Travel website TripAdvisor aspires to be the complete online travel agent, offering the ability to research destinations, compare prices on accommodations and book that dream vacation. However, its core offering is user-generated content in the form of ratings, reviews and photos – to the tune of about 350 million unique monthly visitors and 320 million reviews and opinions covering more than 6.2 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.
Owners of some hotels and restaurants love it because it has cost-effectively leveled the playing field between small and large destinations and attractions. An executive told me that he has met owners of hotels and restaurants who have literally wept tears of joy when he met them in person at conferences. At the same time, some business owners feel like reviews on TripAdvisor are not reflective of the actual business. As is the case with all review sites, some folks will be unhappy.
I spoke with Brian Payea, head of industry relations at TripAdvisor, and he outlined key ways that business owners can get the most from the site.