Having downloaded the app in February 2016, I ahve since then developed a small profile and thus, this article is part of my effort to cross-promote this extension to my online identity.
Introduction to TripAdvisor
In February 2016, as part of the Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip to Cambodia, one of the hotels we stayed at had a sign which sought feedback via TripAdvisor. Eager to provide feedback, I decided to add TripAdvisor to my suite of mobile apps. Having written up feedback for the hotel, and finding the user experience quite enjoyable, I slowly started to explore and learn more about TripAdvisor the app.
My level of familiarity with TripAdvisor was very crude and basic to begin with. As part of the name association, I had limited my thoughts of TripAdvisor to travelling. Little did I realise that TripAdvisor had a greater reach to restaurants let alone their reviewing system. Interestingly enough the original remit of TripAdvisor was in reviews of places of attraction: hotels, restaurants, etc… Over the years, they have expanded into trips and travel consultancy more – the reality being the reverse to my own personal experience in learning about the company/service!
TripAdvisor makes money from hotels (possibly restaurants and other venues) by way of a annual fee paid in order to list the business on their website. This listing gives the attraction a direct contact links to their website email address and phone number etc. As a result, online travel agencies advertise on TripAdvisor in the hope that website visitors click through to their websites. The pricing and revenue for TripAdvisor is structured as bid and pay a fee per click.
TripAdvisor first began in 1999 when the founders Stephen Kaufer and his wife, Caroline Lipson Kaufer, decided to take a vacation. The holiday would have ended up being a disaster if it was not for their decision to research the place online. Researching the place was easy enough, but then finding reviews proved to be the hard part – just getting other people’s opinions of the place was somewhat elusive. Upon realising this gap in the online world at the time, Carolline birthed the idea for a website that would address this problem and instead provide a one-stop location for all trip advice and reviews.
In this way, the initial business idea was not focused on building a user-generated site of swapped user reviews. The purpose of the Kaufers was to build a website that would provide professional reviews similar to guidebooks, magazines or newspapers. Little did the newly-birthed TripAdvisor company realise that the little button that allowed users to add their own reviews would turn into the main show. This one feature started to attract many customers such that user reviews soon surpassed the professional reviews on the website.
When TripAdvisor started picking up traffic, they experimented with a number of different advertising methods and finally chose to work on a cost-per-click model, similar to Google’s search ads. Along with this decision, the company’s technical team developed highly efficient search engine optimisation techniques, and TripAdvisor began to show up at the top in about every travel-related web search. With an increasing amount of fresh and high-quality content getting added to the site, TripAdvisor started getting high search ranks. This in turn helped the company build even stronger traffic on Google, which helped it achieve a higher share-of-mind for potential and repeat users. Thus, a virtuous cycle was created, which catapulted the company to the top position in the industry.
My TripAdvisor profile is available at: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/members/XBOP
As at the time of publication of this article, being a Level 6 Contributor I have the following statistics:
Other interesting statistics include:
- Total points: 11,586
- 26 Badges
- Travel style: foodie, like a local & thrill seeker
The following is a complete listing of my 26 badges and the milestones they represent:
- Review Milestones:
- New Reviewer (1 review milestone)
- Reviewer (3 reviews)
- Explorer (4 reviews)
- Senior Reviewer (5 reviews)
- Contributor (10 reviews)
- Senior Contributor (20 reviews)
- Top Contributor (50 reviews)
- Photographer Milestones:
- New Photographer (1 photo)
- Beginner Photographer (3 photos)
- Junior Photographer (5 photos)
- Photographer (10 photos)
- Senior Photographer (20 photos)
- Expert Photographer (50 photos)
- Top Photographer (100 photos)
- Helpful Reviewer Milestones:
- Helpful Reviewer (1 vote)
- Helpful Reviewer (5 votes)
- Readership Milestones:
- Readership (100 readers)
- Readership (500 readers)
- Readership (1,000 readers)
- Readership (5,000 readers)
- Readership (10,000 readers)
- Readership (15,000 readers)
- Hotel Expert (Level 1)
- Restaurant Expert (Level 17)
- Attraction Expect (Level 2)
- Passport (20 cities)