Instant Booking on TripAdvisor
Learn more about instant booking — a powerful booking channel for accommodations.
Free or Premium? A Guide to Marketing on TripAdvisor TripAdvisor offers a suite of marketing tools for hospitality businesses. Many are free but a few premium features are available for a fee. Do you know which are which?
Looking for ways to drive more business? TripAdvisor offers a variety of tools to help. There’s something for everyone, but you must be registered for your property’s Management Center to have access.
Let’s start by looking at the free tools available to any accommodation, restaurant or attraction listed on TripAdvisor. These tools are always available in the Management Center:
Properties with at least 1 photo see 138% more engagement than properties with no photos.1
Property page tools
Control the major elements of your TripAdvisor property page through the "Manage Listing" tab in the top menu. Add photos to attract traveler attention, update your amenities, and complete other administration tasks here as well.
Over 60% of travelers say Management Responses make them more likely to book.2
Review management tools
Under "Reviews" in the top menu, you'll find all of the tools you need to manage, measure, and respond to new reviews. Try Review Express to encourage more reviews.
Nearly 90% of travelers say reviews are influential in choosing where to book.3
Free marketing tools
Get help marketing your business under "Marketing Tools" in the top menu of the Management Center. Showcase your reviews with the TripAdvisor Traveler Reviews App for your Facebook page, TripAdvisor Social Media Buttons, and widgets to display your awards and reviews on your website. Finally, request a TripAdvisor sticker for your property, so guests know you’re listed on the world’s largest travel site.4
Want free marketing tips, industry research, helpful guides and more? Hotel managers and operators can visit www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights and restaurant owners can visit TripAdvisor For Restaurants. You can also find information in the Management Center, under the "Help & Settings" tab in the top menu, select "TripAdvisor Best Practices."
Accommodation & restaurant providers can enhance their TripAdvisor listings and attract even more travelers with some additional tools that are available for a fee. There are no premium tools available for attractions at this time.
Solutions for accommodations
- Business Advantage: Industry-leading tools to better market your business to millions of potential guests, differentiate from competitors, impact booking decisions, and measure and improve your online reputation.Visit www.tripadvisor.com/business/BusinessAdvantage to learn more.
- Instant Booking: Now, travelers can click the “Book on TripAdvisor” button to reserve a hotel directly on the site. Potential guests are more willing to book when they know they can purchase right on TripAdvisor.5 Instant booking gives your hotel an easy way to claim these bookings. Learn more here.
- Sponsored Placements: Drive high quality traffic to your property by putting your listing on top of TripAdvisor search results for travelers searching for a place to stay in your area. Sponsored Placements are risk-free — meaning you pay only for the clicks you get and you can cancel at any time. Sign up today at www.TripAdvisor.com/business/sponsored-placements.
Solutions for restaurants
- TripAdvisor Premium: Get the competitive advantage your business needs with TripAdvisor Premium for Restaurants. Upgrading to Premium gives you exclusive access to powerful subscriber-only tools including Storyboard, Top 3 Reasons to Eat Here, Favorite Reviews, and exclusive data & insights. Learn more here.
- TripAdvisor Ads: Drive traffic to your TripAdvisor listing by promoting your restaurant in exclusive sponsored placements to a targeted audience of diners searching for a place to eat in your area. Learn more here.
- 1. TripAdvisor data, July 7 - August 7 2014, tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2507/bookings-and-traveler-engagement-driven-management-actions
- 2. PhoCusWright, “Custom Survey Research Engagement,” prepared for TripAdvisor, December 2013.
- 3. TripBarometer, April 2014, Global Edition: tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2200/tripbarometer-april-2014-global-edition
- 4. comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide,
- 5. TripAdvisor internal data
How to Pay for Instant Bookings Everything you need to know about paying your instant booking commission fees.
Welcome to instant booking! Now that you’ve signed up – and the bookings are coming in – here’s more information on what you can expect from the monthly payment process.
What am I paying?
Each month, you’ll pay commissions for the instant bookings completed in the prior month. With instant booking, you only pay for completed stays. If a traveler reserves a room via instant booking, but then cancels, you will not pay for that booking.
How does the payments process work?
You’ll receive a Monthly Statement via email on the 5th of each month. It lists the bookings completed during the prior month according to TripAdvisor records. This is not a bill – no payments are due at this time.
The Monthly Statement allows you to confirm that all of the transactions shown for the prior month were, in fact, completed stays. Beginning on the 5th day of each month, you have a 15-day adjustment period to check the list and make any adjustments (early check-outs, no shows or cancellations). See below for instructions on how to do this.
On the 19th day of each month, the adjustment period ends. Your commission fees for the prior month will be finalized on the 20th and your account will be charged automatically.
How do I make changes during the adjustment period?
If there’s a transaction on your Monthly Statement that requires modification, follow these steps to fix it:
- Log in to the Management Center and select your property.
- From the “Products” menu at the top of the page, then select “Booking Activity.”
- Once here, find the transaction that’s incorrect. (Tip: Try selecting “Last Month” from the “Displaying” drop box. Or, try filtering by "Check-out date," instead of "Booking date.")
- Then use the “Edit” or “Cancel” buttons to adjust the transaction.
You must make these adjustments before the 19th day of each month in order to avoid having to pay an incorrect commission on this transaction.
What if there's a payment failure?
If your payment is not able to be processed on the 20th day of the month, you will receive an email notice that the payment has failed. If you receive this notification, please follow these steps to update your payment information as soon as possible:
- Log into the Management Center and select your property.
- Then, under the “Profile” menu at the top of the page, select “Billing & Payments.”
- On the left-hand side, under "Billing Information," click "Update."
We will continue to try to charge the credit card on file for 12 days after the first failure. We will attempt one retry for direct debit if the failure is due to insufficient funds. After the 12 days, or a second direct debit failure due to insufficient funds, or any other reason, your instant booking campaign will be suspended and you will not appear in the “Book on TripAdvisor” placement until your account is made current.
What forms of payment are accepted?
Payment methods vary by country and may include credit cards, direct debit or Automating Clearing House (ACH).
Where can I see all my invoices & payments?
All your invoices & payments are available for viewing on the "Billing & Payments" page in your Management Center. To access this page, follow the steps below:
- Log into the Management Center and select your property.
- Under the "Profile" tab, click "Billing and Payments."
- Here you will see two tabs, one for invoices and another for payments. To view an invoice or payment, simply click the associated tab and select an invoice number or applied payment. A new browser will open, to print the page select "Print" from your browser's main menu.
Note: To see additional information for multiple accounts, use the "Account Selection" drop-down tool on the right-hand side of the "Billing & Payments" page.
Who receives my Monthly Statements?
Once you’ve logged in, find the “Products” menu, select “Instant Booking” and then click the “Settings” tab. You can add new people and make adjustments as needed.
How do I change the billing contact?
To update the billing contact for your instant booking account, or to add additional invoice recipients to your account, follow these steps:
- Log into the Management Center and select your property.
- From the “Products” menu at the top of the page, select “Settings.”
- On the Settings page, scroll down to see the list of billing owner(s) and additional invoice recipient(s).
- Click “Add Another Recipient” and enter a new name and email. Check the box “Set as billing owner” and then, “Save.” (Note: If you don’t click “Set as billing owner,” the person will receive invoices on the 20th of each month but won't have access to your Management Center.)
Why can't I pay my Monthly Statement?
Your Monthly Statement is like a preview of your final bill for the prior month. We give you 15 days to make adjustments for no-shows or cancellations. Even if everything is correct, we cannot accept any payments until your commission fees are finalized on the 20th of each month.
Need more help?
If you have more questions, check out our FAQ. If that doesn’t help, login to the Management Center and click “Get help online” under the “Contact TripAdvisor” box. Then select “Instant Booking” as the issue and “Billing and Payment Questions” as the subtopic. You can then add your question under in the text box.Last Updated: March 24, 2016
Your Instant Booking Quick Start Guide
Start capturing bookings made directly on the world’s largest travel site – in just four simple steps.
For the first time, millions of travelers can book on TripAdvisor without leaving the site. Instant booking provides a simple way for you to capture a share of this business on a pay-per-booking commission basis.
Here’s how it works:
TripAdvisor collaborates with your connectivity partner to display your live rates and availability – right on your property page. Travelers click the “Book on TripAdvisor” button to seamlessly complete their transaction on TripAdvisor. The booking process is fully optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile platforms in 48 languages and many global currencies
Once the reservation is complete, you own the relationship with the customer. The booking details are passed to you through your connectivity partner. You only pay for the booking after the traveler completes their stay and it’s easy to track your performance in the Instant Booking Performance Center.
Ready to capture more bookings from the world’s largest travel site? Four simple steps are all it takes – no expertise required:
1. Confirm eligibility
The first step is to check here to see if you’re eligible for instant booking. Confirm your property name and connectivity partner. Then click “Get Started.”
Can’t get started? To be eligible, your connectivity partner must be instant booking-certified. Check to see if your connectivity partner is signed up here.
2. Verify Connectivity Partner information
Next, verify that the information we’re receiving from your connectivity partner is correct. This ensures that travelers are seeing accurate information about your available rooms and rates.
Confirm your property's name, address and website. Next, check that the room types in the table are actually available for the selected search dates and that the correct rates (including taxes & fees) are displayed. Also, confirm that the cancellation policy is accurate.
Note - without the base rate, taxes and cancellation policy, travelers may not book your rooms! Make sure that you are providing this information through your connectivity partner. If you don’t separate taxes and fees from your base rate, the setup tool can estimate them for you.
Keep in mind, to give travelers the best possible booking experience, your rates must be the same or better than those of your other distribution partners. If your direct pricing isn’t competitive, your rates and availability may not appear.
If everything looks good, click “Correct.” Otherwise, select “Incorrect” for more support.
3. Choose your share of traveler views and commission rate
A traveler view occurs each time “Book on TripAdvisor” appears for your property in search results. Sometimes travelers will be viewing your rates; other times they will be seeing your distribution partners’ rates. Instant booking gives you the chance to capture half of these traveler views, as well as the bookings those views generate, with the 15% commission rate. Or you can choose a lower 12% commission rate to get a quarter of all traveler views, and any resulting bookings. It’s up to you – choose an option and then click “Continue.”
4. Add your payment method
Finally, add your payment method, or confirm that the one on file is correct. No charge will be made to your account at this point, although we will verify the payment method to ensure that it is valid. Then accept the Terms and Conditions and click “Complete sign up.”
Instant booking is a commission-based product. This means no up-front investment, no long-term contracts and no risk to you. You’re only charged for bookings that turn into stays.
You’ll be invoiced on a monthly basis, with each billed item reflecting a completed stay that was booked via instant booking in the previous month. You’ll have the opportunity to review these bookings, and their associated charges, and make any necessary adjustments based on booking changes before your payment is due. For more information on the payment process read our guide here.Last Updated: December 3, 2014
Managing your Instant Booking Campaign
Manage bookings and track performance from your instant booking dashboard.
The instant booking dashboard is filled with data and insights to help you drive results. Here’s an insider’s guide to its most helpful tools:
1. Track key metrics
The main Dashboard page shows your Room Nights Sold, Bookings and Booking Value in Summary graphs (click each data point to change the graph). You’ll also see your current amount due for those bookings.
Tip: Attract more guests
Select the higher commission rate on the Dashboard to see the difference twice as many traveler views makes.
2. Access guest information
Find full information for every booking – including guest names, email addresses, reservation details, billing status and more – on the Booking Activity report. You can also make updates and reconcile cancellations by clicking the booking’s Confirmation ID number.
Tip: Get more revenue
Use guests’ email addresses from the Booking Activity report to start developing relationships with them immediately. As travelers’ arrival dates approach, send value-added offers that motivate them to spend more. Get more ideas for pre-stay communications here.
3. Manage commissions
See a running tally of all charges and credits to your account on the Transaction Log. This is also where you’ll find completed stays, commission dues as well as cancellations.
Tip: Avoid unnecessary charges
With instant booking, you don’t pay commission for canceled bookings. You’ll receive a preliminary invoice on the 5th business day of each month – either via email or on the Transaction Log page. Click that invoice and confirm that all of the travelers listed completed their stays. To cancel a booking, click its confirmation number and select “Edit or Cancel this Booking.” You must cancel the booking within 15 days of the preliminary invoice date. After that time, on the 20th of each month, your invoice will be finalized and charged to your account. Still have questions? Read more about instant booking payments here.
Note: To view past invoices and payments, click "Billing & Payments" under the "Profile" tab at the top of the Management Center.
4. Optimize your instant booking performance
How do your prices and availability results compare to other providers? How have these results changed over the past 30 days? Or year? Find the answers to these questions and more in the Performance Center.
Tip: Get more bookings
Use the Performance Center to see your availability and pricing compared to other distribution channels. In a recent survey, 90% of respondents said the price is important when booking an accommodation.1 Keep in mind, your pricing must be competitive in order for it to be viewed by travelers in the instant booking placement. Read our guide and learn how to optimize your instant booking performance to get more guests.
- 1. Source: The 2016 TripBarometer Study, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 36,444 interviews were completed in 33 markets, spanning 7 regions
Updating Payment Information on TripAdvisor Step-by-step instructions on updating your property’s payment information on TripAdvisor.
Updating payment information for your property is simple and can be done online. Follow the steps below to learn how to update this information across all TripAdvisor paid products.
Updating your payment information
- Go to www.tripadvisor.com/Owners to log into the Management Center.
- Hover over the “Help & Settings” menu at the top of the page, click "Billing and Payments.”
- On the right-hand side, under “Billing Information” click the “Update” link.
- Enter in your new credit card, update your method of payment or billing information and click “Save.”
How long will this take?
Your updated payment information will appear immediately. If you have any outstanding payments, we’ll charge your account within 24 hours.
Who is the billing owner?
The billing owner is the person who manages payments to TripAdvisor. It’s typically the person who purchased or last renewed your TripAdvisor subscription, or the person who initially set up instant booking. You can see who has access to manage your commercial products by visiting the Manage User Access page. To access this page, log into your Management Center and under the "Help & Settings" tab in the top menu, select "Manage User Access." On this page, you'll see a full list of all users registered to your TripAdvisor page. You'll also see their TripAdvisor usernames, email addresses, affiliations to your business, and the products they have access to (if applicable).
Can I have multiple cards on file with TripAdvisor?
Yes, you can keep multiple cards on file. However, only one credit card may be set as the default for payments. The billing owner for your property can update the selected default card at any time.
I don’t see the "Billing & Payment" option. What should I do?
You’re probably not registered with TripAdvisor as the billing owner of your property. In this case, you should ask the billing owner to log into the Management Center and update the payment information using the steps above.
If that person should no longer be managing billing and payments, you can submit a request via the Management Center to have the billing owner status shifted to someone else.
For owners with a Business Advantage subscription:
- Visit the Management Center.
- In the Contact TripAdvisor box click "Get online help.”
- Under "Please tell me what the issue is” box, select “Business Advantage.”
- Select "Update Account Access Permissions" as the subtopic.
- In the Comments box please include all details of the switch you'd like to make.
For owners with instant booking:
- Visit the Management Center.
- In the Contact TripAdvisor box click "Get online help."
- Under “Please tell us what the issue is,” select “Instant Booking.”
- Choose “Billing and Payment Questions.”
- Explain your request in the Comments box.
6 Reasons to Try Instant Booking Top reasons why hoteliers are making instant booking part of their distribution strategy.
More and more hotel hoteliers are making instant booking part of their distribution strategy. Here are six reasons why you should try this powerful acquisition channel:
1. Convenience is key.
Today's travelers are increasingly looking for one-stop convenience. According to a recent study, 63% of TripAdvisor users want one place where they can read reviews, compare prices and book.1 When you enable instant booking, travelers are able to research, choose and immediately book your accommodation right on TripAdvisor.
2. Own the guest relationship from the start.
With instant booking, there’s no waiting for guest information to be shared. You receive the traveler’s details as soon as a booking is made via your connectivity partner. Begin building a relationship with the guest – and maximizing revenue from each booking – right from the outset.
“Having access to guest information is vital to our business. It allows us to provide great customer service and provide value added offers to guests. We’ve found that we’ve been able to convert more of those instant booking customers into returning business travelers, which is so important in our market.” -- Michelle Nelson, Arbuckle
3. Manage distribution costs.
Instant booking is based on a simple "Pay for Stays" commission model. You choose your commission level and pay only when bookings turn into completed stays. This means no upfront investment, long-term commitment or paying for cancellations and no-shows.
"Instant booking holds the promise of allowing us to work directly with our guests rather than through a third party platform. This enhances our relationship directly with these guests prior to, during and after their stay at a very moderate marginal cost ... The commission paid is typically less than other OTA's. For that reason, it makes sense to drive bookings directly to your own booking engine instead of the OTA's that list availability on TripAdvisor."
– Leslie Araiza, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, The Grande Colonial La Jolla
4. Capitalize on your online reputation.
Many accommodations work hard to manage their TripAdvisor pages by collecting reviews, writing management responses, updating photos and more. This engagement makes your property more attractive to potential guests and instant booking helps you convert these browsers into bookers. In fact, in a 2015 Phocuswright study over 80% of respondents said traveler reviews are an important influence on their booking decisions and 54% would not book a property that didn't have reviews.2
5. Set it and forget it.
Instant booking is designed with hoteliers’ busy schedules in mind. It takes just minutes to set up and maintenance is minimal.
6. Work with your trusted connectivity partner.
Instant booking is powered by your connectivity partner. So, getting your share of bookings made on the world’s largest travel site is seamless.
“With instant booking we are able to reach customers directly on the TripAdvisor site where they are reading our reviews. The bookings allow us to have direct contact with the guest and save money on those reservations ... Working with our connectivity partner InnLink makes management of instant booking very easy so it is a big win for our property.”
– Luis Aguilar, General Manager, Studio Inn & Suites
Ready to make instant booking part of your distribution strategy? Learn more and sign up at www.tripadvisor.com/InstantBooking.
- 1. 2015 ‘Custom Survey Research Engagement’ was an independent study of 14,991 respondents conducted by Phocuswright on behalf of TripAdvisor.
- 2. Phocuswright Custom Survey Research Engagement on behalf of TripAdvisor, May 2015
The Ultimate Instant Booking Performance Guide
Congratulations! You’ve activated instant booking. Now, learn how you can convert even more reservations through this powerful distribution channel.
To increase your conversion rate, you need to understand the factors that influence how often your property will appear in the instant booking placement – including the qualifications required to appear. Here’s a full explanation and top tips to improve your performance.
How You Appear in the Instant Booking Placement
There are a number of factors that determine if you’ll appear in the instant booking placement:
- You must have availability for the traveler’s search dates
- Your pricing for those dates must be competitive
- Your room & rate content must be accurate and complete
- Your API connectivity must be strong
- You must select a commission level. At the 15% commission level, your rate will appear half the time; at the 12% commission level, it will appear a quarter of the time.
To help you monitor these factors, we’ve created the Instant Booking Performance Center. To access the Performance Center, log into your Management Center. Under the “Products” menu at the top of the page, below “Instant Booking,” select “Performance Center.”
Read on for more details and tips on how to improve your instant booking performance.
Please note: If your connectivity partner is not yet activated in the traveler’s home market, you cannot appear to them in the instant booking placement.
If you aren’t returning availability through your connectivity partner for the traveler’s search dates – we will display rates available through your other distribution partners.
Not seeing availability when you think you should? Use the Instant Booking Performance Center to check your availability rating. In the "Availability" section of the Performance Center you can see your rating and how often you - and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) selling your rooms on TripAdvisor - reported availability for travelers’ searches.
Take Action: If you’re availability rating is lower than you think it should be, check the settings in your connectivity partner’s system or speak directly with them to ensure that all available rooms are being sent to TripAdvisor instant booking.
Rates & Pricing
In order to appear in the instant booking placement, the rates you’re providing via your connectivity partner must be competitive with those of your other distribution channels.
Not sure how your rates compare? Visit the Performance Center to see the percentage of time your price beats, meets, or loses to other distribution channels.
Take Action: If your rates aren’t competitive, you won’t appear in the instant booking placement. To maximize your appearances, you should review your rate and distribution strategy and ensure you’re providing the best rates possible to TripAdvisor. Any promotional rates you offer directly to OTAs should also be made available to TripAdvisor instant booking. Also, be sure to provide an accurate breakdown of all taxes and fees – including city taxes.
Your rate and room content must be complete and accurate for you to appear in the instant booking placement. TripAdvisor emphasizes the importance of complete content because research shows it leads to greater conversion. Here are some best practices:
- Rate plan name: Conversion increases when users think they’re getting a special rate. “Exclusive” rate has proven to have the highest conversion among rate names, however, other names that emphasize a special price are also successful.
- Rate plan description: Use the description to reiterate that this rate plan is limited to TripAdvisor. Be sure to include any important or additional details that the guest needs to know.
- Cancellation policy: Rate plans with “Free cancellation” and a “Cancel by [Date]” convert the highest. If this isn’t an option, be sure to outline your Cancellation Policies as clearly as possible so potential guests can easily understand them. Don’t leave room for misinterpretation – include the exact time frames, details, and penalties associated with your cancellation policy.
- Deferred payment: Messages such as “Book now, pay at stay” perform well. Check with your connectivity partner to identify what options are available.
- Rate plan amenities: Increase conversion by promoting high-value amenities such as “Breakfast” or “High-Speed Internet Access” – they perform even better if they’re free.
- Room name: Make sure your room names are identifiable and unique to each rate code plan (ex: “Ocean View - King Room with Breakfast”). They should also be succinct – 50 characters or less.
- Room description: Your room description must be between 50 – 400 characters and easily digestible. Be sure to include bed-types and configurations, room views, room size and maximum occupancy. Avoid using industry jargon, abbreviations, all caps or listing any unnecessary or repetitive amenities.
- Room photos: Include at least 3 high-quality images per room type. Ideally, use professional photos of the bedroom living room and bathroom. Avoid photos that are blurry and ensure that the photos best represent the actual room & experience travelers can expect if they book at that rate.
- Room amenities: To ensure your room amenities appear correctly, please remind your connectivity partner to use the Open Travel Alliance code list. We recommend including a minimum of 10 amenities to best showcase your property.
- Other information: Don’t forget to include hotel policies related to children, pets, transportation/shuttles, meals, and smoking as well as check-in and check-out times.
Having content issues? If you’re in a market where instant booking is live, you should enter some test travel dates and go through the booking process to confirm that everything looks right.
Take Action: In most cases, you can address any issue by checking the corresponding content fields in your connectivity partner’s system and adjusting the information you provide to them using the guidelines above. If you’re having problems, contact your connectivity partner.
Your API connectivity health is critical to conversion on TripAdvisor. If travelers are receiving error messages when they go to book, you're going to lose those guests. Therefore, making sure your API connectivity error rate is low (below 5%) is extremely important to converting lookers into bookers.
Want to see where you stand? Visit the Instant Booking Performance Center and view your API connectivity rating and associated error rate.
Take Action: If your error rate is over 5% there's an issue with your API connectivity and you should contact your connectivity partner immediately.
The simplest way to get more traveler views, and more bookings as a result, is to choose the higher instant booking commission level. By choosing the 15% commission, you effectively double the number of times you could be viewed by potential guests. To change your commission level, click the “Settings” tab within the instant booking dashboard and then select “Change Commission” on the right-hand side of the page.Last Updated: August 12, 2016
Tired of running in circles for bookings? Watch this video to see how TripAdvisor instant booking is your straight path to success.
Just like you, travelers want to make it simpler to book a room. That's why TripAdvisor created instant booking. Millions of travelers on the world’s largest travel site can now book directly with you – without leaving TripAdvisor.
Watch this short video to learn more about instant booking, including how:
- You get direct bookings without managing an extra distribution channel.
- You own the guest relationship right from the start.
- You can exactly measure results.
- You only pay for completed stays with our competitive commission model.
With TripAdvisor instant booking, you and your guests both win. Watch the video (above) and then get started in just five minutes.Last Updated: December 16, 2016
Owning the guest relationship from the start Why you want to own and manage your relationship with guests as soon as possible.
Whether you’re a front office manager, revenue manager or B&B owner, here are four reasons why it’s vital for you to actively manage the guest relationship starting right after the booking.
1. You’ll build loyalty right away.
Properties with the highest repeat rate are 34% more likely to focus on creating and strengthening the guest relationship pre-stay.
Loyalty requires relationship building. And building that relationship requires making a connection with your guests. So why do only 1 in 4 accommodations worldwide prioritize relationship building before the stay?1
According to that same TripBarometer 2014 data, properties with the highest repeat guest rate are 34% more likely to focus on creating and strengthening the guest relationship pre-stay. How? It’s no surprise they’re also 34% more likely to actively contact guests about their upcoming trip.
2. You’ll reach guests when they’re most excited.
So why does actively owning the guest relationship during this time help foster a positive relationship? Traveler excitement is at its peak leading up to the trip and upon arrival. Anticipation is a powerful thing. Guests are looking forward to their trip – and you have the chance to create a bond right when anticipation is highest. You don’t want to miss this key window of opportunity to share local information, introduce guests to your property and, most importantly, make guests feel valued.
3. You’ll gain weeks of upselling opportunity.
Think about how many of your guests book in advance. 83% of travelers worldwide report that they usually book at least three weeks before arrival.2 Forgoing relationship building during this period is like waiting to greet guests until they’re already checking out. What hotelier wouldn’t want at least three weeks to engage guests, upsell them and put them in a good mood before they’ve even arrived on site?
4. You’ll save money and effort.
One piece of wisdom we can all relate to: It’s much cheaper to retain guests than it is to get new ones. In fact, a Boston Consulting Group study found that marketing to existing customers costs about $7 USD, compared to $35 USD for acquiring a new customer with the same methods.3 Building a strong relationship with guests from day one is the first step for retention and repeat business.
Get more bookings you own
To help you own the guest relationship right from the start, TripAdvisor created instant booking. Now travelers can book directly with you right on TripAdvisor. You own the guest relationship right after booking, and we work with your connectivity partner so you don’t have an extra booking channel to manage.
- 1. TripBarometer, September 2014. https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2503/tripbarometer-september-2014-global-psychology-travel
- 2. TripBarometer April 2014, https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2200/tripbarometer-april-2014-global-edition
- 3. http://www.ironmountain.com/Services/Marketing-Production-and-Fulfillment-Services/~/media/EF8F4D10EABE46F2BB0EBEC0DA1452C5.pdf
FAQ: Instant Booking on TripAdvisor
How Instant Booking Works
What is instant booking?
Millions of travelers can now book rooms directly on TripAdvisor. Instant booking gives accommodations an easy way to tap into this powerful new booking channel — and optimize conversions on the world’s largest travel site. Properties capture reservations directly through their trusted connectivity partners and own guest relationships from the very beginning. And with our simple “Pay for Stays” commission model, there’s no risk and no upfront investment.
How does it work?
Instant booking gives travelers all the information they need to book their stays with you immediately on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor collaborates with your connectivity partner to display your live rates and availability right on your listing page. When travelers click “Book on TripAdvisor,” they can effortlessly convert from browsing to booking — without leaving the site. The booking process is fully optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile platforms, in all global currencies. You’ll receive the bookings directly through your connectivity partner, pay commissions only for completed stays and enjoy access to exclusive data on your performance.
How can I activate my campaign?
What’s a Connectivity Partner?
A connectivity partner is a company like a CRS (Central Reservation System), internet booking engine or channel manager that provides the software to support and manage your bookings. These partners work with TripAdvisor to bring your live rates and availability right onto your listing page. When you receive a booking through TripAdvisor's instant booking they pass the traveler information and payment directly to you. Not sure if your connectivity partner is already working with TripAdvisor instant booking? Check out the full list of certified connectivity partners here.
What’s a traveler view?
A traveler view is each appearance of “Book on TripAdvisor” for your property. When a traveler enters search dates for their trip, “Book on TripAdvisor” appears with rates and availability on your property page, as well as on the search results page for your location. When a traveler sees “Book on TripAdvisor,” that functionality may be powered either by you or by one of your distribution partners.
How much does it cost?
Instant booking works on a simple “Pay for Stays” commission model, with a choice of two commission rates: 15% or 12%. The share of “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views (see above) you receive is determined by the commission level you choose. With a 15% commission, you claim half of all “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views, as well as any resulting bookings those views may generate. With a 12% commission, you claim a quarter of all traveler views and any resulting bookings.
For example, if “Book on TripAdvisor” is displayed 100 times for your property, and you’ve signed up at a 15% commission, your rates and availability will show at least 50 times out of the 100. At the 12% commission, your rates and availability will show at least 25 times.
What happens to the remaining views? They are allocated to other distribution partners (such as Online Travel Agents) who are also participating in instant booking and are able to share rates and availability for your property.
Keep in mind: To give travelers the best possible booking experience, your rates must be the same or better than those of your other distribution partners. You must also provide clear, complete room rate and description details for travelers. If you don’t have availability, your pricing isn’t competitive, or you’re providing room data and descriptions that are incomplete – your rates may not appear. Also, you’ll only pay a commission after a traveler completes a stay with you.
What’s a Distribution Partner or Distribution Channel?
These are partners who help sell rooms at your property for a fee. They can include Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) and other intermediaries. Your relationships with these partners are established and maintained independent from TripAdvisor.
What does it mean when you say I can “own guest relationships from the start?”
Once the guest completes a booking on TripAdvisor, the booking details are transferred directly to you via your connectivity partner. From that point forward, you’re free to contact the guest with a confirmation email and start building a relationship. This also allows you to provide direct, hands-on customer service for each reservation.
What happens if the guest needs to cancel?
If a guest cancels a reservation, your connectivity partner may automatically notify TripAdvisor. If not, you can notify us through your instant booking dashboard. Some connectivity partners also enable guests to cancel directly on TripAdvisor. If that happens, we will notify you via your connectivity partner.
Each month, you’ll receive a statement that shows which reservations have been completed. If a booking appears on that report that has been canceled, you can update the report to reflect the cancellation via your instant booking dashboard. In any case, you will not be charged for bookings that have been flagged as canceled.
Traveler views, commission rates, taxes & fees and payments
How do I pay for reservations made through instant booking?
Instant booking is a commission-based product. You’re only charged for bookings that turn into stays. You’ll be invoiced on a monthly basis, with each billed item reflecting a completed stay that was booked via instant booking. You’ll have the opportunity to review these charges and make any necessary adjustments based on booking changes. Then, the payment method you provided when setting up instant booking will be charged the invoiced amount. Payment methods vary by country and may include credit cards, direct debit, Automating Clearing House (ACH) or invoicing. More on instant booking payments here.
Why should I choose the 15% commission over the 12% commission?
The higher commission rate doubles your share of “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views. This increases the potential for bookings that come directly to you on TripAdvisor, versus via an intermediary like an OTA. And because instant booking is a commission-based model, you’ll only pay when travelers stay at your property.
What happens to the “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views that don’t come to me?
All traveler views of “Book on TripAdvisor” that don’t go to you are allocated to other distribution partners – such as OTAs – that are participating in instant booking and have rates and availability for your property.
Am I going to be outbid by my Distribution Partners?
Instant booking is not based on bids. If you choose the 15% commission level, have availability, are displaying complete and accurate room data with competitive rates, you’ll get half of the traveler views and any resulting bookings. If you choose the 12% commission level, a quarter of the views will be yours, again provided that you have availability, are displaying accurate content and your rates are competitive. The remainder of traveler views will be allocated to other distribution partners that participate in instant booking for your property.
Why do I need to provide a breakdown of taxes & fees from my base rate?
On some domains, your base rate, minus taxes & fees, will be shown. If your base rate includes taxes & fees, your property may appear more expensive when compared to competitors. If you’re not currently providing a breakdown of taxes & fees to your connectivity partner, you can provide an estimate through instant booking setup or in the “Settings” tab of the instant booking dashboard.
What types of charges are considered “taxes & fees” for instant booking?
For instant booking purposes, “taxes” include National Taxes (including VAT), Local Taxes (including state or city taxes), nightly occupancy fees levied by a jurisdiction or any other mandatory taxes that are collected for any authority. “Fees” include booking fees charged by the booking agent, mandatory resort or service fees (e.g. gratuities), and any other fees.
Is VAT applied to my commission payments?
Yes, in the United Kingdom and the European Union, VAT may be applied to the commission payments collected by TripAdvisor. When VAT is applied it will be in addition to the commission owed.
My connectivity partner doesn’t offer instant booking. What can I do?
Indicate your interest in instant booking to your connectivity partner and encourage them to get certified at www.tripadvisor.com/ConnectivityPartnerSignup. For a list of connectivity partners who are currently certified to power instant booking, visit www.tripadvisor.com/ConnectivityPartners.
My connectivity partner is certified, but I’m getting an error message during sign up that says they aren’t. What should I do?
If your connectivity partner is certified, but you are not able to sign up, there may be an issue with the feed TripAdvisor is receiving from your partner. Please contact your partner to ensure they have added your property to their TripAdvisor instant booking feed.
The rate and availability information displaying for my property on TripAdvisor is wrong. What should I do?
The rate and availability information you see in Step 1 of the instant booking setup process comes directly from your connectivity partner. This step confirms that the information you entered in your connectivity partner’s system (including taxes and policies) is correct and that your partner is transmitting to TripAdvisor properly. If you encounter an issue, first log into your connectivity partner’s system to verify the prices, taxes and fees are set up correctly. If everything appears correct, please contact your provider to resolve the problem. If the rates still aren’t correct after speaking to your provider, submit a support query via the “Contact Support” link under the question mark button in Step 1.
Why is “Book on TripAdvisor” not showing my rates and availability?
If you select the higher commission rate, your property will receive half of the “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views – or a quarter of the views at the lower commission rate. If the rates and availability of your other distribution partners (like OTAs) are consistently appearing and yours are not, here are a few things to check:
- Review your instant booking dashboard to make sure your campaign is still active.
- Confirm that your connectivity partner is correctly accessing your property’s rates and availability.
- Make sure your prices are the same or better as your other distribution channels (if you have them). If your pricing isn’t competitive, your rates and availability may not appear in the instant booking placement.
- Take a look at the room rate, description, and photos you’re providing for instant booking. If the information is incomplete, missing or confusing to travelers, you may also miss out on instant booking opportunities.
Increase Instant Booking Conversion Rates Important things you can do to increase the number of bookings you receive through the “Book on TripAdvisor” placement.
It’s important to make sure the room data you’re providing for instant booking is as complete and accurate as possible. This will help you to increase conversions and drive more bookings. Read on for tips to make sure you’re giving travelers the high quality content they need to book a stay with you right on TripAdvisor.
Essential room information
Guests need access to complete information when they’re making booking decisions including a full description of the room, accurate pricing and a valid cancellation policy. We need to receive these details for each of your rooms or rates — otherwise, we can’t show them in the ‘Book on TripAdvisor’ placement. There are a few scenarios where we will prevent a room or rate from showing:
- Missing or short cancelation policy: We will remove the room or rate if the cancelation policy is missing, too short or not descriptive enough to provide helpful information.
- Tip: A clear and concise cancelation policy gives your property an advantage and helps potential guests make booking decisions quickly and confidently. Use language travelers will understand and avoid jargon or abbreviations (such as “CXL” for cancel or “nt” for nights).
- Example: Cancelations made within 24 hours of arrival are subject to a one-night room charge & tax penalty. We also cannot extend refunds for guests who don’t arrive for their scheduled stay or checkout early.
- Missing or short room name and room description: We'll prevent the room or rate from showing if its name and description are missing, include only numbers or symbols, are too short to provide meaningful information or use industry terminology or abbreviations that the average guest wouldn’t understand.
- Tip: The room rate or name is the first piece of information guests see – keep it brief but also compelling to draw potential travelers in. The room or rate descriptions provide guests with more details about the particular selection. The key here is to provide enough details to help them decide to book, while not overloading them.
- Room name example: Club Suite, Ocean View, Breakfast included
Room description example: Our 750 square foot Club Suite features one king bed. Suite amenities include fireplace, flat-panel TV, free high-speed WiFi, an in-room safe and luxury bath amenities. Rate also includes a complimentary Continental breakfast each day in the main dining room.
- Missing or short room name and invalid photo: If a room name has the issues stated above and there is no photo, or one that does not show the actual room itself, it will also be prevented from showing.
- Tip: Show travelers the photos that best represent the actual room they can expect to stay in if they book that rate. Avoid using photos of other amenities or common areas at your property – those aren’t as helpful at this stage of the booking.
- Example: (See right)
Other common issues that impact conversion
Below are some other common issues we see with content provided for instant booking. Avoiding these issues will help to ensure you make the most out of your ‘Book on TripAdvisor’ placements, which can lead to more bookings:
- Language choice: To appear in the “Book on TripAdvisor” placement, your content must be provided in the appropriate language for the traveler. Make sure that your content is translated into the languages where you expect to get the majority of your bookings.
- Unexpected symbols: Sometimes strange symbols (â€¢) appear in room or rate names, descriptions or policies. These symbols can make it challenging for travelers to understand your content. Review your content to ensure it makes sense when it's displayed on TripAdvisor.
- Insufficient or confusing information: Your room and policy information must be complete and easily understandable by the typical guest. The format of the data should be clear with no extra characters like underscores ( _ ) or vertical lines ( | ) between words or fields. For example, if your check-in policy states “Guests must check in between _0:00 and 0:00_” – a traveler would be confused and may not book your property.
- All caps: Watch out for capitalization issues in your room information, particularly room names or descriptions in all capital letters. This has been shown to reduce conversion.
- Website Language and URL: The URL of your website cannot appear in your descriptions or policies. Also, ensure the text you provide will make sense when it’s displayed on TripAdvisor.
- Information in wrong area: Confirm that all of your information is showing up in the correct fields. For example, your room description should not be in the field for your cancelation policy.
How to remedy content issues
You’ll receive a notification from TripAdvisor if we see any of these content issues for your property. If you’re in a market where instant booking is live, you can also enter some test travel dates on your property page to check the content you’re providing for the “Book on TripAdvisor” placement.
In most cases, you can address these issues by adjusting the information you provide to your connectivity partner via their systems.
Additional tips to increase conversion
Here are more ways to help increase conversions with instant booking:
- Optimize room / rate names: The room or rate name is the first piece of information guests see. Keep it brief but also use it to draw guests in.
- Provide a compelling description: Descriptions provide guests with more details about the particular room or rate they’ve selected. The key is to provide enough information to help guests decide to book, while not overloading them with details.
- Tell guests about your amenities: A list of the amenities available to guests if they book is very helpful. Again, it’s important to strike a balance between listing key amenities while not overwhelming guests with potentially unnecessary details. Avoid repeating amenities that are already listed in your room description.
- Make policies clear right up front: Be sure to provide travelers with any other key policies, including payment policies (how credit cards will be charged), occupancy policies, check in/out times as well as any other important details guests should be aware of before booking.
Keep in mind, you can always track your accommodation's performance via the instant booking dashboard in the Management Center.Last Updated: June 2, 2015
9 Tips for Instant Booking Success Use these tips to turn more browsers into bookers on your TripAdvisor page
1. Check your availability
To get your full share of traveler views, you need to have availability for the dates potential guests are searching for. Check availability for a few different dates when you know rooms are available, to make sure your information is appearing on TripAdvisor as it should. If your availability isn't correct, check your settings in your connectivity partner’s system to find out why.
2. Make sure your prices are competitive
In order to give travelers the best possible booking experience, make sure your prices are competitive with those of other distribution channels. If they aren’t, your rates may not appear in the instant booking placement. The easiest way to make sure your prices are competitive is to visit your Instant Booking Performance Center. In the Management Center, under the “Products” menu select “Instant Booking,” then click “Performance Center.” Then review the Pricing section to see how often your rates are lower, the same, or higher than other distribution channels (OTAs).
3. Provide high quality content
It’s important to check that the room data (cancellation policy, room descriptions, amenities, etc.) and images you’re providing to potential guests are as complete and accurate as possible. Read here for tips to make sure you're giving travelers the high-quality content they need to book with you.
4. Create a test booking
To make sure your availability, rates and room content appear as they should for your travelers, you can create a test booking. Just be sure to cancel your sample reservation in the instant booking dashboard after you’ve completed testing.
5. Track your performance
Use the instant booking dashboard to manage bookings, track revenue and pay invoices. Tracking your performance with the instant booking dashboard is easy, check out our insiders’ guide for a look at the most helpful tools.
6. Own guest relationships from the start
Once guests complete a booking on TripAdvisor, the details are transferred to you via your connectivity partner. According to TripBarometer, traveler excitement is at its peak leading up to the trip and upon arrival1. Build your relationships with guests from the start by thanking them for their bookings, sharing local information and introducing them to your property.
7. Send value-added offers
83% of travelers report that they usually book at least three weeks before arrival2. This means you have time to develop a relationship with your future guests and upsell them with value-added offers like 10% off a spa package.
8. Reconcile your reservations
With instant booking you’re only charged for bookings that turn into stays. It’s important to review your monthly invoices to make sure any cancellations or booking changes are correctly reflected in your bill.
9. Encourage guests to write reviews
Lastly, don’t forget to invite your guests to write reviews when they get back home. It’s an easy way to build your reputation on TripAdvisor and gain more exposure for your property.
1. TripBarometer, September 2014. https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2503/tripbarometer-september-2014-global-psychology-travel
2. TripBarometer, April 2014. https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2200/tripbarometer-april-2014-global-editionLast Updated: January 10, 2018
A "Win-Win Situation" for Independent Hotels How one independent lodge uses TripAdvisor to increase its visibility, convert guests and create valuable relationships.
The Arbuckle Lodge is an independent hotel situated between the Black Hills and Yellowstone National Park in Gillette, Wyoming. TripAdvisor guests rave about the hotel’s Western charm and amenities.
As one of the owners of the Arbuckle Lodge, Michelle Nelson is invested in increasing the property’s visibility and building relationships with guests. Nelson says, “We work hard to deliver a great product and a great service to our guests. We’re usually the first or second ranked hotel in Gillette on TripAdvisor.”
Increasing the Arbuckle's visibility
But competition with other large hotel chains in the area remains fierce.
“When you’re competing against large chains, it’s difficult for independent hotels like ours to get the word out,” says Michelle Nelson. “But TripAdvisor has really increased our visibility. It’s been an extremely successful tool.”
"TripAdvisor is getting bigger and bigger every day. I see more and more people relying on TripAdvisor to make their hotel experience a good and memorable one."
So, how has Nelson used TripAdvisor to build visibility? First, she worked with her staff to update the Arbuckle’s listing to include amenities, an official description and over 30 Management Photos. Then, they started using Review Express to regularly collect guest feedback – since TripAdvisor travelers love to read new reviews. The Arbuckle also makes it a priority to respond to those reviews.
“TripAdvisor is getting bigger and bigger every day,” says Nelson, “I see more and more people relying on TripAdvisor to make their hotel experience a good and memorable one.”
Nelson also finds the quality of the content on TripAdvisor to be better:
“TripAdvisor travelers put a lot of time and effort into reviewing the hotel objectively and honestly. Most reviews are quite long and touch on several subjects. That’s very different from other sites that have reviews – they tend to only be a sentence or two long.”
Driving higher ADR and profits
Once Nelson had built such a visible presence on TripAdvisor, she wanted to capitalize on it. When her connectivity partner, InnLink, became certified for instant booking, she signed up right away.
According to Nelson, “Once guests read our reviews on TripAdvisor and see our photos, we know they won’t want to go elsewhere. Instant booking is an easy way for them to book our hotel as they’re reading about it, right on the site.”
"The fees are fair, bookings are comparable to the big channels, and we love that it makes the booking process smooth and easy for the guest..."
The results for the Arbuckle have been strong to date. On average, instant booking reservations are up to 16% more profitable than those made through OTAs.
“The fees are fair, bookings are comparable to the big channels, and we love that it makes the booking process smooth and easy for the guest,” says Nelson. “Plus, the ADR is quite high and it’s due to the fact that travelers are booking at our regular rates.”
She continues, “Overall, TripAdvisor does a terrific job of building that loyal customer who is looking for great experiences when they travel. As a result, we believe instant booking may take over even more of the market share in the future.”
Building the lifetime value of guests
By providing access to guests’ information from the start, instant booking has also allowed the Arbuckle to increase the lifetime value it sees from guests.
"Overall, TripAdvisor does a terrific job of building that loyal customer who is looking for great experiences when they travel. As a result, we believe instant booking may take over even more of the market share in the future.”
“Having access to the guest information is vital to our business,” says Nelson. “It allows us to provide great customer service as well as value-added offers to guests. We’ve found that we can convert more instant booking customers into returning business travelers, which is so important in our market. It’s easier to convert guests already familiar with TripAdvisor, and develop them into the perfect clients.”
She also finds instant booking customers are more likely to complete the cycle and leave a review for the Arbuckle Lodge:
“Instant booking customers are the types of guests who are dedicated to finding the hotels that truly provide excellent service and value. That is evidenced by the reviews they write.”
In conclusion, Nelson shares: “Overall, the additional visibility for independent hotels and the seamless guest experience with instant booking, makes working with TripAdvisor a win-win situation!”Last Updated: April 15, 2016
Historic Hotel, Present-Day Success
The Windermere Hotel uses TripAdvisor tools like Review Express to reach 21st-century travelers.
Even in a city as historic as London, The Windermere Hotel stands out. The hotel’s Victorian building dates back to 1857, and the site—close to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey—has provided centuries of lodging for abbots, lords, and countless weary travelers.
“Our location has always been in the hospitality industry: initially as an inn, then a bed and breakfast, and now a hotel,” said Emily Hambi, Co-Owner and Chief Operations Officer. She said The Windermere attracts guests from all over the world, who are often “amazed” by the history of the neighborhood.
But The Windermere Hotel doesn’t just look to the past for inspiration. This award-winning boutique hotel and independent family-owned business also uses TripAdvisor to connect with 21st-century travelers.
“TripAdvisor is not just a place where people go to read reviews. it’s an interaction with your previous guests and a means of communication with your future guests,” said Hambi. “It’s important for hoteliers to participate in it and to really make themselves part of the community.”
A great way of capturing reviews
“Review Express is helpful, especially the automated feature. It can be so time-consuming to write a personalized email to everybody, so it’s nice to have this added help.”
– Emily Hambi, Co-Owner, The Windermere Hotel
As of this writing, The Windermere Hotel has 489 traveler reviews and ranks 142nd out of 1,055 London hotels on TripAdvisor. Recent reviews call it “a gem of a place” and “wonderful,” among other accolades.
To make sure The Windermere keeps getting valuable feedback like this, Hambi uses Review Express to request reviews from guests after checkout. “Review Express is proving to be a great way of capturing reviews, and it has been extremely useful for us,” she said.
Hambi said that she appreciates the automated functionality of Review Express, which makes review collection effortless by automatically sending review request emails to recent guests.
“It can be so time-consuming to go and write a personalized email to everybody, so it’s nice to have added help from TripAdvisor in that respect,” she said. “There’s no chance of me turning off Review Express anytime soon.”
Instant booking on the rise
The Windermere also offers guests the option of instant booking on TripAdvisor. Today’s travelers are increasingly looking for one-stop convenience; a recent survey found that the majority of TripAdvisor users want one place where they can read reviews, compare prices and book.
“Through our Business Listing, it’s possible for someone to check rates and availability on our own website … But it’s also nice for guests to also have the option of booking with us while they’re on TripAdvisor,” Hambi said.
“I think it’s important to have instant booking on TripAdvisor, especially for small properties and independent family-run businesses such ourselves.”
– Emily Hambi, Co-Owner, The Windermere Hotel
Although instant booking is still relatively new for The Windermere Hotel, Hambi said they have seen increased interest over time: “It’s definitely a growing trend for us.” She explained that smaller, independent businesses like her family’s can also benefit from the exposure that comes with being bookable directly on TripAdvisor.
Together, these tools are helping The Windermere Hotel turn centuries of tradition into modern-day success—blending the best of past, present and future.Last Updated: November 30, 2015