Travel websites: David vs two Goliaths

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A personal choice

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Travel websites


TripAdvisor could challenge the big two providers of online travel services

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Service poor, view disappointing

Service poor, view disappointing

“BREAKFAST is nasty, the rooms are nasty.” So complained a reviewer of an Oregon guesthouse earlier this year. There is nothing unusual in that: all hotels must deal with the odd disgruntled guest. This critique, though, appeared on TripAdvisor, a travel-review website. When the correspondent went on to document drunken housekeepers and licentious receptionists, the owners sued him. It was more than a point of pride. What customers say on TripAdvisor can make or break hotels. Around 260m people visit the site each month to read some of the 125m reviews.
The firm makes money by displaying prices from online travel-agents (OTAs) alongside its reviews, and then charging those agents each time a customer clicks through. It is such a good example of a …

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