Keeping an eye on the ever-evolving TripAdvisor site, I noticed a few nice changes that are available to innkeepers who purchase the Business Listings service. Until these changes were made, subscribing to Business Listings allowed you to include your phone number and links to your web site and email on your listing page.
If you are a subscriber to Business Listings, you can now feature any promotion or deal that you want on your TripAdvisor listing page. This could be half-price upgrade, Labor Day special, business traveler special – anything you want, and you can change it as often as you like. When potential guests are browsing a listing of B&Bs on TripAdvisor, those who offer a “special deal” of some kind (and it doesn’t have to be a discount) will stand out. This is what you want – to stand out in the crowd of B&Bs being considered.
Plus, on the Hotels page, where I imagine most TripAdvisor visitors find themselves before clicking on the B&B tab, your property’s “special deal” is featured on the right bar. Only up to 5 special deals will show at one time, so if you’re in a city that has less than 5 total special deals (and at this point, that is likely), then your deal will remain on the hotels page. Once the total goes above 5, then the special deals will rotate as the pages are clicked or refreshed. Before this change, there really was no practical way for an individual B&B to get exposure on the hotels page. It’s a nice way to try and reel in folks who might not otherwise have thought of you.
Also, on the pages that list all B&Bs in a city, you now have a Contact Info image in your small space. Those who don’t subscribe to Business Listings don’t have that.
While TripAdvisor still is not a pay-to-play site completely, because you will still have a listing and reviews without paying a fee, there are quickly becoming available tools that separate the more “mature looking” listings (my words here – not TripAdvisor’s) from those that are basic. BedandBreakfast.com figured this out long ago by offering three or four levels of membership. PAII moved to a tiered membership structure. Even the old printed Yellow Pages had basic listings and those that stood out more. This is no different really. In our highly-competitive, price-and-value-comparison lodging industry, it helps to stand out among the crowd.
On a related note, TripAdvisor has introduced another PAII-Only discount for Business Listings that is good only until August 31. If you’re a PAII member, you can get 35% off Business Listings. To get the coupon code for your discount, click here. You may have to log in to www.innkeeping.org first. Their ongoing discount for any lodging property has slowly been getting smaller and smaller throughout the year. Right now their site promotes 20% off – so take advantage of the PAII-Only pricing. Rumor has it that pricing will go to rack rate come 2011, so now is the time to get on board and check it out. Remember that TripAdvisor will refund the balance of your annual subscription if you decide you want to remove the Business Listings in case you’re not satisfied. Become a Silver Member of PAII, and you’ll more than pay for your membership dues with just this discount.
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