Digital Booking Sites

TripAdvisor’s New Smartphone App Is All About Metasearch

@jasonclampet

Oct 03, 2013 8:00 am

Skift Take

TripAdvisor wants to make its app an indispensable tool to use before the trip and during it. TripAdvisor isn’t a hotel review one-trick pony.

— Jason Clampet

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The app’s landing page.

Hotel search by date requires three taps.

Results of hotel search are by map and list.

B&B listings are integrated into search as well.

A gallery of user-submitted photos of a B&B and other points of interest.

User-submitted photos work in portrait and in landscape mode.

The “point me there” feature shows users the direction of a hotel, restaurant, or other point of interest.

Users can submit photos of points of interest directly from their phones.

TripAdvisor’s forums also work in the app.

Today TripAdvisor took another step into the mobile hotel booking game with the relaunch of its apps for Apple’s iOS and Android. The app clearly demonstrates the split nature of TripAdvisor: Half booking tool, half travel guide.

The updated app captures nearly the entire TripAdvisor experience — hotel reviews, forums, airline bookings — for the first time, and integrates its metasearch tools to enable booking hotels, activities, and flights. Metasearch within the app is much smoother than the TripAdvisor’s previous pop-under-fueled experience online and keeps the booking experience fully framed within the app rather than launching new windows in a mobile browser.

TripAdvisor this year transitioned away from pop-under ads from online travel agencies to hotel metasearch, which it rolled out in mobile first before completing the online launch.

Outside of the hotel discovery and booking process, the updated app borrows elements of its city guide app to help users find a nearby restaurant, attraction, or activity. As with hotels, booking for the latter two is done with partners such as Viator.

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