TripAdvisor has revealed a series of measures to provide economic support for businesses that use the reviews platform including a $1 million donation from its foundation.
The donation will go to support organisations serving the most vulnerable populations around the world in response to COVID-19, the travel website said.
It addition it is also making it easy to purchase gift cards and discover delivery and takeout services to support local restaurants.
And users can generate support for impacted hourly and front-line restaurants workers by sharing their love of a favourite restaurant on social media.
This will trigger up to $150,000 in match-for-action donations contributed by the TripAdvisor Foundation to World Central Kitchen and the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
Lindsay Nelson, chief experience and brand officer at TripAdvisor, said:
“TripAdvisor has always been a platform where humans help other humans by generously sharing their experiences (both good and bad) so that the next person, a complete stranger, can benefit.
“In a time of incredible uncertainty, the very vibrancy and diversity that inspires people to travel is at risk.
“The local businesses, and people who work at them, hold the keys to the culture we all desire to feel a part of – both as locals and travellers.
“That deep connection to a sense of place, even if only for a long weekend, is in the hands and hearts of so many people who need support right now.
“Small actions like buying a gift card, ordering take-out, or leaving a review can make a difference. And today, the world needs each other.”
TripAdvisor estimates there are five million hospitality businesses that need help.
It said gift card purchases will serve as much needed ‘microloans’ to help operators pay their rent, continue to pay employees and fund benefits like healthcare, as well as fund other critical expenses.
The firm said it is making it easier to purchase gift cards and identify those restaurants that are still open for takeout and delivery.
The company is also calling on members to write reviews and create guides that highlight favourite restaurants, bars and cafes.
It said: “These small gestures of support make a meaningful business impact. The rank of a business on TripAdvisor is based on the quantity, quality and recency of reviews, with a recent Cornell Study finding that as the number of reviews increase, the ratings in these reviews tend to be more positive.”
As part of the TripAdvisor Foundation $1 million donation it has promised contribute $1 (up to $150,000) for each TripAdvisor review posted or shares of the #LoveYourLocal hashtag on public Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president, restaurants at TripAdvisor and chief executive of TheFork, said: “With guidance from governments being updated frequently, there is a risk that customers won’t be able to keep up with the right information about which businesses are open for delivery.
“That is why we’re rolling out these features — for free — to make it easier for restaurant owners and operators to highlight the latest information about their business, the options they can still provide to their customers, and encourage gift card purchases.
“If everyone who can afford it ordered one gift card or a meal for delivery, that income could make all the difference in helping the local restaurant they love pay its bills and its staff during this period.”