A new service to generate direct booking opportunities for independent hotels and bed and breakfast owners is being launched today (Thursday) by TripAdvisor.
The self-service TripConnect platform allows TripAdvisor Business Listings subscribers to participate in hotel price comparison and to drive direct bookings from TripAdvisor to their own websites.
TripConnect will enable independent accommodation owners to bid for the 260 million monthly visitors to the reviews site, an option previously only available to online travel agents and large hotel chains.
Independent hotels and B&Bs will be able to add their own room rates and availability, allowing travellers to click directly through to the property’s own website to make a booking.
TripConnect complements the recent launch of Hotel Price Comparison, which allows visitors to TripAdvisor sites to see real-time room rates and availability from various booking partners at the same time.
Users can now click on the search results link of their choice, be it the hotel itself or an OTA, and make their booking.
Participating hoteliers only pay when a traveller clicks through to their website or to their website’s reservation page.
This is likely to increase the number of ‘click-throughs’ to the property and therefore increase bookings, according to TripAdvisor.
Hoteliers and B&B owners must have a valid business listings with TripAdvisor and work with an internet booking engine that partners with TripAdvisor in providing TripConnect.
TripAdvisor direct connect solutions vice-president Jean-Charles Lacoste said: “We are delighted to bring to market a service that fills a need for the hoteliers in the industry.
“It’s a unique way we can use technology to level the travel accommodation landscape, placing small and independent properties on an equal footing with large hotels and OTAs.
“Clearly TripConnect is fulfilling a need, as evidenced by the significant number of Internet booking engines working with us to provide this platform to their customers.
“TripConnect is designed to help independent owners drive more direct bookings and increase revenues, as well as collecting more reviews and tracking performance.”