Since it was founded way back in 2000, TripAdvisor has established itself as one of the web’s top go-to places for travel reviews — but its booking capabilities for hotels have notably lagged behind. The site has historically adhered to showing hotel prices in a series of early aughts-style pop-up windows from partner sites, rather than on one page alone à la Kayak hotel search.
That’s finally all changed. TripAdvisor announced today the worldwide launch of its all-in-one hotel price comparison search, putting an end to those pop-ups for good. The new one-page display is currently live for hotels all around the world, and active across all of TripAdvisor’s mobile apps and websites. TripAdvisor is still not a hotel booking provider itself, but it has now put price results from all of its booking partners on one page — you still click through to another site to ultimately purchase a room.
The company acknowledged how late to the game it’s been with a cheeky press release entitled “TripAdvisor Apologizes To Travelers Around The World.” It’s a pretty refreshing way to handle the launch, and frankly a bit unexpected coming from a 13-year-old publicly traded company worth some $8.8 billion.
Here’s one bit:
“‘Our bad,’ said Steve Kaufer, co-founder and CEO of TripAdvisor. ‘We want to help travelers plan and have the perfect trip, not drive them crazy with endless annoying pop-ups before they’ve booked it. We are excited to offer real-time hotel prices and availability in one convenient display.’”
Amid the jokes, though, TripAdvisor is also keen to point out that even though the launch is late, it is still powerful. That’s because the one-page price comparison is tied in automatically with the 100 million user reviews that are currently on the site. TripAdvisor’s size and scope may be part of why it’s been so slow to roll out this feature, but it could also work to its advantage going forward.
Ultimately, this launch could have a nice impact on TripAdvisor’s sales — helping the company capture more of a cut from the hotel stays that it has been guiding people towards for years now. Time will tell as the quarterly reports continue to roll in.