For several years now, TripAdvisor has been trying very hard to get the consumers who rely on its reviews in selecting tourism products to also book them through their website.
The new website and "mobile experience" now in beta now puts professional content from "trusted experts", social-media influencers and travel supplies into the mix with the consumer reviews - but getting bookings remains the main objective.
TripAdvisor claims that while the new site has been in beta, 500 social media influencers, consumer brands, publishers and travel suppliers have signed on.
You can watch the launch video here .
As TripAdvisor's 17 September media release says:
"TripAdvisor Introduces Social-Assisted Travel, Enabling Members to Get Relevant Recommendations and Inspiration to Be the One Travel Site to Plan "Your" Perfect Trip
Travelers Can Now Follow Friends and Travel Experts They Trust, including Publishers, Brands and Social Media Influencers..."
Announced features include enabling users to:
- Create and share photos, videos and articles
- Create "trips": guides, itineraries or wish lists - private or shared
- Receive the "world's first travel feed"
- Get help from trusted experts
- Book trips
Putting professional content into the mix, organizing everything into a feed, and developing a process for keeping users on track to booking must have been a technological challenge.
Will it pay off for TripAdvisor?
Will users trust recommendations from influencers, experts and suppliers to the extent they trust consumer reviews? Will conversion rates increase?
TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer said he isn't "setting any financial expectations" for his new product.
Considering how radical a change to their product this is, that may be prudent.