While hoteliers can now pay to get their TripAdvisor business listing seen by potential guests, this is not the same as directing traffic to their own website. Guests are still free to choose any of the offered rates and channels on which to complete their booking - and the vast majority of channels available are OTAs. In the image above, we can see that the Waldorf Astoria Beijing has sponsored a listing that then highlights Expedia as the booking channel, despite the rates being the same. Hotels paying for a Sponsored Placement are not necessarily paying to be ranked highly in TripAdvisor's metasearch listings. Many hotels choose not to invest in TripAdvisor's metasearch offering at all, believing it more economical to allow OTAs to pick up the cost of those incremental bookings. It is interesting to see many hotels choosing to use Sponsored Placements don't have a metasearch listing, meaning any booking made as a result of the sponsorship will almost certainly go to an OTA. The incremental volume of bookings they receive may well be worth it - but hoteliers should examine the likely impact on their OTA commission payments, as well as the CPC spend on TripAdvisor, in order to make sure the ROI is worthwhile. Sponsored Placements will not be the advertising medium for everyone, and hotels should approach each campaign on a case-by-case basis. While some may generate incremental, direct bookings, others may direct people already aware of your brand to book elsewhere. We'll be watching with interest this latest addition to the hotel industry's advertising mix. Get the full story at Triptease