In a stunning reversal, just three months after officially launching the Tripadvisor Plus subscription program in the U.S., Tripadvisor bowed to hotel chain concerns and will transition the offering from immediate discounts on hotels when subscribers book an accommodation to cash-back after check-in.
The change, which begin to take shape in the fourth quarter, seemingly takes the wind out of the program. Consumers obtained an average $350 savings on initial hotel bookings, according to the company, after signing up for the program for a $99 annual subscription fee.
The model that starts to get tested and rolled out in its initial stages in the fourth quarter has hotels paying Tripadvisor a negotiated commission and providing the company with their publicly available rates. Tripadvisor, in turn, will use these commissions to provide Plus bookers with cash back, or Tripadvisor Funds, in their Tripadvisor accounts for use once they check into the hotel.
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