Skift Take

That whole Big Data thing is kicking in as TripAdvisor, which pegs itself as the largest online travel site in the world, has plenty of data as its disposal to use for personalized hotel recommendations. In a few years, this should be the norm across most of the travel industry.

All of those hotel reviews that TripAdvisor members write about their favorite or least favorite hotel stays will now be influencing TripAdvisor’s personalized hotel recommendations for users.

After running an extensive beta, TripAdvisor officially launched its “Just for You” feature, which uses TripAdvisor members’ ┬áreviews of hotels, past TripAdvisor searches for hotels and destinations, and tagged preferences to serve up personalized hotel recommendations for users.

Personalized hotel recommendations aren’t entirely new in the travel industry as some online travel agencies use Big Data to alter displays, but TripAdvisor appears to be carrying out personalized recommendations in a more comprehensive way than has been the norm.

When users search for hotels in a specific destination on TripAdvisor, they will now view a variety of tags — price, hotel class, style, hotel brand, location and amenities — to select their preferences.

There are sub-categories, too, so within “style,” for example, users can select trendy, quiet, mid-range, business, charming, classic, family-friendly, best value, luxury and others.

TripAdvisor uses these tagged preferences, as well as search history and reviews the user has written to offer personalized hotel recommendations. The more the traveler uses TripAdvisor, the further the “Just for You” feature will refine the recommendations, TripAdvisor states.

Changed Recommendations

Sometimes the changing personalized recommendations become obvious.

When I tagged “free Internet,” “trendy” and a “fitness center” as preferences for a stay in Philadelphia on November 4, TripAdvisor’s top three hotel recommendations for me were the Rittenhouse hotel, Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, and Loews Philadelphia.

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I then added “free breakfast” to my preferences, and TripAdvisor changed its top hotel recommendations for me to Penn’s View Hotel, The Independent and the Rittenhouse hotel.

TripAdvisor saw increased engagement from users when it conducted a beta for “Just for You.”

“We saw users engaging with ‘Just for You’ recommendations at a higher rate than the control Popularity Index rank order, amongst other key metrics we track around engagement,” says Kevin Carter, a TripAdvisor spokesperson. “This is an indicator that the personalized recommendations are helpful and relevant to the user.”

These new personalized hotel recommendations through the “Just for You” feature are now available on all TripAdvisor-branded websites around the world, and its mobile website on tablet. TripAdvisor states it plans to add the feature to other platforms in the future.

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Tags: big data, hotels, personalization, tripadvisor

Photo credit: The Rittenhouse hotel in Philadelphia was among TripAdvisor's personalized hotel recommendations that are available through a new TripAdvisor feature, "Just for You." The Rittenhouse hotel

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