Announced November 17th, 2009, TripAdvisor will soon allow innkeepers to post their contact information on their TripAdvisor listings. This information was released at the PAII New England Innkeeping show, at an informational session where Jay Karen, the CEO of the PAII sat down with Stephen Kaufer, the CEO of TripAdvisor - in front of attending innkeepers to discuss the relationship between the travel site and the bed and breakfast industry. A press release was also issued on the same day.
This new feature is to be called a "TripAdvisor Business Listing", and will allow you to list a URL (Web address), e-mail address, and phone number on your TripAdvisor listing. This information will show up next to the photo and address that are currently displayed. It will not only appear on http://www.tripadvisor.com/, but also on the 14 other TripAdvisor branded sites, including several that are targeted to guests outside of the United States. By adding these pieces of information to your listing, you provide any interested potential guests with a way to reach you directly to inquire about your inn or book a room.
TripAdvisor plans to activate this feature on January 4th, 2010 - but you can sign up for a listing now by going to http://www.tripadvisor.com/BusinessListings. The cost is based on the number of rooms, but any inn with 10 rooms or less will be able to purchase this feature for a flat fee of $600 per year. Also, in the interest of building momentum for this new feature, TripAdvisor is offering a 50% discount for the first year of service to any listings that are purchased before January 31st, 2010. If you decide to cancel your listing for any reason, you will receive a pro-rated refund, based on the time your listing was active.
To purchase a listing, you must be registered within TripAdvisor as the owner of your business. However, this registration is free and simple. Click for TripAdvisor's CSM Dashboard step by step instructions. It also provides you with control over other information within your listing, and gives you the ability to respond to reviews submitted by guests. Acorn Marketing suggests that it is a good idea to respond to all reviews submitted for your inn, if only to say thank you for positive feedback.
If you do add this feature to your listing, it is very important that you track the visitors to your site to evaluate the return on your investment. Statistics tracking is always important, but it is especially valuable when determining the value of paid listings. If you are interested in finding out if you are receiving actual bookings from this listing (as well as your other paid listings), Acorn Internet Services offers a booking tracker called Intell-a-Keeper that will show you where your guests found your site.