TripAdvisor draws in more than 1 billion reviews and opinions from nearly 8 million businesses in 43 markets and 22 languages, making it the world's largest travel guidance platform. Listing your tours on this huge platform opens endless opportunities, brand exposure, and reach!

Are you a tour operator looking to maximize your profits on the TripAdvisor Experiences platform? If so, then this article is for you.

In it, we’ll discuss how to list tours in the most effective way possible and how to avoid common pitfalls that could reduce your earnings. We'll also provide tips on optimizing listings on TripAdvisor Experiences so potential customers can find them quickly and easily.

With these strategies in mind, you should be able to make the most of your tourism business on TripAdvisor!

In this article, master TripAdvisor Business Listing:

Note: These tips can also be applied when listing tours via OTA platforms like Booking.com, Expedia, Klook, and other third-party integrations.

TripAdvisor is not the culprit

While it's true that OTAs are sometimes viewed as evil and extractive within the travel industry, there's much more to their services than the steep commission fees they charge - namely consumer-facing marketing.

TripAdvisor, for instance, is the world's largest travel platform with hundreds of millions of users every month. This makes it a valuable resource for any business looking to market itself and increase bookings. 

So it is of paramount importance that you have a balanced pricing model, have a sound TripAdvisor listing system in place, and use niche features such as detailed visual information to engage customers on these OTAs and ensure that you extract maximum value from them.

We will discuss all the nitty-gritty details of optimization below, so we've got you covered!

So have your hope and do your research - if managed properly OTA integration will benefit and provide value to your brand without breaking the bank!

Actually, we did some research for you! Here are a few tips on whether listing with OTAs is for you:

What to Avoid When Listing Tours on TripAdvisor Experiences

Companies with stellar TripAdvisor ratings enjoy enhanced visibility and positive reviews, which increases the likelihood of them being booked. Further, TripAdvisor acts as an invaluable source of trust that can help boost companies' overall online reputation.

Investing in a high-quality TripAdvisor listing is essential for any business looking to increase its number of direct bookings and improve customer loyalty.

If you're listing tours on TripAdvisor or any other OTA platform, make sure to do your listing right.

But before that, here are some essential mistakes for tour operators to prevent:

Mistake No. 1: Letting the OTA platform do all the marketing

Too much reliance on TripAdvisor for brand exposure can actually lead to lower returns overall, as it will likely reduce direct bookings and repeat customers.

Therefore, think of TripAdvisor as an additional touchpoint online that augments visibility, but don't rely solely on TripAdvisor for your marketing efforts on its own- use it as a complement to other traditional and digital marketing strategies. Doing so could leave you shortchanging yourself if visitors don't book directly with you instead.

Don't rest all your marketing on OTA. Use OTA for exposure, but not as an end-to-end strategy.

Mistake No. 2: Not providing enough information about tour offerings

You should make sure to claim your TripAdvisor listing if you have one. Doing so will help you avoid customers with unflattering experiences and control your TripAdvisor reputation.

TripAdvisor is home to many tour brands like yours so you need to make sure that you stand out from the competition.

Once you've claimed your business listing, make sure to provide as much relevant information and all the necessary business information such as opening hours, seasonal activities, family-friendly options, accommodation listings, and anything else that highlights what sets you apart from others. 

As a business owner or representative, you can monitor reviews and make updates about your business details, tours, and amenities details through TripAdvisor Management Center.

Doing so ensures that customers can get an accurate understanding of what they're buying and have a positive online experience with your tours and services.

Be as accurate as possible with your business information online.

Mistake No. 3: Ignoring negative customer reviews

TripAdvisor is an excellent resource for providing positive customer experiences and connecting with guests. Instead of leaving one terrible review ruining your TripAdvisor listing, take responsibility for unsatisfactory experiences. You can apologize to the customer and offer incentives as a way of making up for the mistake.

Taking this extra step of accountability can mean the difference between losing or gaining customers. Even though mistakes are bound to happen, don't turn away from accountability and face setbacks head-on.

Take the time to respond to reviews (even to negative ones).
Do you know that positive customer reviews can raise conversion rates by 4.6%? Here's our full guide to using customer reviews in online marketing.

You Can Still Win Direct Bookings!

For TripAdvisor tour operators, understanding the pitfalls of TripAdvisor and creating efficient lists is a key tool to have.

To further enhance your TripAdvisor listing and remain competitive, now is the time to start incorporating strategies that will boost it organically.

Below, know how to avoid the common pitfalls described, how to reverse a negative review, and how to boost your TripAdvisor ranking.

Rule No. 1: Do proactive marketing efforts

TripAdvisor is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to getting your tours out there in the world. A TripAdvisor listing not only exposes your tours to a wider audience but also serves as a reputable source of customer reviews and user ratings.

Remember, however, that TripAdvisor is only a platform and that you should not count on it for all your marketing efforts. 


Make it easy to directly book with you

TripAdvisor listings are attractive for those searching for trip inspiration, but some guests prefer to compare offers from actual tour operators too.

An essential part of this strategy is creating a smooth and fast booking process. Travelers don't want to feel overwhelmed by too much information or by adding too many steps to the reservation experience.

Instead, keep things simple while still allowing the customer to secure their trip quickly and easily—this will give you a higher chance of winning the booking over TripAdvisor or other OTAs!

Optimize booking process with fast checkout.

Learn how TripAdvisor convinces a customer to book

For example, have you tried experiencing the entire booking and checkout process on TripAdvisor? Watch how they capture a traveler's attention and learn from their strategies.

For example, TripAdvisor ensures that customers are getting the most competitive deal available every time they book. They also include helpful and informative features such as letting customers know how many people are considering booking the same tour and if it’s the last one remaining.

You see, they keep the guests on the hook, and they make them feel secure, privileged, and informed.

Do the same with your travel website booking experience.

  • Security: Put SSL protection stickers on your website
  • Privileged: Make sure that the search results page shows how many people are looking at the same tour and how many are available remaining
  • Informed: Include real-time customer reviews or testimonials to prove why customers should book with you
Make your guests feel secure when booking directly.

Make it personal, follow up on customer interests

Instead of relying solely on OTAs to do the job, you can reach out to your TripAdvisor listing leads and convince them to book directly with you.

Email newsletters are a great way of engaging them, showing your commitment to customer service, and increasing brand loyalty. Offering vouchers, extra services, or bonus codes once they book through your website will create a direct incentive for those customers to book direct - something TripAdvisor's in-app reservation system is never able to provide.

By providing bonuses and incentives exclusively to direct customers, you create an incentive to make bookings on your own website rather than TripAdvisor listings. 

TicketingHub makes it easy for operators to follow up on website visitors with the Abandoned Cart Drip Campaign feature. With it, your customers will receive a series of emails enticing them to come back and complete their purchase.
Ask guests to leave reviews via email or SMS

Learn more about conversion rate optimization here.

Rule No. 2: Always respond to a bad customer review

Receiving negative reviews is inevitable. There are a lot of contributing factors to a negative review, customer's mood, weather, and whatever factor that may influence their tour experience.

On the flip side, responding to negative reviews is a great way to demonstrate to your customers that you value their feedback. This is because you are willing to do whatever it takes to fix any bad experiences they may have had with you. It also helps establish trust in the eyes of prospective customers who are interested in your product or service.

  • Accept the review and don't argue
  • Offer a discount, incentive, or refund

Lastly, don't forget to encourage customers to rate and review your services on social media sites or through email newsletters for a better chance of getting high-quality feedback on your products.

Why take the time to respond to customer reviews?

Responding to positive reviews shows that you take the time and energy to actively listen to what customers think of your business - this can give you an edge over competitors when it comes to customer service.

In effect, it builds up your listing and gives potential travelers more confidence when considering booking tours from you.

Quick tips on how to ask for positive customer reviews

  • Ask your guests in person after the tour or via email
  • Make it easy for customers to leave a review with a link or a QR code
  • Take advantage of TripAdvisor's promotional tools like tools in the TripAdvisor Widget Center, and features like the Review Express + Private Surveys tool for asking for more TripAdvisor reviews.
  • Automate asking reviews with an online booking platform feature
Make sure you have a system in place for asking customers for feedback

Rule No. 3: Immerse visitors in your tours with clear information

Providing all the necessary information for a guest to book a tour is one of the most important steps in securing their business.

To do this:

  • Craft a detailed and comprehensive description of your tour that helps you stand out from the competition
  • Include key details like your business name, hours of operation, seasonal activities available, and whether or not it’s family-friendly.

Showcasing what makes your tours and activities special is essential to ensure that guests know exactly what they are booking and who it would be ideal for.

Additionally, by including detailed information on your tour, guests can make an informed decision and review you fairly.

Provide as much relevant information for your tour listing.

Invest in high-quality photography

Having photos on your tour or activity listing adds to travelers' ability to truly imagine and envision the experience.

Quality photos showcasing you or your team, destination highlights, and the activities you offer are a must-have if you want visitors to feel engaged and confident about booking your tour.

Provide high-quality photos of your tours

Highlight videos of your guests enjoying your tours

Videos can provide visuals that cannot be conveyed through photos, giving potential guests an even better idea of the quality you offer.

Embedding a user-generated Vlog is an excellent way to show potential customers what they can expect on one of your tours, as the candid insights of previous guests can provide tangible proof that others have thoroughly enjoyed themselves on one of your trips.

Content ideas:

Consider filming behind-the-scenes activities like how you keep your tours sanitized or clean and showing off happy tour guides or staff with inviting smiles. A short history of the tour business could also be an interesting way to capture potential customers.

Use user-generated content like Vlogs featuring your tours

Rule No. 4: Distribute tour bookings smartly

Smart online distribution is a smart way to maximize profits when selling tours and activities.

By limiting the number of bookings available on OTAs, you can ensure that you avoid selling at prices that are lower than optimal. This will enable you to reach more guests who might otherwise not find your tour or activity through direct bookings.

Furthermore, limits to OTAs keep last-minute booking revenue within your control, helping you generate increased revenue without impacting your regular prices or income.

Put simply, smart online distribution enables you to balance the benefits of exposure while still maintaining an acceptable level of profit.

Distribute your booking availability smartly

Master the TripAdvisor Algorithm

Crafting the perfect listing doesn't end with knowing what information to include and the best photos. It's also helpful to understand TripAdvisor's algorithms that decide which business appears to customers during their searches, including in the TripAdvisor app.

To keep your business top of mind and maximize its visibility, you must ensure your listing stands out from the competition by adding attractive and up-to-date details with more positive reviews.

According to TripAdvisor, a listing's rankings are influenced by four factors.

These are:

  • Quality
  • Recency
  • Quantity
  • Consistency


Quality is determined by the average rating customers have given your business. For example, on popular rating sites like TripAdvisor, customers rate their experience from 1 to 5 stars. The higher your average score, the better your ranking will be among other businesses in the same industry. 

Your customer ratings determine the quality of your tours.


Despite impressive average ratings, things can change in a heartbeat since customers are now more concerned with recent experiences. This is why TripAdvisor gives more weight to recent reviews compared to old ones.

Regularly receiving new TripAdvisor reviews is key here: staying up-to-date with customer feedback reflects the quality of service being provided accurately and keeps competitors at bay.

Make sure you continually strive for quality and act on customer feedback wherever possible!


The more reviews you have, the greater certainty there is that the overall rating is based on true customer experiences and feedback.

This not only creates a better understanding through clear data points, but it also presents your brand positively with numerous customer testimonials.

So take this as an opportunity to get as many customer reviews as possible- aim for quality and quantity!


A consistent stream of good reviews is sure to put you ahead of others in the rankings, even if they have more recent ones. While new reviews do carry weight, an increased presence of both new and old reviews visible on your page can make a major difference when it comes to rankings.

What You Can Do to Grow TripAdvisor Reviews

With the importance of customer reviews, there are four criteria to aim and strive for - recency, quantity, quality, and consistency.

To ensure the recency and quantity of reviews, companies should set up a strategy that helps remind customers to review after their tour. In addition, they should offer incentives to sweeten the deal.

Meanwhile, automation is an invaluable tool for optimal reviews. Services like TicketingHub offer automated tools that help drive customer reviews.

Lastly, assigning accountability further helps with consistency in customer service - a key staff member can manage reviews such as from the marketing team or customer support can be made responsible for such tasks.

By taking these steps together, businesses won’t miss out on optimizing the amount and quality of customer reviews they receive. This is a significant factor in increasing your ranking score on TripAdvisor.

You can win TripAdvisor reviews and ranking!


OTAs are a necessary evil for many tour operators but if used correctly, they can be beneficial. TripAdvisor is one of the premier OTAs in terms of exposure and reach but it also has its downfalls.

Many tour operators make the mistake of assuming that once they list their tours on TripAdvisor, they will get instant bookings without putting in any extra effort.

This is simply not the case.

To make the most of listing your tours on TripAdvisor (or any other OTA), you need to have a well-rounded marketing strategy that includes both direct and indirect marketing channels.

By playing the TripAdvisor algorithm right and avoiding common mistakes, you can use this platform to your advantage and increase your bookings!