TripAdvisor, which bills itself as "the world's largest travel site", has unveiled its upcoming new site and mobile experience which will launch later this year.
Currently in beta, TripAdvisor advises that it is "evolving to become the most personalised and connected travel community, inspiring and empowering individuals with social assistive tools to plan and book better, with relevant advice and information from people and experts they trust".
The new TripAdvisor will expand its community "beyond travellers to also include brands, social media influencers, publishers and friends. Travellers can follow and connect with individuals or content creators who share information that is relevant to their interests".
"Members will also have the ability to create 'Trips', which can be in-depth travel guides, itineraries or simple wish lists of things to do while travelling. Trips can be made private and saved for personal use or shared with the community to inspire and help others".
Adding to the new social elements, the site will be "powered by the world’s first 'travel feed'," where "members will be able to discover more relevant information faster when planning travel. Assisted throughout the entire travel planning process, members can draw advice and inspiration from their friends, family and trusted experts".
Here's TripAdvisor's YouTube video announcing the upcoming changes:
So, what else is new?
Well, we're told that "when a member logs onto the TripAdvisor app or site, their homepage transforms into a personalised feed of information".
"When searching a particular destination, the feed automatically narrows the scope of the information displayed to that particular geographic location.
"For example, members planning a trip to Paris may see a food critic’s article on the best restaurant in the city, an influencer’s travel guide of 'must-do’s', and a friend’s review of a new hotel near the Eiffel Tower."
Stephen Kaufer, chief executive and co-founder of TripAdvisor, said: "TripAdvisor is poised to disrupt the travel industry once again as we create a more personalised and connected community.
“The new TripAdvisor is the one travel site that brings together social-assistive tools, amazing content and our existing booking capabilities to merge the joy of planning and discovery together into a single experience.
"We are assisting our members at each step of their journey as we become a more personalised, inspirational and useful TripAdvisor.”
While in beta, TripAdvisor advises "more than 500 social media influencers, well-known consumer brands, publishers and travel partners have joined the new TripAdvisor — with more being added every day".
"In addition to the many content creators joining the platform, TripAdvisor’s team of destination experts and TripAdvisor Media Group brands, including Smarter Travel, Cruise Critic and TheFork.com, will also contribute to the site experience through unique profiles.
"These partners have already started to create hundreds of pieces of inspiring and helpful travel content, grow their followers, and provide valuable feedback to improve the experience.
"Members will be able to follow favourite brands like National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel Channel, Business Insider & Insider Guides, PopSugar, Great Big Story, Pandora, GoPro, Goop, NYC & Company (via its consumer facing tourism website http://nycgo.com), Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. http://www.visitmusiccity.com, and The Knot, among many others. Members will also be able to follow leading social media influencers like television personality and restaurateur Giada De Laurentiis, as well as travel bloggers Travel Babbo and The Points Guy."
Chris Thorman, vice-president of Community Products and Growth at National Geographic, said: "National Geographic wants to reach our customers wherever it is they are consuming content. We want to be available on all platforms allowing people to engage with our brand and content wherever and whenever they choose.
“We’re excited to be among the first publishers to join the new TripAdvisor, further expanding our travel footprint. As a global media company, we’re always seeking new opportunities to share our awe-inspiring articles, photos and video content, and a partnership with TripAdvisor allows us to do just that.”
TripAdvisor explains its impact on travel and tourism
TripAdvisor also notes the unveiling of its upcoming new site and mobile experience comes "at a time when the company’s impact on the travel and tourism industry is massive and growing.
"Two recent studies show a growing reliance on TripAdvisor during the travel planning, booking (pre-trip and in-destination) and post-trip experience.
"According to a 2017 Economics Study, the TripAdvisor platform has influenced $546 billion USD (10.3%) of global tourism spend annually in the travel and hospitality industry as consumers sought our review content as a part of their decision-making process.
"A 2018 study from comScore found that 60% of people booking travel online went to TripAdvisor during the travel planning and booking process, and a full 74% of travellers used TripAdvisor when booking on hotel websites.
"The new TripAdvisor site and mobile experience is set to come out of beta and launch globally to the public later this year across all markets and languages where the company operates."