Is Tripadvisor still useful for companies – Or is Facebook taking over?

TripAdvisor is the biggest travel reviews website in the world. It makes nearly $1 billion in revenue a year and boasts more than 60 million members (Tripadvisor, 2016).  According to Business Insider (2015), TripAdvisor is powerful enough to have a large effect on economies. They state that TripAdvisor was “directly related to £1.7 billion of tourism spending in the UK. In 2012, that figure made up around 2.2% of all tourist spending.

TripAdvisor also invests heavily in SEO & SEM. With a simple search: “Hotels in Venice”, TripAdvisor appear at the top of the first page. It appears once in GoogleAds SEM and once through good SEO implementation. This is true of virtually any search with similar characteristics.

TripAdvisor is so popular because it makes so much economic sense. Basic economics tells us that the more information a consumer has, the better decision they can make (OECD, 2010), and Tripadvisor is in the market of information. People trust Tripadvisor because it is from the point of view of the consumer; the consumer goes to a location and posts the best or worst review of that location. There is no imperative or conflicts of interest, a consumers review on Tripadvisor is inherently trustworthy because it comes from a similar point of view of the reader.

A negative review provides business owners with an imperative and an actionable way to improve. A positive review shows business owners what area of business they can focus on to create a USP. TripAdvisor is also a useful platform for business to build relationships, increase repeat customer visits by replying to comments and gain exposure. The gamified aspects of TripAdvisors website means it is easy to understand and navigate. In many ways, TripAdvisor does it best, and is certainly very useful for companies.

Needless to say, Tripadvisor has a pretty powerful effect on the hospitality industry, but is it beginning to be overshadowed by Social media?

Facebook Inc. (Facebook, Messenger, Watsapp, Instagram) dominates the social media landscape (Image, Statista (2016)). If TripAdvisor was on this list, it would be second-to-last. This shows the mammoth that Tripadvisor must face. Is it being pushed into obscurity?

TripAdvisor is a specialist website, i.e. social media such a Facebook is a generic social media platform, whilst TripAdvisor has a specific purpose. This means that making comparisons to companies such as Facebook is moot, as it has a different purpose. However, Facebook has a habit of expanding its platform as far as it can go. “The Marketplace”, which is Facebooks attempt to codify and profit off of the many “buy and sell” pages on Facebook, is an example of this. Facebook already offers page support for businesses, allowing them to easily view and increase their reach. On these pages, there is a rating system which could easily replace Tripadvisor’s system. Facebook has more than 3ox the membership, and if anything has been shown by technology in the last 20 years, its shown that convenience sells. Facebook already has the groundwork to replicate TripAdvisor, if they improved it and placed it in one easy package (the Facebook App), by making it easier for people to compare local businesses in a specific area, and add helpful features to make it more “Tripadvisor like”, it could end badly for Tripadvisor.

Still, for now, TripAdvisor is here to stay. Take it from Lyle (2015):

“Great hotel rankings on TripAdvisor is more than for show. In reality, hotels with good rankings enjoy higher booking, higher average daily rate, and revenue. Hotels ranked number one on TripAdvisor earn a staggering 56% more direct bookings each month compared to hotels ranked 40th in their respective city.”

TripAdvisor needs to diversify to survive. This is the story of every company. TripAdvisor is at risk from massive competitors. Again, this is the story of many companies. Yet, something feels like TripAdvisor is in danger. Going up against the largest tech firms in the world is no easy feat. Will Facebook simply compete TripAdvisor out of the market, or will it follow the story of Instagram (where Facebook purchased it for $1B)? Perhaps the story for TripAdvisor is one of massive success. Only time will tell.



Bighospitality (2012). Online: […/TripAdvisor-boosts-UK-tourism-and-raises-industry-standards-finds-study]. Accessed 18/02/2017

Business Insider (2015). Online: []. Accessed 18/02/2017/

Lyle, T (2015). Online: []. Accessed 18/02/2017

OECD (2010). Online: []. Accessed 18/02/2017

Statista (2017). Online: []. Accessed 18/02/2017

TripAdvisor (2016). Online: []. Accessed 17/02/2017