TripAdvisor was the original travel recommendation and trip-planning platform. With millions of daily users contributing genuine reviews, it has always been a trusted source for travelers to find the right accommodations or activities that can make a vacation that much more memorable. What’s different about TripAdvisor now? TripAdvisor’s site has been redesigned for a more social and shareable experience- think Instagram but with actual honest reviews and the ability to book reservations within one site.
Read on to learn more about TripAdvisor’s new features, why you should be following your favorite travel influencers on TripAdvisor, why hotel brands and properties will want to partner with TripAdvisor influencers, and how to get started if you are new to the platform!
TripAdvisor’s Site Redesign
Most notable among all the new changes is the ability to follow TripAdvisor profiles, including those of individuals such as influencers and friends, as well as brands, publishers, and media networks. This all-encompassing recommendation experience now allows users to learn about highly-rated options from all of their favorite sources at once. According to TripAdvisor’s official accouncement, “Members planning a trip to Paris may see a food critic's article on the best restaurant in the city, an influencer's travel guide of ‘must-do's,’ and a friend's review of a new hotel near the Eiffel Tower.”
Another useful new feature is for users to upload their own articles and link directly to their recommendations on TripAdvisor. For example, if a travel blogger wrote an article about “10 Cafés You Can’t Miss When Visiting Milan”, she could share a link to the article on TripAdvisor and “tag” each of the café’s TripAdvisor business listings directly to the post. Users can also save trips to their TripAdvisor profiles, and choose to make them public or private. These can be a user’s recommendations from past trips, or a wish list of places she would like to go when someday visiting the destination. In addition to posting reviews which have always been a fundamental part of the platform since its beginning, users can now post photos and videos without writing a review. All the travel content anyone could need is now in one place. Another fun feature that is new to Trip Advisor but disappeared from Instagram some time ago is the travel map, a visual representation of all the places across the globe a user has reviewed, as well as a running count of the total miles traveled and a percentage of how much of the world she has seen.
Why Travelers should be following their favorite Influencers on TripAdvisor
I think we’ve all learned the hard way at least once that just because a place is “Instagrammable” doesn’t mean it will be an enjoyable experience. Because TripAdvisor reviews value helpfulness and honesty over visual inspiration and aesthetics, the content in your feed will be able to describe if a dish was good enough to order again, what about a hotel stay exceeded expectations, or what a traveler wished they knew before booking that day tour.
An image shows you how beautiful a place is, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the service. An image can show you how photogenic a dish is, but doesn’t tell you how it tastes.
If not for the wealth of helpful information and insider tips, one of my favorite reasons for using TripAdvisor is the convenience of its in-platform booking capability. Once you’ve done the research and are ready to turn your inspiration into a confirmation code, TripAdvisor’s booking capabilities not only make it easy, but also offer price comparison. For the same hotels, flights, and now cruises, TripAdvisor shows you the best prices across many booking sites including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, etc. For day tours and other activities, users can book directly within TripAdvisor.
When creating your own trips or saving another user’s set of recommendations, the bookmarking tool is well integrated into your browser’s maps so you can easily navigate to any of the destinations. The map view of the trip can also help you visualize and plan your travels based on what is around you and other points of interest you’ve already marked.
Why Brands will want to partner with TripAdvisor Influencers
Long before Instagram influencers were a thing, businesses across the globe valued their appearance on TripAdvisor, as a 5-star review can contribute to a brand’s lasting reputation and ensure that travelers keep coming. Still today, many businesses would likely value a 5-star review on TripAdvisor over an influencer’s post on an Instagram account. Though Instagram posts are a competitive space for advertisers to be in, the content doesn’t necessarily provide an impact as lasting as a review that can contribute to an overall-score. Instagram doesn’t readily show an audience how many users tagged a place in their photos, whereas TripAdvisor prominently displays a review score and a review count on each business’s profile. Knowing how valuable the platform can be to a business, the new TripAdvisor redesign means businesses can now approach individuals or profiles with large audiences and propose collaborations.
Not only are a business’s reviews on TripAdvisor lasting, the ease of navigating the platform means a recommendation by a profile with a large audience can directly lead to more bookings, more reservations, and more visits. Readers have more tools at the ready to be able to act on those impulses inspired by a profile’s contents. Especially in the travel industry, Instagram advertisements need to focus on remaining at the top of the viewer’s mind at the right time through inspiring and memorable content. For TripAdvisor, readers researching a destination are likely further along within the sales funnel, and helpful information is important when closer to booking.
In my experience, some influencer collaborations between hotel properties, brands, and restaurants will oftentimes require a TripAdvisor review, but if they don’t, it’s always a thoughtful way to thank a property once you’ve completed all other requested deliverables. Additionally, if you as an influencer are negotiating a stay at a property, you can add value or even raise your compensation rates if you have a following on TripAdvisor.
How to get started if you are new to TripAdvisor
Leave reviews and be descriptive!
Engage with other users by leaving a thumbs-up on reviews you’ve found helpful.
Upload links to your blog articles and add mentioned listings to the post.
Follow the profiles of your favorite travel publications, brands, and influencers.