This is sad news for hotels who are looking for more friendly marketing partners.
TA CEO, Kaufer, has noted that while some hotels and online travel agencies are supportive other online travel agencies “might prefer for us not to change the model.”
The transitioning to assisted booking will see travel shoppers complete the booking in the TripAdvisor app, is expected to increase conversions as “leads often evaporate” if TripAdvisor hand off the consumer from its app to a hotel or online travel agency site”. Naturally many online travel agencies prefer to get the leads themselves rather, and we believe hat is the case with many hotel partners also.
Kaufer said the transition to hotel metasearch “was the most transformative usability improvement in our customers’ history”. He added that with the move to assisted booking is not as urgent as was the 2013 meta transition.
Kaufer offered no timetable for when TripAdvisor will implement assisted bookings on mobile, but added that TripAdvisor is known for moving quickly.