TripAdvisor announced its plans to launch TripAdvisor Connect, a ground-breaking online platform that will enable independent hotels and B&Bs of all sizes to access services previously only available to major online travel agencies, booking engines and hotel chains. Scheduled for launch in late 2013, TripAdvisor Connect will give accommodation owners the ability to manage their online promotion themselves. Owners will have access to simple online tools that help them analyse their advertising results as well as to encourage more user reviews through automated post-stay review collection emails via their Internet Booking Engine. To be eligible to participate, accommodation owners must be TripAdvisor Business Listings subscribers and must provide real-time availability and the ability to book online via a certified Internet Booking Engine. Jean-Charles Lacoste, TripAdvisor’s Vice President of Direct Connect Solutions, said, “Major online travel agencies and hotel chains have been able to bid for traffic on TripAdvisor for many years and we have provided channels for review collection. Now, TripAdvisor Connect will provide automated and self-managed versions of these services to hundreds of thousands of independent hotels and B&Bs.” Julio Bruno, TripAdvisor’s Global Vice President of Sales and TripAdvisor for Business, said, “Business Listings subscribers have asked us to provide the same real time pricing and availability check that previously only larger businesses have used. Through TripAdvisor Connect, subscribers will now be able to use the full suite of promotional services and track their advertising spend. This means that the even the smallest guesthouse will have the same visibility as a large hotel chain, and they can manage their promotions themselves from their Management Centre.” Bruno continued, “Hoteliers frequently ask us how they can improve their ranking on TripAdvisor. The answer is simply to remind guests to write a review. Reviews are an essential part of building a great online reputation. With TripAdvisor Connect, we’ve automated the process of sending a reminder to write a review after a guest checks out.”