Tripadvisor trials subscriber model

SINGAPORE, 9 March 2021: Tripadvisor announced Monday a new paid membership programme for travellers branded Tripadvisor Plus that allows hotels and B&B to post deals with zero commissions and no up-front fees.

Following a trial run in the US, the Tripadvisor Plus rollout in the Asia Pacific region will begin in stages later in the year.

Travellers will pay an annual fee of USD99 to join Tripadvisor Plus that unlocks insider savings, personal service, benefits and perks (such as a free bottle of wine upon check-in, room upgrades when available or spa credits).  The deals badged ‘Tripadvisor Plus’ are visible to all Tripadvisor browsers, but only Tripadvisor plus subscribers can book them. Hotels continue post rates for both Tripadvisor browsers and Tripadvisor Plus subscribers.

According to Tripadvisor’s sale pitch, hotels and B&Bs can expand their visibility and reach “a ready-to-book, high spend traveller audience by participating directly in 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.

The programme is free for hotels to join, with no upfront costs and zero commission rates, which could save up to 30% per booking on commission fees while significantly reducing third party costs.

Tripadvisor is counting on them passing on some of those savings to guests via discounts and perks.

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.

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

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

A beta version of Tripadvisor Plus launched in December 2020 to a small slice of Tripadvisor’s traffic in the US and will soon become available to all US travellers with additional markets to follow later. 

(Source: Tripadvisor)