Question for Our Revenue Management Expert Panel:

How will hotel revenue management be affected by the introduction of the new “TripAdvisor Plus” from TripAdvisor?

Industry Expert Panel

Our Industry Expert Panel exists out of professionals within the hospitality & travel Industry. They have comprehensive and detailed knowledge, experience in practice or management and are forward-thinking. They are answering questions about the state of the industry. They share their insights on topics like revenue management, marketing, operations, technology and discuss the latest trends.



Paulo Aragao
Paulo AragaoRevenue Management Professional

“TripAdviros Plus is one more possible shelf for the hotel, and under the premise that hotels know their customers, it is always positive to be available in the most varied channels. Especially in recent months with the pandemic, any low-cost, commercially sound strategy is a good one, and Trip Plus serves that purpose, I believe.
Nevertheless, there are few suggestions here: for hotels that unwaveringly practice rate parity, they must make sure there are incentives parity as well. Opaque rates with add-ons should match opaque rates in other channels, with the same add-ons.

RM teams also need to guarantee that the guests’ contact information is collected for marketing and data analysis purposes, which TripAdvisor vows to deliver. Revenue managers also need to monitor it closely, as it is a metasearch and main channel, for eventual price discrepancies.

The final keyword is measuring. Leaders should measure newly adopted channel production more frequently and attentively. Also, when that practice is combined with a closer relationship with the Marketing Manager, they will allow professionals to better understand the tool’s potential and give them the confidence to decide whether to continue or stop – and it’s okay to stop!”



Patrick Wimble
Patrick WimbleManaging Director, Lightbulb Consulting

“I don’t think this new feature will have much impact at all. TripAdvisor’s share of total OTA revenue in 2019 was approximately 4% (with booking.com, Expedia and C-Trip making up 87% revenue share of OTA’s). As it is a subscription service, hotels could offer special deals to this “closed user group” but, given that it will be a subset of an already small share of hotel OTA revenues, I can’t imagine it’s going to have a material impact.”



Theresa Prins
Theresa PrinsFounder, Revenue Resolutions

“TripAdvisor Plus, although advertised as a free product, still carries a cost to the hotel. We need to cover the costs of amenities and upgrades, plus GDS fees per booking. This might be better than high commission fees, but it’s important to not think of it as free. What will be interesting to see over time, is how other metasearch platforms will react to this approach, as it will steal customers away from them.”



Pablo Torres
Pablo TorresHotel Consultant, TSA Solutions

“It’s still early to know, but I don’t foresee a big impact. The concept is not new (Bidroom and the like have been doing it in the past): “pay me to cut the OTAs and I’ll get you a better deal”. The question is more about whether the final customer finds it appealing to pay Tripadvisor 99$/year to get those deals offered.

Personally, I believe most people trust they can end up finding those deals themselves, by using brand.com. There could be a market for this type of business, or it could be used by corporate accounts without negotiated rates. Besides those two segments, I doubt it will have a bigger impact.”



Edyta Walczak
Edyta WalczakCluster Revenue Manager, Arora Hotels

“The TripAdvisor Plus is a great incentive; we all sign up to lots of different “subscriptions” – from streaming services to coffee and even Tate Modern. Customers who are loyal to a particular brand, gaining points and rewards when booking directly, may be tempted to start using the Trip+ so it will be interesting to see how different brands respond.

I believe that some of the brand’s benefits may be reviewed and aligned with what Expedia will have to offer. On another hand, however, there are free memberships and subscriptions available through various OTA’s, which also include some great incentives for the guest. I hope that Trip+ will actually inspire people to travel more, as those who subscribe will aim to make the most of it, so ultimately all hotels could potentially benefit.”



Karin van Rhee
Karin van RheeLecturer, Hotel Management School Maastricht

“Many online booking channels have their own loyalty program and the fact that TripAdvisor is adding itself to this list is not surprising. After Booking.com and Expedia introduced their loyalty program with discounted rates, hotel companies reacted with their loyalty rates. So I believe most hotels, even independent hotels, are ready in the meantime with similar offers to fight that battle. It does emphasise once more the need for hotels to start measuring distribution cost and look at NetRevPar rather than concentrating on RevPar.”



Jutta Moore
Jutta MooreDirector, Moore Hotel Consulting

“Tripadvisor is requesting BAR minus 10 or 15% plus an amenity to the value of around US $ 20. Most of the saving is passed on to the guest. You own the customer, as the booking is made direct and you don’t pay any commission. The higher the discount, the better the ranking. Hotels in a coveted spot receive 20% more clicks to their property page.

Before participating, hotels need to work out how this fits into their pricing strategy. In my opinion, it’s better suited to upscale hotels due to the amenity inclusion. Remember, whilst you own the guest data and may get great exposure with the higher discounts, you are supporting Tripadvisor’s loyalty programme, not your own.”



Silvia Cantarella
Silvia CantarellaRevenue Management Consultant, Revenue Acrobats

“Subscription models are growing, but their implementation for independent hotels is extremely hard. Tripadvisor Plus can be a powerful tool for independent hotels to get exposure and conversion from a potential high-valued customer base and get a competitive advantage. As for all intermediated channels, even if there is no “commission”, there is still a cost involved relating to connectivity and the % off the BAR rate (plus the frills that hotels agree to include in the program).

From a revenue management standpoint, hotels must consider the usual opportunity Vs risks scenario which is valid for any commercial activity. The questions are always… how much incremental revenue it is going to bring me? Is it real incremental revenue or just a shift of demand from one channel to the other? If the opportunity is there, then it is in the hands of the revenue manager to get the most out of the situation; at first attract and covert, then engage and retain.

I don’t see Tripadvisor Plus being any different from the way hotels manage consortia agreements, but I see the opportunity for visibility and competitiveness and yet another tool to grow online exposure.” 



Massimiliano Terzulli
Massimiliano TerzulliRevenue Managent Consultant, Franco Grasso Revenue Team

“The concept of TripAdvisor Plus (offering subscribers a discount and other benefits, which do not affect the integrity of public rates) is certainly not a novelty in online distribution, seeing as this is done by OTAs and other wholesalers. It is certainly an initiative aimed at reviving the TripAdvisor brand following years of decline and losses, exacerbated by the pandemic.

As far as I can see, there are no contraindications to this initiative, as there are no fixed costs and commissions, and the only required “cost” is the granting of a discount (however opaque) and other benefits, so there is no harm in trying. And this is the best time to experiment.

It is much too early to say what sort of impact it will have on performance, both because demand has not yet returned to normal levels, and because there are still some selective criteria for hotels to be eligible for the program.

But in general, like all experiments, results must be measured after a certain period of time, and it will be important to take stock of not only the conversion rate and how much it has yielded in terms of direct production, but also how much it may have subtracted from other channels, and then make a final overall assessment.”