Travel review site TripAdvisor has just announced that 4,000 of the hotels on its website have taken up its offer of a Business Listing since its launch in October 2009. A Business Listing entitles hoteliers and B&B owners to add information such as website links and contact details to their property listing on TripAdvisor.
Without a Business Listing, for which the owner has to pay a fee, users of TripAdvisor have to fish around on Google or Bing (other search engines are available) in order to track down a hotel they’ve seen on the review site. The exception to this is if it happens to be a hotel listed on one of TA’s own hotel booking sites, such as Expedia or hotel.com, where the company takes a booking fee. In those cases people can click through to book directly on TripAdvisor.
4,000 hotels amounts to about 0.8% of the 450,000 properties on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor’s Business Listing service met with mixed reviews when it launched so critics of the scheme may be encouraged to see that it has not been more widely adopted by hoteliers, despite TripAdvisor’s half-price Business Listing offer when it launched. The half price offer was initially offered until the end of 2009, with full prices due to come in on January 1st 2010, but this deadline was extended and continuing heavy discounts are available on the claimed “regular” price. At present a 30% discount is being offered, perhaps due to the disappointing uptake.
TripAdvisor recently unveiled a similar service to Business Listings aimed at tourist organisations. It has not revealed how many have taken up that offer.