Archives for posts with tag: Tripadvisor

Travellers can save up to 57%, by choosing a holiday rental in certain Asian destinations compared to an equivalent stay in a three-star hotel.

The conclusion was part of a cost comparison by TripAdvisor of more than 630,000 properties, worldwide. It showed that families and groups travelling for a week or more can save substantially by choosing a holiday rental.TripAdvisor

The study looked at the average cost of accommodation for a week’s stay in a two-bedroom holiday rental, as well as a week’s stay in two bedrooms in a three-star hotel, in international destinations popular with Singaporean travellers during the year-end peak holiday season.

Travellers, specifically those in need of multiple bedrooms for an extended stay, can save up to 57% by choosing a holiday rental.

For travellers planning a trip in Asia Pacific, the greatest savings can be found in Goa, Tokyo and Penang, where a one-week stay in a two-bedroom rental property comes in 57%, 41% and 30% cheaper respectively than the same stay in two three-star hotel rooms.

Travellers heading further afield could expect similar savings in popular North American and European destinations, with two bedroom rental properties coming in up to 39% cheaper than two hotel rooms.

“Holiday rentals are a great option, especially for families, or larger groups going away for a week or more who don’t mind forgoing certain hotel conveniences, such as housekeeping, room service and a concierge, in exchange for a more affordable stay,” commented Jean Ow-Yeong, TripAdvisor spokesperson.

“The end-of-year peak travel season is a notoriously expensive time to travel, but, our study showed, that choosing a holiday rental could make things much more affordable.”

The survey was based on holiday rental and hotel costs in popular destinations from 1 November 2014 to 31 December 2014.

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TripAdvisor has announced the acquisition of Massachusetts-based for an undisclosed sum.

vacation home rentals

Vacation Home Rentals has 14,000 listings worldwide, and will join TripAdvisor.

Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals: “We’re thrilled to welcome Vacation Home Rentals to the TripAdvisor family. The team delivers a great experience for both homeowners and travelers and the inventory is a valuable addition to our fast-growing business.

This is the second purchase in a year for TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals, as the division acquired Spain’s Niumba a little under a year ago. The division has been steadily snapping up competitors, starting several years back with UK’s Holiday Lettings.

In addition to straight purchases of competitors, TripAdvisor has been pursuing partnerships that allow its consumer reviews to be placed alongside holiday rentals. The division aims to have a comprehensive rentals portfolio that benefits from the wider company’s status as the most visited travel and review site.

The company says that the addition of Vacation Home Rentals brings the vacation rental count to over 550,000 rental properties, including inventory from other portfolio brands like FlipKey.

TripAdvisor signalled its intent to take the vacation rental sector seriously (beyond its previous somewhat piecemeal acquisitions) when it hired Halpin in 2011 to oversee a dedicated division. Halpin was previously president for Europe at Expedia, when the pair were sister companies.

Source :

TripAdvisor, the travel site announced the launch of holiday rentals on TripAdvisor Holiday Rentals India, allowing travellers to search and compare more than 550,000 properties around the world. Available properties are wide-ranging and can accommodate single travellers up to large groups in villas, ski chalets, apartments, houseboats, castles, treehouses and more.

“We are excited to introduce holiday rentals to our Indian audience as it will open a whole new world of accommodation options for the ardent Indian travelers especially ones who love to travel with their family. According to our estimates, an average Indian family (two adults + two children) can save up to 57 per cent in a destination like Venice by opting for holiday rental versus a regular hotel stay. We are confident that this new offering from TripAdvisor will see a tremendous uptake among the avid travelers in the country” commented Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India.TripAdvisor India

“We’re thrilled to give Indians access to our vast and growing collection of holiday homes around the world. Travellers can now find pictures, reviews, descriptions and booking information on 550,000+ properties, while homeowners can list their properties for free and benefit from TripAdvisor’s unsurpassed audience of 260 million users per month,” commented Dermot Halpin, President, TripAdvisor Holiday Rentals.

TripAdvisor Holiday Rentals for travellers

Booking a holiday rental property is easy: through the ‘Holiday Rentals’ tab on TripAdvisor, travellers will find pictures and extensive details on available properties. Users can filter properties by date of stay, destination, size, amenities/options such as ‘private pool’ or ‘pet-friendly’, and more. When a suitable property is found, travellers can quickly and easily arrange payment and/or contact the owner with more questions.

Travellers consistently cite value as one of the greatest benefits to holiday rentals. Particularly for families or groups planning a holiday of a week or more, the savings offered by holiday rentals can be significant. For instance, Indians taking a trip during the upcoming school break could save up to 57 per cent in popular destinations worldwide by choosing a holiday rental


Holiday Lettings, the vacation rental brand owned by TripAdvisor, has struck off more 2,100 properties from its system this year for bad letting

The company says 1% of its total portfolio of rental properties have been “deactivated” for a number of reasons, including those that try to take a booking with a customer away from the Holiday Lettings website.

Property owners that do not engage with potential customers and other activities deemed to be offering a “poor service” are also under scrutiny and could find themselves turfed off the site as a result.

Holiday Lettings also says it will be rewarding the “most responsive” property owners with better rankings in search results, also to those that consistently offer online payment to guests.
Whilst the move (Holiday Lettings calls it a “campaign”) is in-part designed to protect guests by offering financial protection if bookings and payments are made on the site, behind the scenes it also solves an ongoing problem for listing services across the travel sector.

Many travel service providers use a directory to capture potential customers and then secure bookings privately to avoid paying a commission to the intermediary.

Holiday Lettings says customer reviews left against properties on the site (similar to those on the mothership brand, TripAdvisor) are not taken into consideration as part of the deactivation project.


TripAdvisor-owned Holiday Lettings is to delist properties that “consistently provide poor” service to travellers.

The holiday home website announced that 1% of its 215,000 listings have already been deactivated this year from

holiday Lettings

The company is targeting property owners using the free listing service who “fail to engage with traveller enquiries” and in some instances where they attempt to deviate guests from the secure Holiday Lettings payment platform.

Spokeswoman Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies said: “As a TripAdvisor company, we’re committed to providing travellers with a positive search and book experience that results in a secure and easy booking.

“Not only are we the sole British vacation rental site to offer free payment protection to travellers, but we’re now also taking steps to protect the entire experience.”

Holiday Lettings rewards owners who have the most ‘bookable’ homes. These are properties with the most responsive owners offering online payment to expedite the booking, with higher positions in its search results.

Travellers can refine their search many ways to find the most suitable homes for their trip, including sorting by homes with the most TripAdvisor reviews for additional peace of mind.

Holiday Lettings’ payment platform ensures that holidaymakers are protected as long as bookings and payments are made through the site.

If a property does not exist or travellers are denied access to it upon arrival, Holiday Lettings provides a payment protection policy and claim process to protect holidaymakers.


TripAdvisor announced the results of its fifth annual vacation rental survey of more than 1,100 U.S. respondents, which shows that 52 percent plan to stay at a vacation rental in 2014, up eight percent compared to those who stayed in a rental last year. The top three reasons travelers will choose a vacation rental over a hotel stay this year are: more living space (67%), lower rates than hotels (53%), and better amenities (50%). Ninety-four percent of U.S. respondents who have previously stayed in a rental said they were satisfied with their experiences.vacation rental

Families Favor Vacation Rentals
Sixty-one percent said they have booked a rental home when traveling with family or a large group and of those respondents, 48 percent said the main reason they enjoy a rental is spending time together in common living space. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they had an “excellent” vacation rental experience bonding with family.

Travelers Look to Rental for Value
Eighty-seven percent of all U.S. respondents maintain they would stay at a vacation rental instead of another accommodation if it meant saving money; of that group, 27 percent said they would not need to save money to choose a vacation rental over a hotel. Twenty-one percent said they have booked a vacation rental because they were on a budget.

Here’s what travelers plan to spend per night at vacation rentals:
$100-200: 45%
$200-300: 22%
Less than $100: 14%
Settings and Seasons for the Sojourn
Most popular U.S. regions for vacation rental stays in 2014:
Southeast – 33%
Northeast and Southwest (tied) – 15%
Hawaii – 11%

Thirty-two percent will stay at a rental outside of the U.S. and of those traveling internationally, 53 percent will rent in Europe; 30 percent in the Caribbean islands; and 13 percent in Mexico.

The top settings for vacation rental stays in 2014:
Beach / ocean – 65%
City – 27%
Mountains – 18%
Island and countryside (tied) – 17%
Lake – 13%
Summer is the most popular season for vacation rentals as 65 percent plan stays between June and August. The most popular months for stays are: July (25%) and October (22%).

Amenities Snapshot
Most popular vacation rental amenities that attract travelers: Top “luxury” vacation rental amenities that
attract travelers:
Wi-Fi internet access (21%)   Amazing view (61%)

Washer and dryer (18%) Private beach (51%)

Private pool (16%) Large outdoor deck / patio (49%)

Outdoor living area (10%)  Housekeeping service (29%)

Professional-grade kitchen (5%)   Hot tub (26%)

“Travelers love vacation rentals for the at-home experience and amenities that make them ideal for family and group trips, not to mention the potential savings when compared to hotels,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “With the increased demand for vacation rentals, the best rental properties book quickly during the peak summer months; therefore travelers should plan as soon as possible to secure the best property for their travel needs.”

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As large travel booking giants like Priceline and Expedia continue to do big-ticket digital acquisitions, the hotel reviews giant — and now-trying-to-become-hotel-metasearch company — TripAdvisor continues with its curious strategy of picking up tiny travel companies that have little apparent effect on its topline, and surely nothing on its bottomline.


According to its latest quarterly SEC 10-Q filing, TripAdvisor acquired five companies in the first six months of this year for a total cash price of $31.6 million. These five startups were: TinyPost, Jetsetter, CruiseWise, Niumba, and GateGuru.

Out of these five companies, CruiseWise and TinyPost together cost a little over $1 million, more of the acqhire variety, and the rest — Jetsetter, Niumba, and GateGuru — had $30 million spread between them. Our estimate is Jetsetter took the largest chunk of that, which means the sale price of GateGuru and Niumba were likely in the single digit millions.expedia

The table below shows how stingy TripAdvisor has been over the years with money on hand, spending these amounts on a total of about 20 companies since 2009. In fact its spend decreased drastically over the last two years, though it has picked up the pace this year.

TripAdvisor 2013 (first 6 months) 20122011

Annual Revenues $476.86 mil $762.96 mil $637.06 mil
Profits $129.3 mil $194.06 mil $177.67 mil

For a company with annual revenues expected to reach close to $1 billion by the end of this year and a market cap now of over $10 billion, these acquisitions aren’t just immaterial to the bottom line in the short term. The parts of the company these start-ups end up in are mostly inconsequential in the scheme of things for TripAdvisor’s future business growth. And yet it intends to continue doing these small acquisitions going ahead, the company says.

Here’s how CEO Steve Kaufer described his company’s M&A strategy on its Q1 2013 earnings conference call this year:

The…lens through which I look at acquisitions is really furthering the core TripAdvisor offering globally. So we’d look at either something that adds lots of traffic in a market where we’re not strong in, or something that adds technology or features to something that, in fact, we can roll out globally because, again, we’re trying to leverage our traffic base, our content base, our reach, our membership, and those are pretty powerful assets that, if we brought a technology or a team, we can often make some nice hay with that.tripadvisor

But “nice hay” is putting it very generously. The only exception to the above immateriality rule have been TripAdvisor’s vacation rental acquisitions such as Flipkey,, and Niumba, with Tingo and Jetsetter providing some more transactions over the last 18 months. Even all of these likely don’t add up beyond mid-to-high-double digit millions in yearly revenues.

Others in its stable — AirfareWatchdog, BookingBuddy, CruiseCritic, Everytrail, FamilyVacationCritic, Gateguru, Holidaywatchdog, IndependentTraveler,, Seatguru, SmarterTravel, Travelpod, VirtualTourist, Whereivebeen, and – are small businesses at best, somehow fitting in TripAdvisor’s larger goal of “providing comprehensive travel planning resources across the travel sector.”

Besides the small size of these acquisitions, TripAdvisor has also left these companies as separate brands — often under the auspices of the Smarter Travel Media — with little integration into the main traffic juggernaut, except Flipkey’s vacation rental listings on main TripAdvisor. On the other hand, it does integrate some Tripadvisor branding on these sites, with varying levels of integration. SeatGuru relaunched earlier this year with Tripadvisor’s flight metasearch integration, for instance, and that would be an example of as deep an integration as it would do.

From sources we have spoken to, TripAdvisor usually doesn’t mess with the management of these companies much, and certainly doesn’t fund them extravagantly either.

Beyond this, the question becomes: What does Tripadvisor want to be, when it grows up beyond its dependence on user-generated media and lead generation at its core? For now it has stuck close to its core of providing “comprehensive travel planning”, but will it embrace the actual transaction and booking phase in travel? Hotel metasearch as large a step it can take in the transaction direction without actually being in it.

If it does, then it will surely have to reconsider its historically conservative strategy of small, immaterial acquisitions. Competing with Kayak, now owned by the heavy spending giant Priceline, and Expedia, which now owns European hotel metasearch biggie Trivago, will require a lot more heft than TripAdvisor’s organic growth can sustain — especially if its own efforts in its hotel metasearch rollout and uptake remain slow, as TripAdvisor hinted at multiple times this year. It may soon have to start looking at larger acquisitions.

But then, what exists that could make a material difference to TripAdvisor’s business, without turning off the shareholders? The only target that would qualify as a transformative acquisition for TripAdvisor would be HomeAway, with a $2.5 billion plus market cap and close to $300 million in revenues expected by end of the year. Nothing else comes close. Then there are material acquisitions adding to the technology for its main engine, such as hotel metasearch startup Room77.

Lastly would be business and marketing services aimed as a software-as-a-service to its core constituency of hotel clients, beyond what it offers as part of its TripAdvisor for Business unit. TravelClick, with reported revenues above $250 million last year, would be the only one that comes to mind. No other travel-specific marketing service companies/startup is big enough to make any large difference to the company, but there are others larger digital marketing companies to pick up.

Excellent article from

A Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), also known as Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), looks after the promotion of a territory and its key constituents: accommodations, restaurants, attractions, events, transportation, guided tours and any other retailers catering to travelers in some shape or form. Less than a year ago,

Troy Thompson wrote a must-read piece on his blog, titled 3 reasons why the DMO will not survive. It certainly struck a nerve among travel industry peers, in great part because it highlighted a reality among DMOs which is that many are not adapting to the fast-evolving environment in which we now live.

While I don’t believe DMOs will die anytime soon, at least not a majority of them, I do however strongly believe there is a serious need to rethink their business model and role within the travel ecosystem at this point in time and moving forward. Here a five important reasons why I feel their model is broken.
4 Key Disruptors
Today, destinations are facing a much different reality with traveler behaviors and decision-making processes shifting like never before. This is due in great part to four important disruptors shaking the foundations of the industry.
1. The collaborative economy

Also known as the peer-to-peer (P2P) movement, we are know seeing individuals taking steps to creating their own travel ecosystem. Many have heard of AirBnB, HoweAway, Roomorama, Wimdu or Couchsurfing, yet there are countless sites now enabling people to rent out a room, a sofa or the whole apartment or house, either through home-swapping schemes or via transactional sites. Vacation rentals are one of the hottest segments in the travel sphere, with listings increasing both in the key markets as well as emerging economies, demonstrating its universal appeal. But while this opportunity (or threat, depending on your point of view) is often associated with accommodations, truth is it impacts every aspect of the travel experience once at the destination:

Transportation: Through sites like GetAround, Parkatmyhouse or Zimride, folks can share a ride, find a place to park or even rent out your own car to someone else you may need, i.e. RelayRides (see video below)

Restaurants: New platforms such as Cookening allow locals to host travelers to a home-cooked meal, thus bypassing the traditional restaurant scene, while tapping into the “do it like local” vibe that is a growing trend worlwide. Then there are review sites such as Yelp,

Chowhound, Foodspotting or Forkly that will also connect with user reviews about favorite spots to eat & drink.

Experiences: Are you familiar with the concept of “greeters” in a city? Born in New York City during the 1990s, we are now seeing more and more of these volunteers show you around the city, in particular in France and withing French-speaking Europe. Then you have services such as Vayable, Uniiverse, or GetYourGuide that basically address the core of your trip, that is: the experience once at the destination. Would you prefer to hop on a classic 3-hour GrayLine Tour by bus, or spend a couple of hours with a local who will share his or her favorite spots?

Thus, the collaborative economy presents as much potential as it is a threat to the DMO model right now, since none of these new players will tend to become members and partake in marketing efforts for the destination. It is also hurting accommodations who do bother to follow regulations yet get bypassed by these new and aggressive competitors.
2. The rising importance of UGC and social platforms

Social media and the incredibly fast adoption rates of smartphones and tablets by today’s travelers have made the information-seeking process much faster and complex. Conversations about a future, ongoing or past trip are taking place simultaneously on numerous platform, for example when someone checks-in on Foursquare while connected on Twitter, or by taking an Instagram pic that’s automatically shared via a person’s Facebook’s feed. Leading DMO have embraced sophisticated tools to monitor the chatter, with an active presence on all key platforms: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, Linkedin, Foursquare, Tripadvisor, Facebook, Twitter, not to mention various forums where a brand may be mentioned, i.e.

WikiVoyage, Google Reviews, etc. But a majority of destinations are struggling with this challenge, where monitoring these conversations is a daunting task, let alone trying to chime in and engage with potential travelers or those at the destination having questions or complaints.


Travel planning is dominated by online resources
Source: Tripadvisor, TripBarometer, March 2013

As for user-generated content (UGC) sites, their importance keeps growing, surpassing the age-old influencer that parents & friends were traditionally. Indeed, more and more studies and research tend to demonstrate that we trust peer reviews or reviews from strangers more than those from friends or colleagues. Yet, few destinations incorporate a tactical plan with Tripadvisor, for example, as part of their digital marketing strategy.
3. The dominance of OTAs in the distribution system

Here’s a question for you: Should a DMO have a booking platform on its website? When was the last time you ever went to a destination’s web site and booked your accommodation from there, perhaps along with your flights and some attractions or activities to complement it all? Never, that’s right… Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here, but this example highlights another age-old question: what should the role of the DMO be in the distribution system right now? Big hotel chains, and independent hotels in particular, are struggling against the ever-growing dominance of online travel agencies (OTA), in particular Expedia and Booking.expedia

But since many travelers start with a destination in mind before they shift over to the accommodation options, how could the DMO steer more bookings towards hotel members directly, rather than onto third parties?

The region of Eastern Townships, in the province of Quebec (Canada), recently inked a deal with to become their de facto booking option on their destination site, figuring “if you can’t beat them, might as well join them”.This won’t help more small property owners getting transactional, but the gamble here is to bring in more marketing power and spotlight to the destination and beef up the transactions. Will it work? Too early to tell, but we’ll be monitoring closely.

4. Mobile, mobile, mobile

The last major disruptor is the omnipresence of mobile, through smartphone or tablet devices. In June 2013, it was esteemed that more than 40% of all online research for travel came from a mobile device – up from 25% at the end of 2012! Yet, the greatest challenge this brings to the DMO is in the real-time access, how we can engage with the traveler while at the destination. Of the six elements required to make it as a digital destination, one is often under-looked: the need to have a separate mobile site for travelers at your destination. We tend to forget that our behavior at the destination is much different than while at home or the office, researching and planning the trip. So why should the site be the same?

A great example of a travel destination that went mobile is Singapore, with its Handy project. By providing smartphone for a small daily fee, the destination is giving value with what travelers seek out the most: wifi connectivity, unlimited local and international calls, and apps answering most sought-after queries, i.e maps, translation, currency, showtimes, transportation details, etc.
BONUS DISRUPTOR: Who’s the client?

At the end of the day, all these new technologies have created an open forum where information becomes readily accessible, yet curating it all is the utmost challenge and opportunity for the DMO. But in order to properly answer this need, the DMO must first answer the most basic question: who’s the client? The traveler or the member, constituent or political representative?Because you see, this is where the biggest problem lies (at least in Canada). Most, if not all, DMOs get their funding in great part from government, and in variable proportions from a membership. Hotels, for example, might pay in some instances an amount according to the number of rooms, which can mean substantial amounts on a yearly basis, in the tens of thousands of dollars. Just for their membership.

Other cities or regions will collect a tourism tax, but only with registered members of the Chamber of Commerce or Hotel Association for that area. This explains why, when the DMO seeks to build a marketing and communications plan, their ultimate client is not the traveler, but their member. Sure, there are exceptions to this model, but it is a very common one across the country. So if you pick up a brochure once at a destination, will you see everything it has to offer? No, you’ll see what all the members have to offer in that city. This was fine up until a few years ago, but with the above four mentioned disruptors, how long can this go on without creating dissatisfaction with travelers?
One thing is for sure: The DMO will need to adapt or die, and its business model will certainly need to be revisited to take into consideration the changing landscape of the industry.


Source Frederic Gonzalo : Senior marketing and communications expert & speaker with 18 years expertise in the travel and hospitality industry. Consulting since early 2012, I provide strategic planning, social media & mobile development counseling to small and medium businesses alike. Reach me at

We don’t received many news on Holiday Rental or Serviced Apartment in Asia these days, so I have found an interesting information about the most popular travel websites in Australia for July 2013

Rank Website Domain Percentage of Visits Previous Position

1 Webjet Australia 11.78% 1
2 11.71% 2
3 Expedia Australia 8.73% 3
4 Flight Centre 6.50% 4
5 5.20% 5
6 Skyscanner Australia 2.92% 6
7 Best Flights 2.37% 8
8 BYOjet 2.09% 9
9 1.79% –
10 1.69%

Destinations and Accommodation

Rank Website Domain Percentage of Visits Previous Position
1 TripAdvisor – Australia 12.67% 1
2 7.57% 2
3 TripAdvisor 3.94% 4
4 3.16% 7
5 Stayz 2.91% 5
6 Agoda Australia 2.71% 3
7 Viator 2.55% 6
8 1.58% 8
9 Accor Hotels .34% –
10 1.31% 9

source :

TripAdvisor Acquired which gives TripAdvisor world’s largest collection of Spanish vacation rentals.Niumba

Niumba features more than 230,000 properties globally and brings to TripAdvisor the world’s largest collection of Spanish vacation rentals with more than 120,000 properties in Spain.

“This acquisition underscores our continued commitment to growing TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals,” said Dermot Halpin, president, TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals. “We’re delighted to bring Niumba on board; its strong brand, talented team, and impressive collection of vacation rental properties make it an excellent addition to TripAdvisor.”tripadvisor

“We’re very proud of what we’ve created at Niumba,” said María José González-Barros. “Joining TripAdvisor is the right next step for us and we look forward to the continued growth and success this will bring.”

Niumba will continue to operate as an independent brand and website from its offices in Madrid. The company’s listings will remain on and will soon additionally be featured on TripAdvisor and Holiday Lettings.flipkey

Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.

I read it on…. this hotel newsletter doesn’t give any comments. It’s strange! Tripadvisor is used by number of hotels. But in the same time TripAdvisor is building a great network of holiday rental websites (Flipkey…) in competition with hotels. Our World is funny…isnt it ?