Booking through Trip Advisor Changes Everything
Like it or love it, Trip advisor is one of the most referred to resources used across the entire travel industry. To date the interaction has gone something like:
- Location chosen
- Trip advisor is the first stop to identify the right properties
- Follow the paid links to Expedia, bookings.com, Agoda to get a price
- Go into a travel agent and say “I want to stay at one of these three hotels… can you beat these prices”
A reference tool regarded as a gold standard in researching hotels.
But that’s changing.
Hotels need to be on the first page.
An essential part of the marketing strategy for any hotel is to get on that from page of TA through consistently good reviews. Bad reviews? Authentically respond to comments or criticisms, embrace them and improve the experience . Social word of mouth at its best.
So get on that front page, get seen, have your pics checked out and be rediverted to OTA’s to have prices reviewed.
Then last week hotels got an email asking if we wanted a direct sell through link for Trip Advisor.
Hotels will LOVE selling direct through Trip Advisor
Most of the online travel agencies such as Agoda and bookings.com start with commissions of 17%. With bookings.com, in order to get right up the rankings, it would seem commissions of upwards of 25% would be required. That’s a lot.
Trip advisor is offering packages of 12% and 15%. In short, hotels make more money.
Bookings through TA will soon rival EVERYONE else
How’s that for a combination – a hotel is listed on the highest hitting and “trusted” review site in the industry AND maximises the yields for hotels. Its low cost to get high exposure and when bookings are made directly to Trip Advisor, the yields will be currently at least 2% higher than through any other OTA.
If you owned a hotel, is that where you would want to list and direct sell your property?
For people looking to make a booking, the temptation will be to book online now if the price is right. Everyone else is going to need to drop their prices or try and grow their own review system to be as recognizable and appreciated as Trip Advisor.
How about travel agents?
So next time you recommend a hotel to your customer, will you be sending them to Trip Advisor?
The next shake up is beginning.