TripAdvisor has launched a new direct booking feature which it says will help business owners avoid “costly” OTA commissions of up to 25%.
The reviews site has added a prominent link in its Sponsored Placements which will give properties “premium exposure to more booking-ready travellers”.
Martin Verdon-Roe, vice president, B2B Hotels, said: “We hear frequently from hoteliers they need help solving their biggest booking challenges without breaking the bank.
“We have launched this new direct booking tool based on feedback from owners, and it’s one of a number of things over the next several months we plan to offer hoteliers to better meet their needs.”
Jenn Edwards, owner of Groveland Hotel in California, which used the new feature during beta testing added:
“Over the past eight years, we’ve seen that it’s increasingly difficult to compete with the OTAs to drive bookings through our direct channels.
“This new Sponsored Placements feature allows us to increase our property’s exposure and display our rates above those from the OTAs in the ads.
“This has allowed us to drive more guests to book direct while also cutting our acquisition costs for those bookings in half.”
Sponsored Placements were launched by TripAdvisor in 2017 on high-profile pages including above search results and on nearby properties’ listings.
TripAdvisor said the ads put a property in front of potential guests looking for places to stay when the property matches the guest’s search and has available rooms to book.
A recent study from Ipsos Mori, in partnership with TripAdvisor, showed that 71% of travellers decided to book after reading TripAdvisor reviews.
A separate survey of TripAdvisor users in September revealed that nearly half of travellers (41%) prefer to book directly with the hotel if given the opportunity.
TripAdvisor said: “The new enhancement not only helps travellers book directly, but it also helps businesses thrive online.”