A quick summary - Nearly all hotels are listed on TripAdvisor, this means that many first time visitors to a hotel are likely to view the hotel on TripAdvisor before they get near the hotel website. To capitalise on this TripAdvisor allow hotels to pay for a Business Listing (a fixed monthly fee). This allows hotels to add contact details such as Website Address, E mail Address and Phone Number, and then Maintain Special Offers or Press Releases (known as Announcements on TripAdvisor).
However many hotels will have noticed that on their TripAdvisor Business listing live rates and availability are displayed.......... from the OTA's. TripConnect, released in October 2013, allows hotels to display rates FROM THEIR OWN BOOKING ENGINE (providing the Booking Engine is certified by TripAdvisor.........as AccuBook is). The hotel pays for this privilege in a cost Per Click manner, the same way as Google Adwords. So just to recap, if a hotel wants to go down this route they have to first of all pay for a Business Listing and then be prepared to pay for clicks through to their website via TripConnect.
So does it work?
TripConnect was only released in October, so it is far to early to say, but of the customers we have had trialling the system the return on Investment appears to be around 4 to 1. ie for every 1€ spent on TripConnect it will sell 4€ of rooms. For most people this is too low, and is certainly less than Google Adwords. However we would ask hotels to keep an open mind, making a judgement now is like making a judgement on Adwords back in 2003 when it was just released. Its simply too early.
The trials AccuBook have run were in winter (Adwords ROI is also quite low in winter), the public are not yet used to seeing hotels own rates on TripAdvisor, and Analytics cannot really record customers who might be attracted by the rates they seen on TripAdvisor and ring or e mail the hotel direct.
We will report back on TripConnect when we know more.