Thomson has inked a deal with user review giant TripAdvisor to blend the site’s syndicated hotel and destination reviews within the Thomson.co.uk website.
Graham Donoghue, Director of New Media for TUI, Thomson’s parent company, said he is aiming for a full integration of TripAdvisor reviews by September.
Donoghue noted that the deal marks a natural progression for Thomson, which is increasingly focused on the online market. Thomson now sells 60% of its holidays online.
Thomson.co.uk now ranks second in travel sites hits behind Expedia, though Donoghue noted that Thomson briefly overtook Expedia this past weekend, perhaps indicating the differences in the demographics of weekly online shoppers versus weekend web surfers.
Speaking during Thomson’s annual online booking report, Donoghue also noted that the company is continuing to shift its focus away from traditional packages in favour of “DIY” holidays, a move which reflects consumers’ behaviour.
The Thomson-TripAdvisor agreement marks the first relationship between TripAdvisor and a travel supplier.
TripAdvisor, which is a unit of Expedia, recently announced it would load user reviews onto the Expedia website.
The Thomson deal comes on the heels of TripAdvisor’s 15 June launch of a Traveller Network, a Facebook-style social network which allows TripAdvisor members to share holiday experiences and tips with friends and family who accept invitations to their network.
When asked if TripAdvisor would consider sharing its reviews on Facebook, Marc Charron, European managing director of TripAdvisor, said the company would not rule out such partnerships. Charron noted that TripAdvisor already provides the application to Facebook’s “Cities I Visited” section.