I'm quite sure you've already heard of TripAdvisor. Haven't you? It's the largest travel community in the world. Let's have a look at this company and see how you can improve the popularity of your business (hotel/restaurant/attraction) via the site.
TripAdvisor.com is a US-based travel guide website allowing customers to gather travel information, post opinions of travel related issues and engage in interactive travel forums. The website services are free to users who provide most of the content, the website relying on an advertising business model.
The site only provides information. For example, visitors cannot book a hotel room. However, they can directly check rates and availability with partners such as booking.com and ctrip.com.
TripAdvisor.com is part of the TripAdvisor Media Network. The group operates many popular travel brands including TripAdvisor, Virtual Tourist and Cruise Critic. TripAdvisor runs websites internationally, including in North-America, Europe, and Asia.
Founded in 2000, TripAdvisor was purchased by InterActive Corporation in 2004. IAC spun off its travel group of businesses under the Expedia, Inc. name in 2005. In 2009, TripAdvisor purchased Kuxun.cn, China’s second-largest consumer travel site and hotel and flight search engine.
How does TripAdvisor popularity index work?
TripAdvisor popularity index incorporates traveler ratings to determine traveler satisfaction. Calculated by an algorithm, it dynamically ranks hotels worldwide based on the popularity of a given hotel, as measured by both the quantity and quality of content written about the hotel on TripAdvisor and across the Web.
TripAdvisor doesn't simply rank a hotel by price or hotel class, the popularity index reflects what travelers like. Great emphasis is placed on the most recent information. According to TripAdvisor, their popularity index is:
- Pure (completely organic), meaning that no paid results influence rankings. It's actually like SEO process which improves visibility of a website in search engines via natural (unpaid) search results.
- Fresh: the index constantly incorporates new information.
- Global since it reflects reviews from around the world.
- Unbiased as there are good and bad reviews.
How to improve the popularity of your business?
If you own an hotel, a restaurant or an attraction, a good way to improve your popularity is to manage your property listing on TripAdvisor. You'll first need to register but you'll be able then to access and manage all the information about your business.
Hoteliers, restaurateurs and other travel businesses can go to the owners' center which contains resources and promotional tools, such as badges and widgets. You can then instantly publish TripAdvisor reviews on your own website. Here are all TripAdvisor resources available.
3 samples of TripAdvisor widgets
Being registered as an owner enables you to write a management response to each review concerning your property whatever positive or negative it is. You can report a review if you think it doesn't meet TripAdvisor's review guidelines. A team of moderators will examine questionable reviews. Although keep in mind that TripAdvisor won't remove a review simply because it receives a complaint.
Don't post any review on your property or don't ask any other person to do it for you. TripAdvisor has a very good fraud detection system which can result in a fall of your property in the popularity index. Moreover, it's illegal to post fake consumer reviews notably in the US and EU and can lead to large penalties.
You can also ask TripAdvisor for reciprocal links. Only official destination marketing organizations can participate in the 'Spotlight Destination Program'. In exchange for a homepage link, participants receive a promotional placement on the TripAdvisor homepage. The feature is free of charge for approved organizations.
Finally, you can advertise on TripAdvisor. With 7 million members and 25 millions unique visitors every month, there is a huge travel oriented audience to reach. You can find more information on their website or contact a TripAdvisor sales representative.
Do you have any other advice to improve the popularity and visibility of your business on TripAdvisor?
Chinese online travel booking services provider eLong has officially launched its mobile reservation service.
eLong expands mobile
Founded in 1999, eLong is a leading provider of online travel booking services allowing consumers to make hotel and flight reservations as well as access other services including destination guides. It is owned by US online travel reservation website Expedia.com.
Users can now go to eLong's mobile website (m.elong.com) from their cellphone and book hotels and tickets. It only takes a few minutes to make a mobile reservation.
eLong's mobile website has been put into trial operation since December 2009 and now is formally launched.
Chinese online travel market is booming
China's online tourism market is booming due to increases in the wealthy middle class travelling for pleasure, use of credit cards and Chinese Internet population.
Chinese online travel market is led by a few actors including Qunar.com, Ctrip.Com, Aijiatu.com and eLong.com. Taobao also recently entered China's online travel market.
According to Chinese Internet research and consulting firm iResearch, revenue from online flight, hotel and package tour bookings will hit 4.75 billion yuan (695.8 million US dollars) in China in 2010 (up 27 percent from last year).