What is TripConnect, and Why should my hotel use it

TripConnect is a Meta Search engine that appears prominently on the TripAdvisor website. In a nutshell, meta search works just like a search engine, but instead of searching just websites like Google or other search engines do, the TripConnect meta search engine searches hotel room prices, and lists them in a feed on their website.

The benefit of meta search engines is that they can provide users with information fast. People no longer want (or have time to) trawl through a variety of websites, entering in their room dates and requirements for each and every search, before returning to complete their booking. Instead they just want to enter their room dates and have a list of prices across the top booking portals.

And this is exactly what TripAdvisors TripConnect program does. It searches the prices of specific hotels, for specific dates, and shows the user the price to book, and a link to complete the booking direct on that source. So really the source with the best price will win the most bookings, as your typical traveller wants to find the best value deal.

TripConnect

Screenshot showing TripConnect in action

How can I get listed on TripCOnnect?

TripConnect only shows the results from sources that are signed up to the TripConnect platform. Signing up means your booking engine is able to communicate your deals and rates with the TripConnect engine, so for many hotels it may not be possible to do so; it would depend on the type of booking engine your website uses.

Your usual suspects are already “bidding” on your hotel on TripConnect, even if you aren’t aware of it. The likes of Booking.com and Trivago will already be appearing with room-rates and links to book on your hotels TripAdvisor page, because these OTAs are members of the TripCOnnect program. You can get listed as the Official Website only if your booking engine is compatible – and any quality booking engine should be so.

Getting listed on the site is simply a case of completing an application form, and waiting to hear back from TripAdvisor. A number of technical checks have to be completed at both ends, so expect lengthy delays during this process.

How much does it cost to use TripConnect?

Applying and joining the scheme itself, if accepted, is free, and the payment model works in a similar way to search engine PPC methods; for every time a user clicks on your sponsored ad, you have to pay a set amount, which is defined as your bid. Normally the higher your bid, the better your position in the results. It can average at at around £1 per click, so there can be quite a cost involved if you don’t manage the program effectively.

Should my hotel use TripConnect or not?

Nowadays hotel booking has become quite a complicated affair. There are lots of sources competiting for a direct booking, and hotel bookers are more than happy to shop around and visit many websites as part of their comparison shopping. Because the typical booker will visit upto 30 sites in their path to completing a purchase according to recent research, the emphasis from hotels must be on appearing on a variety of sources throughout the booking journey. This means having a presence in the search engines organically and in PPC ads, making use of social media networks to gain and maintain a presence, and then making use of meta search engines like TripAdvisor’s TripConnect. Only this way can you be sure that whenever the customer is loking to complete a booking, your website will be there ready to receive their direct booking.

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