Welcome to our official TripAdvisor UK blog. This is where we aim to share our thoughts, quirky updates, new research and anything else we hope you will find useful and interesting.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

TripAdvisor Brings Its Free Mobile City Guides to the iPhone

Last month, TripAdvisor launched its free Mobile City Guide apps for the Android for 20 popular world cities. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re bringing this same destination content to the iPhone with our Mobile City Guide app in the Apple App Store.

The new app, with downloadable information for 20 popular world cities, offers you quick smartphone access to detailed destination content, including traveller reviews and opinions on hotels, restaurants and attractions, as well as interactive walking tours and suggested itineraries. Information from the app is available even when you’re offline, making it especially useful when you’re travelling abroad, since you can download the app before you go and avoid expensive roaming charges.

The Mobile City Guide app is automatically synced with the freshest TripAdvisor content available so you can access the latest traveller reviews and opinions while on the go.  Additionally, each of the Mobile City Guides offers walking tours and insider tips that can be viewed on the app without a data connection, including in-depth information on neighbourhoods, history, culture, architecture, weather and transportation.

TripAdvisor Mobile City Guides are available through the app for the following destinations: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Florence, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, and Washington D.C.

The TripAdvisor Mobile City Guide app is available for free in the Apple App Store, and is also available as a standalone app for each city in the Android Market. More information about the TripAdvisor Mobile City Guides can be found at www.tripadvisor.com/CityGuide.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Traveller interest in Japan hits highest levels for 2011

TripAdvisor research paints positive picture for Japan’s inbound tourism

Following reports this week of economic growth for Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year, there’s more good news for the country: tourist interest in Japan is at its highest levels so far this year, according to TripAdvisor research*.

Searches for Japan on TripAdvisor have been on the rise since hitting a low in May. In October, Japan searches hit their highest level of the year - and have recovered to the same level as they were at this time in 2010.**

A recent TripAdvisor survey also revealed that the vast majority of British travellers see no issue now in visiting to Japan – 80% of respondents said they would feel safe travelling to the country.***

“Japan is a beautiful country with plenty to offer the discerning traveller,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “We’re happy to see that after such a tough time, tourism interest in the country has recovered and we hope that many travellers are currently planning their trips to Japan.”

*Based on worldwide TripAdvisor traffic figures
**Year-on-year comparisons (October 2010 v October 2011) show Japan’s TripAdvisor pages saw the same traffic levels in both time periods
***Survey carried out on 1,425 respondents in the UK in October 2011

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Brits still plan to spend on 2012 travel despite economic woes

A quarter of Brits will increase their holiday spend in 2012*

TripAdvisor today reveals the results of its 2012 Travel Trends Survey.  While the troubled economy is the most significant concern for Britons planning their 2012 holidays, travel budgets look set to remain healthy and tourism generally will be buoyant with two thirds (66%) of Brits planning to take between two and four leisure trips in 2012.

Healthy budgets despite worry
Although worried about the economy, Brits are refusing to sacrifice their 2012 holidays and are spending accordingly, even if that means booking on credit.
-A quarter (25%) of Brits plan to spend more in 2012 on travel than they did in 2011. Only 16% plan to spend less, while 59% intend to spend about the same
-Brits will do what it takes to have their holidays – one-third (32%) of respondents admit they won’t pay for their 2012 holiday up front, with one-fifth (21%) taking over two months to pay their holiday bill
-The most common 2012 holiday budget for Brits is between £2K and £4K, which is the expected spend for 29% of Brits in the coming year
-An extravagant 17% of Brits are clearly unconcerned about the economic situation as they plan to spend £8K or more on leisure travel in 2012

Economic anxiety overtakes volcanic concerns
Ash cloud is out, economy is in: concern over the state of the economy is the biggest worry for Brits in their 2012 travel planning, replacing last year’s top concern of volcanic ash.
-One-third (33%) said the economy is their biggest concern in travel planning, while despite trouble in Europe, only 27% of Europeans feel the same way
-The following factors, in order, are most likely to affect travel planning for Brits in 2012:
1.    The current economic climate
2.    Terrorism
3.    Potential strikes/industrial action
4.    Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax
5.    Travel firms collapsing 
-Over one-third of Brits (36%) are now more likely to buy holiday insurance as a result of uncertainty in the industry last year

Olympics Has Little Impact on Travel Plans
With beautiful beaches, historic cities and stunning countryside on their doorstep, Brits are this year planning to take advantage of what’s within their borders:
-40% of Brits intend to take a ‘Staycation’ in 2012, taking time off but holidaying at home.  This is roughly the same as last year (38%)
-Over three-quarters (76%) of Brits are planning at least one domestic holiday for 2012 with nearly half (47%) planning to take two or more
-The Olympics have, so far, failed to have a major impact on British travel plans:
o    Two-thirds (67%) of respondents said it will not factor into their travel 2012 plans
o    However 12% will purposefully not travel during the Olympics so they can stay at home and watch
o    A hopeful 10% intend to take advantage of possible bargain travel deals outside of the UK during the Olympics

Foreign Travel Forecast
Short-haul travel is expected to outpace long-haul travel by a larger margin in 2012 than it did in 2011 as Brits admit they’ll look to economically hard-hit Eurozone countries – Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain, for example – for good deals:
-88% of Brits are planning at least one short-haul trip in 2012
-60% of Brits are planning at least one long-haul trip in 2012, down from 66% in 2011. 
-Of those planning a long-haul trip, North America is the most popular destination, followed by Asia then Africa
-34% of Brits admit they’ll plan to take advantage of hard-hid Eurozone countries for good deals

“This year’s results demonstrate that while financial concerns are clearly front of mind, resilient Brits are not prepared to sacrifice their 2012 holidays,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Brits are considering their holiday budgets carefully but crucially we still intend to spend on leisure travel, with the vast majority planning on spending at least the same as last year.”

*Survey carried out on 6.092 travellers, including 1,440 respondents from the UK.  Survey conducted in October 2011

Friday, 4 November 2011

TripAdvisor app awarded ‘Most Effective Mobile Travel & Tourism Solution’ at Effective Mobile Marketing Awards

TripAdvisor’s app has been crowned Most Effective Mobile Travel & Tourism Solution at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. 

Nathan Clapton, TripAdvisor Vice President of Mobile Partnerships said, “We’re thrilled with this accolade.  It’s well-deserved recognition for our mobile product and engineering teams who’ve worked tirelessly to create the best mobile travel app on the market.

“With more and more travellers now making travel decisions on-the-go, it’s a great honour for our app to be named Most Effective Mobile Travel & Tourism Solution.  We are the world’s largest travel website and our app provides mobile users with access to over 50 million reviews and opinions.”

TripAdvisor apps now have over 10 million downloads and are available in over 123 countries and in 20 languages.  The iPad app has reached number one in Apple’s free travel apps in 85 countries.

As well as allowing travellers to search for hotels, restaurants, attractions, and the cheapest airfares, the TripAdvisor mobile app also features the ability to see what’s “near me now” and use TripAdvisor ratings to pick the best of what’s nearby.  The app also means travellers can send in reviews while they’re on the road while their experiences are still fresh.

The Effective Mobile Marketing Awards attracted 154 entries across 17 categories from well-known brands all over the world and TripAdvisor was selected as the winner of its category by a panel of expert judges.

The TripAdvisor app was named ‘Best Travel App’ at the Appy Awards in April 2011 and ‘Best Travel & Tourism Smart Phone App’ at the British Travel Awards this week, where TripAdvisor was also named ‘Best Travel Information/Review Site’. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Raise your glass to Britain's best nightlife destinations

According to TripAdvisor travellers, Liverpool is the UK’s best party spot.  It outclassed runner-up and North West arch rival, Manchester, in the party stakes to be crowned Britain’s best nightlife destination. London took third place, followed by Glasgow and Brighton in fourth and fifth places respectively.

“Liverpudlians should be thrilled their city has been crowned Britain’s best nightlife destination. The city boasts thriving live music and comedy scenes, along with great clubs, bars and restaurants,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.

Lively Liverpool reigns as Britain’s party capital
Already world-famous for its musical heritage thanks to its claim as home of the Beatles, Liverpool has much to offer visitors, whether Fab Four fans or not.

Alma de Cuba, a Latin-themed bar in a converted church should not be missed, while Newz Bar lends itself well to celebrity spotting.  Beatles fans can’t miss Ye Cracke, an old pub thought to be a favourite of John Lennon’s in his student days. The Royal Court Theatre is great for live comedy, while The Shipping Forecast, Cavern Club and Magnet are renowned for live music. 

Visitors coming to sample Liverpool’s nightlife shouldn’t ignore the city’s impressive daytime offerings either. Named the European Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool clearly offers something for every traveller - The Beatles Story Experience and Paul’s childhood home, as well as Albert Dock’s stories, Liverpool Cathedral and Walker Art Gallery have all proven popular with visitors. 

The North-South Divide
Laying claim to four of Britain’s best nightlife destinations (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Blackpool), the north of England is clearly where the party’s at.  The south has only two destinations in the list (London and Brighton), while Scotland also has two (Glasgow and Edinburgh) and Wales (Cardiff) and Northern Ireland (Belfast) each have one. 

Lavish London misses top spots
Despite being world-renowned for its extensive club scene, endless pubs and great bars, and with celebrity haunts such as Mahiki regularly making tabloid headlines, London was beat out by the lively north in the nightlife stakes.  To be named Britain’s third-best nightlife destination is an impressive finish, but lovers of London may have expected it to place higher.

Britain’s best nightlife destinations:
1.    Liverpool
2.    Manchester
3.    London
4.    Glasgow
5.    Brighton
6.    Leeds
7.    Cardiff
8.    Belfast
9.    Blackpool
10. Edinburgh

TripAdvisor’s Best Nightlife Destinations is based on the average ratings TripAdvisor users gave each UK destination in the nightlife category when submitting a review during 2011. Rankings were taken based on reviews submitted between 1 January and 16 September 2011