Travellers can now book directly with hotels, thanks to a new feature from TripAdvisor.
The Needham-based company has announced a new booking feature that will give travellers a prominent link to book directly with properties – adding to the website’s ‘Sponsored Placements’ product.
Launched last year, Sponsored Placements gives ads top billing by placing them above search results, on competitors’ listings, and on other “high-profile” shopping listings on the website, according to TripAdvisor.
The direct booking feature marks the latest push into paid advertising by the world’s largest travel platform, following the website’s move to create destination partnerships, in July; and its rollout of Sponsored Placements to businesses worldwide, in March.
“We hear frequently from hoteliers they need help solving their biggest booking challenges without breaking the bank,” Martin Verdon-Roe, vice president, B2B Hotels, TripAdvisor, said.
“We have launched this new direct booking tool based on feedback from owners, and it’s one of a number of things over the next several months we plan to offer hoteliers to better meet their needs.”
In addition, the move also allows businesses to avoid “costly” commissions associated with online travel agencies (OTAs), TripAdvisor claims.
Towards the end of last year, Tripadvisor revamped its site, inviting travellers to create curated feeds and follow influencers and companies to personalise their travel experience.
At the time, TripAdvisor denied brand and influencer involvement will lead to paid placements with the site.
“Right now, we are focused on making the experience the best it can be for travellers, businesses and influencers,” a TripAdvisor spokesperson told Travel Weekly.
“We don’t allow or accept reviews that have been paid for and will remove any review found to be in breach of this policy.”
TripAdvisor has been contacted for comment.