TripAdvisor’s new best value ranking system for hotels is being touted as possibly the most disruptive move in the powerful travel website’s history.
Best value, rolled out system-wide on May 30, will take into consideration hotel ratings, rates, booking popularity, brand affinity and location, as well as personal user preferences.
It has become the default ranking although users of the site are still able to alter the default setting if they wish.
That means they could stick to using the old traveller popularity ranking based purely on how highly the hotel is rated by users.
However, the switch to a more value-based ranking underlines TripAdvisor’s move away from its founding ethos of being a site where travellers can publish and share reviews.
TripAdvisor says the change is driven by the need to provide more relevant results as the internet becomes increasingly difficult to navigate and users look for shortcuts to what they want.
A spokesperson for TripAdvisor said: “The hotels that are shown towards the top of the list for one traveller, based on what we know about what’s important to them, might differ from the hotels that are shown towards the top of the list for another. Essentially, it’s all about matching the right hotel to each traveller.”
Blogger Daniel E. Craig, founder of Reknown, described the change as “the latest and possibly the most disruptive, from a review site to a place to plan, share and book travel experiences—and above all to get the best deals on hotels”.
Craig says one thing is clear from the change; that rave reviews and a high popularity ranking are no longer a pre-requisite if you want high visibility on arguably travel’s most powerful marketing platform.