What is TripConnect?
Launched in 2013, TripConnect enabled hotels to advertise on TripAdvisor’s hotel booking website and funnel traffic directly to their websites. To begin with, it offered a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) model. While this model still exists, it was quickly followed up in 2014 with the addition of ‘instant booking’; a “pay for stays” model where commission is only paid when a guest directed from TripAdvisor actually completes their stay with your hotel.
It’s a win-win; you get more bookings, and your guests enjoy a seamless booking experience without ever leaving the TripAdvisor platform. Other popular benefits are:
- No upfront costs. Instant Booking requires no initial investment and no long-term commitment.
- Flexible commission rate structure. You can choose between a 12% and 15% commission rate, which influences how often your hotel appears in search results. It’s pay to play, but you only pay when you win.
- Global reach. Whether guests are booking through desktop, tablet or mobile, in English, French, Spanish (and 22 other languages), in US dollars, Great British pounds, or euros, Instant Booking has it covered.
Perhaps best of all, all guest details are sent directly to your PMS or CRS, allowing you to engage with them before, during and after their stay. You continue to own the guest relationship.
Lastly, if you’re already a SiteMinder customer, integrating with TripConnect Instant Booking is a breeze. SiteMinder’s channel manager ensures real-time updates of your rates and inventory on TripConnect – and over 450 other OTAs.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about TripConnect and whether it’s right for your hotel.
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History and development of TripConnect
TripAdvisor launched into the market in 2000.
Fast forward through 23 years of rapid growth, and the self-proclaimed world’s largest travel website, is now home to more than 200 million reviews from travellers around the world. More than 90 new contributions are posted every minute, and the TripAdvisor app has been downloaded 100 million times to date.
The TripAdvisor story is one of impressive scale and its success is the result of a commitment to continuously evolve its website features – both for travellers researching their next hotel stay, and business owners wanting to promote their property.
Its latest offering, TripConnect instant booking, is aimed at hoteliers looking for another way to promote hotel rooms online.
TripConnect frequently asked questions
Here are 11 common questions and answers about TripConnect:
1. How does TripConnect instant booking work?
TripAdvisor works with your connectivity partner to display your rates, alongside a ‘Book on TripAdvisor’ button on your property page. Travellers click the button to seamlessly complete their bookings on the site.
The booking process is fully optimised for desktop, tablet and mobile platforms in 25 languages and many global currencies. Once the reservation is complete, the booking details are passed to you via your connectivity partner.
2. Is TripConnect instant booking considered an OTA or a direct booking engine?
The answer is neither! It’s quite unique and so it’s somewhere in between.
TripAdvisor says it’s a new model and describes it as “an assisted booking”, sending the reservation directly to your property management system (PMS) or central reservation system (CRS), but charging you a commission.
3. Where do these features appear on my TripAdvisor listing?
Both CPC and instant booking allow your property’s rates and availability to appear in the hotel price comparison area of your TripAdvisor listing.
4. Why does my guest book on TripAdvisor and not my website?
TripAdvisor is aiming for consistency here and says it’s putting the user experience first.
Historically, some hotel websites haven’t looked great or been optimised for mobile causing some users to drop out of the booking process, due to inconsistency, or security concerns about website familiarity.
As a result, hotels haven’t wanted to pay as much to third party websites because guests were not converting as often.
TripAdvisor believes that by creating a ‘stay within the TripAdvisor experience’, travellers are more likely to convert there and then.
The travel website wants to make sure that the user experience is as good as it can be. Keep in mind that reservations made on TripAdvisor are still delivered entirely to you, even if a guest doesn’t actually visit your website.
5. How does SiteMinder work with TripConnect instant booking?
TripConnect instant booking is one of the 450+ distribution channels integrated with SiteMinder’s channel manager.
Hotel customers of SiteMinder who sign up for instant booking benefit from maintaining full control of their rates and inventory, which are pushed out to the TripAdvisor site in real-time through the channel manager.
Bookings made on TripAdvisor are then delivered back to the hotel’s PMS or CRS through SiteMinder’s Channel Manager, to enable easy tracking, measurement and reporting for users.
To further support you, SiteMinder has implemented a complete self-signup process so you can immediately map rooms to TripAdvisor and start attracting bookings within 24 hours.
6. How much commission does TripAdvisor take?
There is a commission rate of either 12% or 15% – and you select which one. The rate you select affects how often the ‘Book with TripAdvisor’ button appears for users in search results.
Select the 15% commission and the button will appear in 50% of search results for your hotel. For a 12% commission the button will appear in 25% of search results for your hotel.
However, instant booking is a ‘pay for stay’ model—there is no upfront investment, and you only pay when a guest completes a reservation.
7. Do I need to pay for a TripAdvisor business listing?
When TripAdvisor launched TripConnect CPC, hotels were required to pay for a business listing in order to use this feature. This is no longer the case and so there is no requirement for you to have a business listing.
8. Will I own the relationship with my guest?
You sure will. Any reservation through TripConnect instant booking is delivered directly to your PMS or CRS and you hold the record for the sale.
You’ll get all the contact information allowing you to not only get in touch with your guest pre-arrival, but also market and up-sell additional products before they check-in.
9. How can I check my hotel’s eligibility for TripConnect?
You can check your eligibility for TripConnect by visiting the dedicated page on the TripAdvisor website. Start by logging in and then following the prompts.
10. Is booking through TripAdvisor safe?
Booking through TripAdvisor is safe for both guests and hoteliers. TripAdvisor has robust encryption methods and guest profile verification to avoid unnecessary booking issues for hotel managers, while the user-friendly interface and an extensive hotel review system makes it trustworthy for guests as well.
11. How do you become a TripAdvisor partner?
Interested in partnering with TripAdvisor? It’s a straightforward process. Just check your eligibility on their partnerships page and apply. The eligibility criteria are:
- An acceptance Rate of 75% or higher;
- At least 3 bookings in the last two years rolling;
- Listed on the free-to-list plan; and,
- A cancellation Rate of 20% or lower.
Upon approval, you’ll be able to use features that enhance your hotel’s online presence, engage with guests, and integrate with existing systems like SiteMinder.
Integrate with TripConnect using the software platform that provides unrivalled performance
Navigating the complexities of online hotel booking can be a daunting task, but with SiteMinder’s integration with TripConnect, you’re not sailing those waters alone. Partnering with SiteMinder offers a host of benefits designed to streamline your operations, maximise revenue, and enhance guest engagement.
Here are just some of the ways that SiteMinder can help you master TripAdvisor’s TripConnect and over 450 other OTAs:
- Seamless booking integration: Bookings made via TripConnect are directly sent to your SiteMinder platform, simplifying tracking, updating and analysing listing performance..
- Enhanced guest engagement: SiteMinder allows you to receive all guest details directly, enabling personalised interactions before, during, and after their stay.
- Robust analytics and reporting: SiteMinder provides detailed insights into booking trends, guest behaviour, and channel performance, empowering you to make data-driven decisions.
Get started with SiteMinder for free or watch a demo to learn more.