Tripadvisor enables hotels to participate directly in travel membership program

Tripadvisor has launched Tripadvisor Plus, a new membership program for travelers that allows hotels and B&Bs to expand their visibility and reach to a ready-to-book, high-spend traveler audience for the first time, the OTA reports.

Tripadvisor Plus hotels receive special badging and increased visibility on the Tripadvisor platform, helping them to stand out from the competition and increase bookings at a lower cost than traditional channels—providing a  cost-saving to hotels as the hospitality industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is free for hotels to join, with no upfront costs and zero commission rates.

For travelers, Tripadvisor Plus offers the ability to up-level their travel by unlocking insider savings, personal service, benefits and perks (such as a free bottle of wine upon check-in, room upgrades when available or spa credits) for an annual membership fee of $99.

How it works
Rather than spend as much as 30% per booking on commission fees, hotels can now reduce their third-party costs and pass on some of those savings to their guests via discounts and perks, increasing room demand and enhancing the guest experience at the same time, the company reports.

By offering these savings and perks to Tripadvisor Plus subscribers, hotels increase their visibility on the travel platform, among both subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Tripadvisor Plus accommodations receive special badging and enhanced placement within the Best Value sort order reflective of the strength of their offering to travelers.

Discounted room rates available via Tripadvisor Plus can only be viewed by Tripadvisor members and can only be booked by Tripadvisor Plus subscribers, ensuring those rates are not widely available on the open internet, thereby preserving a hotel’s rate integrity.

Furthermore, by participating directly in the program, Tripadvisor Plus hotels get full access to all of the customer information from each reservation.

“Tripadvisor Plus is a game-changer for both travelers and hoteliers,” said Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer, Tripadvisor. “Travelers get to enjoy a memorable experience thanks to special perks and discounts—and hotels have a brand new way to attract valuable guests while avoiding hefty third-party commissions.”

While travel restrictions remain in place in many countries, the speed of national vaccination programs has raised the prospect of a sustained recovery in travel demand, potentially as early as this summer—and for hotels that means taking action now to capture this demand.

Tripadvisor Plus offers a new channel through which to do just that, unlocking a host of benefits that help hotels attract ready-to-book guests:

  • More visibility, more demand: Participating hotels get extra visibility (higher placement in the Best Value sort order as well as special badging) on Tripadvisor, whether a traveler books through Tripadvisor Plus or not
  • Lower spend, more bookings: Tripadvisor Plus is free to join and operates as a less expensive pay-for-performance demand channel than traditional online channels
  • Total flexibility: With no annual commitments and no last-room availability requirements, participating hotels can opt-in and out of discounting at any time as occupancy levels change
  • Stronger customer relationships: Hotels can market directly to guests after their stay
  • More engaged travelers: Tripadvisor Plus reaches a highly valuable customer segment. On average, Tripadvisor Plus subscribers spend more and stay longer than non-subscribers
  • Better guest experience: Tripadvisor Plus enables hotels to pass some of their third-party cost savings to their guests, increasing guest satisfaction and customer loyalty

Tripadvisor Plus launched in beta in December to a small slice of Tripadvisor’s traffic in the U.S. and will soon become available to all U.S. travelers with additional markets to follow later.

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