TripAdvisor has recently launched a new service called TripAdvisor Plus, which operates on a subscription model, allowing customers to pay an annual membership fee in return for various member-only benefits, such as discounts on hotel rooms and exclusive perks. Additionally, the service now allows direct participation from hotels too. In this article, you will learn more about the service and the specific advantages for hotels that get involved.

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What is TripAdvisor Plus?

TripAdvisor Plus is a subscription service offered by TripAdvisor, which allows members to pay an annual subscription fee to gain access to exclusive discount prices on hotels and various other special offers as free gifts or extras upon arrival. The service is aimed at frequent travellers who make regular use of TripAdvisor.

Aside from providing members with exclusive discounts, TripAdvisor Plus also allows direct participation from hotels. Those who take part can do so with no upfront fees, while TripAdvisor does not take a commission on any bookings. Additionally, participating hotels can boost their visibility across the TripAdvisor platform.

How Can Hotels Benefit from TripAdvisor Plus?

TripAdvisor Plus can be attractive for those in the hotel industry because it can increase the demand for hotel rooms. Going further allows hotels to boost their chances of attracting the type of customers who are most likely to subscribe to the service: high-value customers, who travel frequently.

Like other areas of the wider travel industry, the hotel industry suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions on travel serving to reduce the number of hotel bookings made greatly. As the industry bounces back from the pandemic, services like TripAdvisor Plus can play a key role in offering incentives to travellers.

How Does TripAdvisor Plus Work?

The basic model for TripAdvisor Plus is as follows. Hotels that agree to participate can benefit from improved visibility across the platform, as well as TripAdvisor Plus designation. This helps the hotels to stand out from rival accommodation options on the platform, potentially increasing demand. There are no upfront fees or commission fees for hotels, with these savings allowing them to offer exclusive discounts to TripAdvisor Plus subscribers.

This is all made possible because the service for travellers operates on a paid membership model, with customers paying an annual subscription fee, to access the benefits. Only TripAdvisor Plus subscribers can see and benefit from the discount prices made available by hotels through the service.

Once a booking is made, TripAdvisor takes on responsibility for customer service. Still, hotels are able to gain access to the customer data in full from each reservation made through the service. The only financial commitment from hotels is that they must commit to offering discounted rates to TripAdvisor Plus customers.

What Are the Advantages for Hotels?

In truth, the TripAdvisor Plus programme is relatively risk-free for hotels, as there are no upfront costs to contend with and hotels are not locked into any agreements over the long term. Nevertheless, as with any third-party offering, it is important to fully understand precisely what is on offer and how the service can be advantageous.

1. Pass on Discounts to Guests and Improve Satisfaction

For those involved with hotel management, perhaps the single most significant advantage of participating in the TripAdvisor Plus programme is related to how the model operates. Hotels are not required to pay any upfront costs, and TripAdvisor does not take a commission fee on bookings made using the service.

This means hotels can benefit from the exposure the platform offers, much like with an online travel agent. However, while OTAs may take a commission fee of as much as 30 percent on a booking, TripAdvisor Plus the hotels keep more of the money. This allows them to pass some of these savings on to their customers, resulting in lower prices for TripAdvisor Plus subscribers, which, in turn, can boost demand and improve customer satisfaction.

2. Greater Visibility Across the TripAdvisor Platform

In addition to boosting demand through the ability to offer discount pricing to TripAdvisor Plus subscribers, hotels that participate in the programme directly can boost visibility across the platform. This occurs through higher placement on search results pages, and this boost increases as hotels offer greater value to customers.

Moreover, participating hotels will also have a TripAdvisor Plus logo next to their listings, helping them to stand out from hotels that do not participate. All-in-all, this can help to boost demand significantly. In fact, according to TripAdvisor, hotels with the TripAdvisor Plus designation attract 20 percent more clicks to their property page.

3. Access to the Data of Customers Who Make Bookings

Third-party platforms are helpful for hotels that need to sell rooms, because they make it significantly easier for customers to find a hotel and make a reservation. However, aside from commission fees that are often associated, one of the big negatives for hotels is the lack of access to customer data, which is typically retained by the third-party platform. This then makes it difficult or impossible to build long-term relationships with those customers.

With TripAdvisor Plus, however, hotels can benefit from the third-party exposure, but they are also given full access to the customer data. This means the data can stay in the hotel’s CRM system and can be used to allow for future direct marketing, improving the chances of attracting repeat or even frequent business from guests.

4. Reach Out to High-Value, Frequent Travellers

The TripAdvisor Plus platform offers discounts to travellers, but the annual subscription means this only works out as valuable to frequent travellers who regularly use the service. With this in mind, hotels should try to think of TripAdvisor Plus as a service that predominantly appeals to high-value, frequent travellers.

From there, the value of participating in the TripAdvisor Plus programme becomes more apparent. Frequent travellers are considered high-value travellers, because they offer the potential for repeat custom. These customers may also be more likely to take advantage of other hotel offerings too, such as business facilities and restaurant meals.

5. Flexibility to Opt-In and Opt-Out of Discount Pricing

Finally, one of the significant benefits of the TripAdvisor Plus service, compared to similar options on the market, is the amount of freedom involved. Although hotels that take part are required to offer discount pricing to TripAdvisor Plus customers, this is entirely flexible, rather than a long-term requirement.

In simple terms, this means that hotels can opt in and out of this discounting model at will. This is especially valuable to hotels with a robust revenue management strategy in place because it means they can use discount pricing to drum up extra demand, but opt out in the periods where demand is highest to maximise revenue.

Video: TripAdvisor Plus Pros & Cons

When TripAdvisor launches TripAdvisor Plus, a subscription-based service, it will be in March 2021. To assist you to determine how to work with Tripadvisor Plus, this video gives an overview of the program and a list of advantages and downsides.


Increase Hotel Bookings Through Google Hotel Ads

For hotel owners, increasing the number of bookings generated is a primary objective, and third-party platforms can play a crucial role. In particular, the Google Hotel Ads platform can significantly enhance online visibility, making it more likely that a customer will come into contact with your hotel.

Check out “Google Hotel Ads: How Hotels Can Increase Bookings Through Google” if you would like to learn more about the Google Hotel Ads platform, how it works, how it differs from online travel agencies, and some of the specific benefits it can offer hotels looking to increase traffic and attract more bookings.

Grow Your Hotel Bookings With Hotel Metasearch Engines

A key priority for any hotel is to grow hotel bookings, and metasearch engines represent a valuable tool for achieving this. Many hotel customers use these platforms to carry out price comparisons before making a reservation, so it makes sense to try to enhance your hotel’s visibility on these platforms.

Take a look at the “List of Hotel Metasearch Engines to Grow Your Hotel Bookings” article, where you will be able to learn more about how hotel metasearch engines work, access a list of some of the best metasearch engines for growing bookings, find out how to connect to these engines, and understand some of the ways to promote your hotel.

The new TripAdvisor Plus subscription service is aimed at frequent travellers, providing them with access to discount pricing and other exclusive perks. Yet, the ability for hotels to directly participate in the programme, without being subjected to hefty commission fees, also represents an exciting opportunity to attract these high-value customers.

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