Guide to Your TripAdvisor Primary Photo

You only get one chance to make a strong first impression to travelers. Make it count by leveraging our advanced technology which auto-selects your primary photo for you — or, follow our tips for choosing your own.

Your primary photo is the first image that travelers see of your property. It appears as your main image in search results and as the first image in your photo carousel. We know that a well-chosen primary photo can be a driving factor for travelers choosing their next place to stay. After all, 79% of travelers say they take photos and videos posted online into consideration when booking an accommodation.*

Since photos are such an important feature to travelers and owners alike, we’ve invested a lot of time and resources into our machine learning technology for photos. This technology alleviates the pressure owners often feel to pick a quality primary photo on their own, by auto-selecting a primary photo for them.

Auto-select uses advanced technology to analyze the quality and subject of photos on TripAdvisor to select the best available primary photo for a listing. Our technology looks at the physical attributes of a photo, such as image resolution and orientation, as well as the actual subject of a photo, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor shot, features people, or amenities, etc. User testing so far has demonstrated that this approach works. Auto-selected images are high-resolution images, rather than blurry ones, and feature bedrooms and swimming pools, over photos of travelers or bathrooms.

This new approach uses data to remove the subjectivity of manually choosing a photo and ensures primary photos are optimized for travelers searching for their next place to stay. However, if you’d prefer to manually select your primary photo (and opt out of the auto-selection feature) you can do so in the Management Center. Read below for instructions and best practices on choosing a primary photo.

How to manually change your primary photo

  1. Sign into the Management Center
  2. Under the "Profile" menu at the top of the page, click "Media Suite"
  3. Then, click the "Primary Photo" tab on the left
  4. Click “Manual: select your own primary photo"
  5. Choose the primary photo you'd like to use from the available options listed
  6. If you're happy with the preview of your new primary photo, displayed at the top of the page, click "Submit"

Note: It can take up to 3-5 business days for a primary photo change to take effect on your page. Once you’ve selected your photo, and it’s processing, you’ll see it in the Media Suite along with a date stamp and a note indicating that the request is pending.

Requirements for your primary photo

  • Show off your property’s best feature(s). Your primary photo should represent the best your property has to offer. Choose a photo that emphasizes what makes your property unique. Is it your historical facade, your trendy lobby, or your unparalleled views? Show travelers by highlighting whatever features set you apart in your primary photo.
  • Choose well-lit and sharp images. Avoid images that are dark and/or blurry. These images are going to be resized based on where they appear on TripAdvisor — so they need to remain easy to view at all sizes, whether it’s a thumbnail on mobile or a full screen image on desktop.
  • Change your primary photo with the season. Travelers want to picture themselves at your property right from the start. Choose a primary photo that represents the season travelers are shopping for. For example, if it’s near the holidays, highlight your cozy fireplace or seasonal decorations.
  • Avoid images of people and scenery. Photos of your property or location are more helpful to travelers than photos of staff members, other travelers, or generic scenic views of your area.
  • Or, leverage TripAdvisor machine learning and we’ll auto-select it for you! Skip the hassle of manually choosing a primary photo and let our technology do the work for you! If you don’t opt out of the “auto-select primary photo” option — we’ll automatically select the best available photo as your primary photo.

Tracking the success of your photos

Beyond just your primary photo, keep track of how travelers are engaging with all of your photos using the Business Advantage Analytics Suite. Owners with a Business Advantage subscription have exclusive access to their average and monthly photo engagement rate — and even the ability to compare these metrics to their competitors. Learn more about what’s included in the Analytics Suite here.


View Your Primary Photo

View Your Primary Photo

Last Updated: July 27, 2018