By Deb Kohls on May 30, 2014 at 6:34 AM
With TripAdvisor’s recent certification of PMS booking engines through their TripConnect feature, many independent properties are assessing the value of this feature and if it’s worth the effort, particularly if you are categorized as a specialty lodging property in TripAdvisor’s listings.
First, we should define Specialty Lodging on TripAdvisor. According to TripAdvisor’s definition if your property services a specialized segment of the travel market, has on-site staff, and no more than 7 day minimum stays, your property will be listed as a Specialty Lodging. This is where campgrounds and RV parks, and other unique properties can benefit from TripAdvisors vast audience of leisure travelers.
In a recent article posted by Peter Pelland, a leading outdoor recreation and hospitality spokesperson and consultant, the point is made that the specialty travel market, specifically the campground industry, can benefit from the millions of travelers who are utilizing the power of TripAdvisor chose their destinations and accommodations. Peter’s point of view is shared by many of us in the industry who believe that we need to reach out through ‘un-ordinary’ marketing channels to reach a new consumer that will contribute and grow the outdoor hospitality business segment. The grand opportunity is to promote not only your cabins and other forms of rental units but to introduce the unsuspecting traveller to the experience of the outdoors and campaign!
From my point of view, if you aren’t including TripAdvisor in your marketing mix, you’re missing a tremendous marketing channel to connect with leisure vacation travelers who are using TripAdvisor to plan their trips.
Further, to expand on Peter’s point, if you are not taking advantage of connecting your online reservation booking engine with TripAdvisor’s TripConnect, you’re missing the biggest opportunity to generate real revenue during the travel planning stages.
It is important for any hospitality property whether it be flagged, franchised, independent, B&B, resort, RV park or campground to make TripAdvisor a priority in the marketing mix and to consider the benefit of differentiating your property from others. Not only should TripAdvisor should be on the list of priority marketing channels to promote your business, taking advantage of connecting your reservation system through TripConnect is a must. It’s simple, easy and left up to you to control costs. With a pay-per-click model, it’s entirely up to you on how much exposure you gain through the TripConnect feature. What’s more, because TripAdvisor is not in the ‘reservation’ business, you manage your inventory through your property management system. Of course, you’ll need to check with your software provider to determine if your property manage system has been certified by TripConnect.
It is no longer enough to be listed. It is vital to your business survival to take advantage of connecting with over 260 million viewers per month. So now it is not just possible to be listed but also to add revenues to your bottom line!