TripAdvisor rolls out instant booking service to Australia

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Australian users of travel site TripAdvisor can now book a hotel room without leaving the site, following the expansion of the platform’s instant booking service to nine English-speaking markets.

TripAdvisor started out as a review and recommendation site for travellers but has increasingly moved into the travel booking market.

The global company launched its instant booking service in the US and UK in 2015 and has now extended the service to Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and South Africa.

TripAdvisor said in a statement earlier this month a global rollout of the service is expected to take place in the first half of this year.

The service is made possible through TripAdvisor’s partnerships with online travel booking providers, including Booking.com owner Priceline Group and international hotel chains such as Accor, Best Western International and Hyatt Hotels.

A “book” button now appears next to listings for hotels and other accommodation providers that are available for instant booking, with the third-party partner handling the reservation and payment from within the TripAdvisor platform.

The extension of TripAdvisor’s instant booking service for accommodation follows the travel giant’s acquisition of Australian restaurant reservation platform Dimmi in mid-2015.

At the time, more than 2500 Australian restaurants were using the Dimmi platform, which allows businesses to place a booking widget on their website to manage their reservations.

Speaking to SmartCompany in November 2015, TripAdvisor’s director of partnerships for the Asia Pacific, Aaron Hung, said TripAdvisor held 19% of the local market for online travel.

At the time, more than 1.4 million Australians were regularly logging on to the TripAdvisor website, while growing numbers of Australian businesses making sure they were listed on the site.

Around 16,000 Australia hotels, BnBs and rental accommodation providers were listed on TripAdvisor in November 2014, along with 50,000 restaurants and 11,500 tourist attractions.

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Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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