Barbara De Lollis at USA Today is reporting that Expedia’s TripAdvisor will soon be adding direct links to properties. The catch to adding this long overdue and badly needed feature, is that hotels will have to pay up. The cost will be from $600 to $15000 per year, depending on the property’s size. The fee will reportedly be discounted, at least for now.
Watch for the new feature to be added starting in early January.
TripAdvisor stands to rake in a bundle from this feature. According to their VP of partnerships, Nathan Clapton, perhaps 150,000 hotels fit into the category of those likely to pay up. The math is simple and TripAdvisor may have found a way to turn fixing a severe shortcoming into a cash cow.
Nobody said Expedia has a shortage of ideas on how to make money, even in a down travel economy. Last month, the company reported profits of $117 million, up from $95 million a year earlier. Revenues increased 2% to $852 million.