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.

Monday, 27 February 2012

TripAdvisor app downloaded 25 times a minute

2ND only to Google Earth, TripAdvisor is the world’s most downloaded travel app

TripAdvisor today announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it is, after Google Earth, the world’s most downloaded travel app, according to download data for 2011 provided by app research company Distimo1

The TripAdvisor app was downloaded an average of 25 times per minute in January 2012 and has now surpassed 15 million total downloads2 of the TripAdvisor app across all platforms and devices in 20 languages, making TripAdvisor the global go-to resource for mobile travel planning.

TripAdvisor has also announced its new HTML5 cross-platform tablet app, now available in the Android marketplace.  This free app features a clean and simple interface, making it an easy way for travellers to access the millions of reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor.  Travellers can see a list of top ranked hotels, restaurants, attractions and more in a destination and use filters to make quick comparisons and choices to meet their travel needs.

In addition, recognising that over 50 percent of travellers intend to use their phones to find hotels, attractions and restaurants near their current location3, TripAdvisor has launched a widget for the Android app, which loads a page on your mobile desktop to always show the nearest hotels, attractions and restaurants to where you are.

“TripAdvisor is focused on delivering the best experience to travellers on mobile and tablets and we’re delighted to see that TripAdvisor is the most downloaded travel planning app in the world,” said Nathan Clapton, vice president of mobile partnerships at TripAdvisor. “Mobile is a key initiative for TripAdvisor and we are constantly innovating with partners to develop features for mutual benefit.”

Other TripAdvisor Cross-Platform App Features:

Map-based Browsing
Travellers can conveniently zoom in on an area for more details about the destination they are researching. The app also allows travellers to identify other nearby hotels, restaurants, and attractions for those looking to plan a complete itinerary.

Near Me Now
Travellers can quickly determine what hotels, restaurants, and attractions are nearby their current location.

My Saves
Travellers can save hotel, restaurant, and attraction pages so they can conveniently access them again for future reference.

App users also have access to TripAdvisor’s more than 10 million brilliant full-screen traveller photos of the places they are planning to visit.

For conference attendees
Nathan Clapton, vice president of mobile partnerships at TripAdvisor will be at the TripAdvisor pod on the Android stand in Hall 8 (8C25) during Mobile World Congress. 

TripAdvisor has free mobile apps available for the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, Nokia, and Palm smartphones, Android tablets, iPad, and a mobile website available for all major mobile devices.  For more information, visit www.tripadvisor.co.uk/mobile.

Monday, 20 February 2012

London’s trendiest hotels for London Fashion Week

As London Fashion Week fast approaches (17th-22nd February) and the fashion pack anxiously await their first look at the autumn/winter 2012 collections, TripAdvisor has rounded-up London’s trendiest hotels.  Whether looking for a place to stay, a place to drink or a place to dine, these hotels are London’s top in the style stakes.

With models, designers and A-listers set to descend on London, these stylish hotels may also be star-spotting hotspots.

London’s 5 trendiest hotels as decided by TripAdvisor travellers:

Officially London’s trendiest hotel, Andaz Liverpool Street is home to a number of stylish hang-outs including a champagne bar and Japanese restaurant Miyako.  No stranger to celebrities, Andraz has played host to many, including the likes of Mark Ronson.

As one traveller said, “Mega-trendy and convenient.”

This five-star hotel in Soho is associated with style, luxury and celebrities and has recently been visited by Jesse J, Cheryl Cole and more.  Don’t miss the Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea, with its Alice in Wonderland theme, gorgeous surroundings and delicious food.

One traveller said, “Sanderson was simply a fabulous experience! The hotel is very contemporary, cool, trendy and by far one of the best for design”

Located in the heart of fashionable Soho, a stone’s throw from London hotspot The Box, Soho Hotel is popular with A-listers including Charlize Theron.

As one traveller said, “Very stylish, high-quality and a nice buzz about it.”

4.    Hoxton Hotel

Located in London’s super-stylish Shoreditch, Hoxton hotel is the perfect hang-out for fashionistas and hipsters alike and has hosted fashion icon Alexa Chung.  The restaurant, The Hoxton Grill, is a super-trendy London hangout. 

As one traveller said, “The Hoxton is fantastic. Very clean and trendy. The bar/restaurant are the place to be in the evenings.”

This small but luxurious Clerkenwell hotel has 59 individually-designed rooms and a restaurant headed-up by renowned chef Bruno Loubet

As one traveller said, “This hotel is modernist cool. The staff were fabulously helpful. The room was plush with a balcony looking out over the stunning landscapes of London.”

To see a list of the UK’s trendiest hotels, visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Hotels-cTrendy

* Trendiest hotels were determined using an algorithm that measured highest ratings by travelers taking into account the classification of “trendy” on the TripAdvisor hotel review form.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Hotel prices in popular Greek tourist destinations fall by up to 20%

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, can exclusively reveal that hotel prices in a number of popular Greek holiday resorts have dropped substantially over the past year, with the island of Corfu experiencing a remarkable average decline of 20%* in its nightly room rates.  Other destinations to see a significant drop in hotel prices include Zakynthos, Kos and the capital city of Athens. 

Most of the nine popular destinations studied saw their hotel rates drop by 8% or more, with the exceptions of Mykonos and Santorini which have remained relatively stagnant. 

“While the Greek economy has experienced a traumatic year, the silver lining for tourism could be an increase in visitors due to the lower prices in many of its popular destinations, commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “There are some excellent hotel deals to be had in Greece at the moment, and with hotel prices coming down, it could be a great time for Brits to plan a 2012 holiday to Greece.”

Popular Greek holiday resorts which have seen a year-on-year decrease in hotel prices**:

Average nightly hotel rate:

One year ago
Average nightly hotel rate:

Change in price
20.3% drop
12.4% drop
9.6% drop
8.2% drop
7.9% drop
7.7% drop
5.6% drop
0.1% drop
0.7% rise

For more information on visiting Greece, visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g189398-Greece-Vacations.html

*Percentages shown specify the average change in per room per night hotel room cost at hotels found on TripAdvisor in that destination when comparing 1 November 2010-16 January 2011 against the same dates one year later.  Between 22 and 401 hotels of various star-ratings were checked for each destination, for a total of 1,299 hotels checked across all nine destinations. 

**Prices shown indicate average per night per room per night hotel cost in that destination.  Between 22 and 401 hotels of various star-ratings were checked for each destination, for a total of 1,299 hotels checked across all nine destinations.  Prices in the ‘One year ago’ column denote the average per night per room cost from 1 November 2010-16 January 2011.  Prices in the ‘Now’ column denote the average per night per room cost from 1 November 2011-16 January 2012.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

TripAdvisor’s response to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation

As you may have heard, the ASA today announced the results of an investigation against us. Here’s our view:

We think this ruling flies in the face of common sense and is unrealistic in its expectations from sites like ours. The ASA has taken a highly technical view relating to two marketing phrases that were used in a limited capacity; complaints were upheld on the basis that we could not provide 100% certainty that every single review on the site was written by a real traveller and could be trusted. No system, verified or not, could provide this.  It is worth noting that the General Media Panel (an independent group that provides industry expert advice to the ASA) disagreed with the ASA’s view of the claims.

The average traveller reads dozens of reviews before making an informed decision, not just one or two.  The ruling has no bearing on our commitment to providing a trusted resource for travellers with valued advice and insights from the TripAdvisor community, based on the wisdom of the crowds. We know that our users approach TripAdvisor with common sense, and make an educated decision based on the opinions of many. 

We continue to maintain our industry-leading standards in managing the integrity of our site, because it is fundamental to our success.  It’s because of the usefulness that the traveller reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor provide that we enjoy such user loyalty.  According to a recent PhoCusWright study commissioned by TripAdvisor*, 98% of respondents have found TripAdvisor hotel reviews to be accurate of the actual experience.

We are the world’s largest travel site and we have confidence that the 50 million users who come to our site every month trust the reviews they read on TripAdvisor, which is why they keep coming back to us in increasingly larger numbers to plan and have the perfect trip.  

TripAdvisor was founded on a core set of principles - to give travellers a voice to share their experiences, promote consumer choice and encourage a level playing field for everyone in the industry– all within a free forum for sharing open and honest opinions. This remains our mission.

*According to a July 2011 PhoCusWright survey of 3,641 respondents.  Participants for the study were solicited at random through a pop-up invitation link on TripAdvisor.com.