Smartphones now define travel experience, says TripAdvisor’s Adam Medros (video)

6 Nov 20141 Share

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Adam Medros, head of consumer product, TripAdvisor

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More than 100m of travel review site TripAdvisor’s 300m monthly global users are via mobile, the company’s head of consumer product Adam Medros told Siliconrepublic.com at the Web Summit in Dublin.

TripAdvisor is the largest travel website in the world, with more than 2bn visitors each year.

Last year, the company picked Dublin as its first engineering hub outside the US, and it is now looking for fast-moving and efficient problem-solvers who want to see their own handywork appear visible to a worldwide audience.

In June, TripAdvisor made it possible for travellers to instantly book a hotel in real-time via TripAdvisor’s mobile app and mobile website with partners that include Tingo, Choice Hotels, and Getaroom.com.

In July, we learned TripAdvisor is to acquire tour and activity provider Viator for US$200m to enhance travellers’ experience when it comes to planning and booking trips. Viator lets travellers research and book more than 20,000 tour and activities worldwide online and its site includes more than 600,000 traveller-submitted reviews, photos, and videos.

The Web Summit 2014: Interview with Adam Medros of TripAdvisor

“People can contribute, write reviews, and add photos, but as they travel they will be able to get real-time information,” Medros said of TripAdvisor users on mobile.

He cited a new feature called Near Me Now, which shows the best attractions and restaurants geographically to where the user is standing.

“It’s about the power of mobile and serving a real-time community,” Medros added.

Medros said that in terms of engineering and R&D, the real-time nature of mobile and social media creates a challenge.

“The key is how are people using these devices in this ongoing evolution. For example, we integrated Uber into our phone app to give users real-time transport on demand to where they want to go.”

Multi-device travel planning

Looking to 2015, Medros said some of TripAdvisor’s big initiatives will focus on multi-device travel planning.

“We want to make it easier for people to book hotels instantly without jumping from screen to screen.”

He said that in terms of personalisation, a new feature called Just For New is being launched.

“It’s all about taking this massive amount of content and tailoring it for you with what’s right for you based on your past browsing history, your reviews.

“We’re focused on areas where users get a better experience because of the multiple device screens they use and the content we have.”

TripAdvisor is a Silicon Republic Featured Employer, comprised of top tech companies that are hiring now

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com