Independent hotels- get ready for a new change as TripAdvisor is launching a mobile app that will help travelers make bookings on mobile through metasearch tool. Until now the booking feature worked for desktop browsers, but now TripAdvisor’s TripConnect metasearch auction bidding tool is being designed for independent hotels and B&Bs. This new feature will enable more than 65,000 hotels and B&B providers to participate in a hotel price comparison or metasearch on TripAdvisor. Hotels that are already integrated with TripConnect can add this feature to their mobile option and compete with big brands.
TripAdvisor recently added the “Instant Booking” mobile optimized booking form to the mobile app and mobile web interface and allowed the users to complete the booking without deviating from TripAdvisor’s familiar user experience (UX).
Joost Schreve, VP of mobile at TripAdvisor, says “The uniform TripAdvisor branding increases consumer confidence to book as it’s difficult to type on a mobile device. So the simplified UX adopts best practices for mobile, making it easier for users. It will take time to build the connectivity.”
Cost and Functionality
The cost structure per booking commission will not change with the mobile. The rates fixed by the hotelier’s remains same and will continue to be the same even if the number of bookings increases. Hoteliers will receive the bookings through API (Advanced Programming Interface) and all the customer related information will be directly passed to the hotel. So if customers click on the advance purchase rate option, the hotel can immediately collect the deposit. Independent hotels will be able to leverage “Instant Booking” through TripConnect globally.
Schreve further says, “In the beginning, Instant Booking will only appear to US-based mobile users of TripAdvisor’s app and mobile website. But eventually many countries will receive their own mobile user experience, adapted for local currency and language. It’s still early days for testing the new uniform Instant Booking user experience for mobile, but results are good and encouraging.”
This is definitely good news for independent hotels, especially small and mid-sized hotels, as they will be able to compete with big brands without paying any extra penny. TripAdvisor has about 10-15 engineers working on TripConnect and four business development specialists working full-time on business relationships with connectivity partners. So hoteliers can now expect an increase in direct bookings via TripAdvisor.
Do you think this new advancement by TripAdvisor will bring in a revolutionary change in the hotel industry? Can mobiles turn out to be a great tool for instant bookings? Share your thoughts with us.