Tripadvisor Plus: the subscription program that promises to increase direct hotel sales. What is it and how can you get the most out of it?

Since its official launch in March 2021, Tripadvisor Plus has generated a lot of interest and discussion in the hotel industry.

Once again a pioneer, Roiback is one of the first partners worldwide to have direct connectivity with Tripadvisor Plus.

Today we explain how Tripadvisor Plus works, and the benefits and implications it has for the hotel.

What is Tripadvisor Plus?

Tripadvisor Plus is a subscription program that offers travelers exclusive discounts and added value. To access these benefits the end customer pays an annual fee of 99USD to Tripadvisor.

According to Tripadvisor, the program can help save an average of 350USD per stay, allowing the subscriber to easily amortize their investment, especially if they book long stays, high average tickets or book multiple trips per year.

Unlike other Tripadvisor models such as Business Advantage, Sponsored Placements or its TripConnect metasearch engine, with Tripadvisor Plus the customer finalizes the booking on Tripadvisor and not on the hotel’s website.

The hotel can activate and deactivate the program at any time according to its needs.

What does the hotel need to participate in Tripadvisor Plus?

The hotel must offer the traveler exclusive discounts and added value:

  • Minimum 10% discount on the best available rate, although in certain circumstances Tripadvisor recommends going up to 15%.
  • At least one free exclusive benefit (breakfast, dining or spa credit, parking, airport transfer, etc.).
  • Personalized program member greeting at check-in, and welcome gift.
  • When possible, early check-in/late check-out or room upgrade.

tripadvisor plus II

What are the benefits for the hotel?

  • It allows the hotel to reach a new customer segment – which the hotel may not be reaching at present – that is looking for a subscription model, is really interested in traveling and is very advanced in its purchase decision.
  • Significantly improves the hotel’s positioning in Tripadvisor’s destination search results, within the “value for money” category. The higher the value offered by the hotel to Tripadvisor Plus members, the better positions it will have in the search results. This will translate into more visibility and brand recognition for the hotel, and an increase in bookings among both Tripadvisor Plus members and non-members.
  • This increased visibility will also generate a greater billboard effect (users who, after seeing the hotel on Tripadvisor, will go to consult your website) and an increase in direct sales of the website.
  • Access the North American market in an easy way, more direct and at a lower cost than with intermediation.

How to get the most out of Tripadvisor Plus?

We recommend using Tripadvisor Plus selectively, activating or deactivating it according to the distribution needs at any given time.

It is important to integrate Tripadvisor Plus into the hotel’s revenue management strategy.

Tripadvisor Plus can be an effective tool to generate sales in periods of low demand or to increase occupancy quickly (for example, to promote a new opening or renovation).

In order not to penalize profitability unnecessarily, the program can be deactivated during periods of high demand, although it is important to keep in mind that the cost of Tripadvisor Plus is lower than that of OTAs and allows you to reach customers that the hotel would not reach through intermediary channels.

Tripadvisor Plus does not compete with the hotel’s loyalty program.

Tripadvisor Plus acts similarly to a loyalty program, to which users can subscribe to obtain special benefits.

But as a closed program that requires a subscription, Tripadvisor Plus is not going to be a competitor to your program.

The Tripadvisor Plus customer pays an annual subscription in order to find the best hotel deals at the time of their trip, so your loyalty program can coexist with this program without being negatively affected.

The key is to offer a unique and differentiated value proposition in each of the programs.

The direct integration of Roiback with Tripadvisor Plus ensures greater benefits and more efficient management for the hotel.

Roiback was one of the first Tripadvisor technology partners worldwide to have direct connectivity with Tripadvisor Plus. This direct connectivity offers the hotel an easier and more automated management of the program.

Once the hotel is activated in Tripadvisor Plus, the hotel will be able to configure the prices from the Roiback CRS and it will send them to Tripadvisor in real time. In turn, Tripadvisor Plus reservations will be automatically registered in the Roiback CRS so that they can also be consulted in real time. Using the Roiback CRS as a management point will make program maintenance easier and more efficient.

The hotel will also be able to automatically integrate customer information captured through Tripadvisor Plus into its CRM, just like any other direct sale. This will allow you to carry out loyalty and cross-selling actions in the future.

In addition, at Roiback we will advise the hotel so that it can extract the maximum possible benefit from the program:

  • We will help define in which periods to activate or deactivate the hotel from the program.
  • We will recommend the most appropriate discount ranges at all times.
  • We will suggest the added values that can provide the best results.
Laura Oliver BeltránJuly 6, 2021