Some hoteliers may welcome the opportunity to work with Tripadvisor on improving their rankings, but Tripadvisor will be challenged to show that its reputation management service will pay as much attention to reviews on Google and Facebook.
Tripadvisor said Tuesday it will launch new reputation management and business intelligence subscription-based features for hotels and restaurants, extending subscription services it has long offered to enable hoteliers to market more effectively.
The business intelligence service is called Spotlight, and it will debut in partnership with OTA Insight, which already offers such services.
Spotlight is geared to enable hotels to compare rates against those of competitors’ across various room types, and to adjust them for maximum effect. Tripadvisor officials said the service would also enable hoteliers to identify rate parity issues, and to compare public and member rates.
Spotlight, which will compete against business intelligence products from competitors such as RateGain, SiteMinder, WuBook, and eRevMax, is basically a rebrand of existing OTA Insight services, but it will add Tripadvisor data to the mix. The two companies — Tripadvisor and OTA Insight — have divided sales territories with Tripadvisor targeting primarily bigger brands and OTA Insight focusing on its existing base of management companies at the property level.
The plan is for the two companies to work together to further develop the service, but for now Spotlight is basically a different branding of existing OTA Insight products.
Reputation Management on Tripadvisor, Google and Facebook
Reputation Pro is the name of the new subscription-based reputation management service that Tripadvisor will offer to hotels and restaurants. Although Reputation Pro would enable users to improve their Tripadvisor rankings and also analyze Google and Facebook reviews, the emphasis at launch appears to be on Tripadvisor reviews.
This is the first time that hotels and restaurants can work directly with Tripadvisor to improve their various Tripadvisor rankings and scores. The aim of the service is to enable business customers to speed their collection of Tripadvisor reviews, to provide a centralized ways for companies to respond to Tripadvisor, Google, and Facebook reviews, and to offer survey services to better gauge consumer sentiment.
Tripadvisor’s Reputation Pro would compete with companies such as Reputation Management competitors Revinate, TrustYou, and Medallia.
In Skift’s 2020 Megatrends, we posited that subscription services would be one of the next big things across the travel industry. There is indeed increasing emphasis on subscriptions, with many of them offered to consumers.
For example, eDreams Odigeo has a subscription service for flight and hotel discounts; Inspirato has a membership program in luxury vacation homes, and Tripadvisor has a new travel insurance subscription plan.
But Spotlight and Reputation Pro are subscription services on the business side of things. Subscriptions currently contribute only a small portion of Tripadvisor’s revenue, although the company sees a huge opportunity.
Citing figures from Statista and HospitalityNet, Tripadvisor pegged the hotel industry software market at about $6 billion annually. According to this estimate, that would be about 20 percent of hotel industry IT budgets.
The move to expand its subscription business, comes after Tripadvisor had to restructure several months ago because of the coronavirus outbreak. In one of these moves, Tripadvisor combined its hotel and restaurant business-to-business teams.
Is now the right time to launch new services for cash-strapped hoteliers and restaurants?
Kanika Soni, Tripadvisor’s chief commercial officer, said the service would hopefully help hoteliers become more effective. Both products are being offered in free, 30-day trials as an enticement, and they will optionally have monthly subscription plans.
The goal is to help hotels solve more of their problems, said Martin Verdon-Roe, general manager of Tripadvisor Hospitality Solutions, adding that the company hopes to bundle its various subscription services into bundles at discount prices.
Tripadvisor’s moves further into business to business services for the hotel industry come as Booking.com and Expedia Group have taken a variety of tacks to do likewise. Booking.com has essentially abandoned its effort, which was called BookingSuite, while Expedia has dabbled in offering back-of-the-house hotel services, and has done technology deals with Marriott.
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Photo credit: TripAdvisor users in Cartagena, Colombia from TripAdvisor video called 5 Rising Destinations in Latin America to Discover. Tripadvisor is launching new subscription services for hotels and restaurants. TripAdvisor