way to attract valuable guests while avoiding hefty third-party commissions.”
Tripadvisor on why hotels should participate in Tripadvisor Plus…
While travel restrictions remain in place in many countries, the speed of national vaccination programs has raised the prospect of a sustained recovery in travel demand, potentially as early as this summer – and for hotels that means taking action now to capture this demand.
Tripadvisor Plus offers an innovative new channel through which to do just that, unlocking a host of benefits that help hotels attract ready-to-book guests:
- More visibility, more demand – Participating hotels get extra visibility (higher placement in the Best Value sort order as well as special badging) on Tripadvisor, whether a traveler books through Tripadvisor Plus or not
- Lower spend, more bookings – Tripadvisor Plus is free to join and operates as a less expensive pay-for-performance demand channel than traditional online channels
- Total flexibility – With no annual commitments and no last room availability requirements, participating hotels can opt in and out of discounting at any time as occupancy levels change
- Stronger customer relationships – Hotels can market directly to guests after their stay
- More engaged travelers – Tripadvisor Plus reaches a highly valuable customer segment. On average, Tripadvisor Plus subscribers spend more and stay longer than non-subscribers
- Better guest experience – Tripadvisor Plus enables hotels to pass some of their third-party cost savings to their guests, increasing guest satisfaction and customer loyalty
Tripadvisor Plus launched in beta in December 2020 to a small slice of Tripadvisor’s traffic in the United States, and will soon become available to all U.S. travellers with additional markets to follow later. Hotels worldwide interested in capturing pent up demand from U.S. travelers are encouraged to join the program now.