Jean-Charles Lacoste, vice president of direct connect solutions at TripAdvisor put it this way:
“We are delighted to bring to market a service that fills a need for the hoteliers in the industry, It’s a unique way we can use technology to level the travel accommodation landscape, placing small and independent properties on an equal footing with large hotels and online travel agencies. Clearly TripConnect is fulfilling a need, as evidenced by the significant number of Internet booking engines working with us to provide this platform to their customers. TripConnect is designed to help independent owners drive more direct bookings and increase revenues, as well as collect more reviews and track performance.”
So to put it in a nutshell this is an add on to the TripAdvisor Booking engine drive where TA is certifying booking engine used by small hotels, and big ones too. Now you can use that same booking engine to display rates and availability. But the travelers does not have to book and can also go direct to your website.. For this you need to pay tA for each click.
From the TA FAQ they added this info on what hotels need to do to participate:
Have an active Business Listings subscription
Work with an internet booking engine that has been certified as a TripAdvisor Partner
Be a registered and verified owner on TripAdvisor