If you were going on a trip, trying a new restaurant, or staying at a hotel for work, wouldn’t it be great if you could go to one location to get reviews and photos? Well you can. It’s called TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor is a website and app geared towards travel. The website and app provides directory information and reviews. Another great feature within TripAdvisor are the interactive travel forums. TripAdvisor enables travelers to plan the perfect trip. The website and app offers advice from real world travelers and TripAdvisor makes it easy to book with links to booking tools.
Henry Harteveldt of Forrester said it best, “TripAdvisor is to travel reviews what Kleenex is to tissues.” Stephen Kaufer, co-founder of TripAdvisor, wanted to build a big database of travel information. And that’s what he did when TripAdvisor was founded in 2000 with the idea of big data meets travel (Bussgang, 2012).
To the consumer, TripAdvisor is free. It costs nothing for someone to write or read a review. Currently, TripAdvisor branded sites operating in 39 countries account for the largest travel community. On a monthly basis, 260 million unique visitors visit the site along with more than 150 million reviews. This accounts for more than 4 million accommodations, attractions, and restaurants that are being reviewed.
Big data meets travel means analytics. TripAdvisor has analytics that provides hotel owners the ability to keep tabs on what is happening with their competition. The analytics dashboard shows hotel owners a list of competitors’ properties most viewed by consumers who accessed the property’s TripAdvisor page. Brilliant, right? Yes indeed. Who wouldn’t want to know what is going on with their competition? The analytics provide the number of reviews, popularity ranking, summary of reviews and comments, photos, and what country is bringing the highest number of visits to the property’s TripAdvisor page. This is information that the travel and tourism industry is normally begging for and now it can be accessed all through TripAdvisor.
The best thing about having a hotel on TripAdvisor? Easy booking links located directly next to the hotel listing. The consumer has options for booking or they can link directly to the hotel website and book directly through them.
TripAdvisor has continued to be successful because word of the mouth reviews are worth more than gold. People would rather see other travelers photos and hear what they liked or disliked than see professional photography or read what’s on the hotel website provided by a public relations firm that knows how to spin words.
Bussgang, J. (2012, August 16). Seeing Both Sides: Scaling is Hard, Case Study: TripAdvisor. Seeing Both Sides. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from http://bostonvcblog.typepad.com/vc/2012/08/tripadvisor-is-to-travel-reviews-what-kleenex-is-to-tissues-henry-harteveldt-forrester-tripadvisor-may-be-o.html