Price Integrity Policy

Last updated: August 2019

Overview

  • With the inclusion of price data on TripAdvisor.com through our meta and instant book interfaces, it is imperative that partners are providing accurate and fair, base room rates, taxes, and fees to consumers
  • This policy is in place to clearly define our approach to price integrity in different markets to ensure all partners are accurately representing their value to consumers

Objectives of the Price Integrity Policy for TripAdvisor Commerce

  • Ensure that the prices consumers see on TripAdvisor accurately reflect market norms and consumer experiences for booking accommodations
  • Define TripAdvisor expectations for prices delivered through meta and instant book
  • Detail TripAdvisor processes for partners that deviate from price display expectations

Aspects within Price Integrity

  • Definition – Clear definition of what should be included and can be excluded when sending prices to TripAdvisor

  • Expectations – Specific breakdown of the taxes and fees we request be included
  • Display – Explanation of how taxes and fees are displayed on different points of sale

Definition

  • TripAdvisor expects that partners will include in their meta and instant-booking feeds (in addition to base rate) all universally applicable taxes and fees (T&F) consumers are required to pay based upon booking a stay through a given provider; from booking to leaving the property regardless of whether the amount is collected by the partner or the property* (e.g.: City tax)
    • *This is applicable to all circumstances except for Japanese bath taxes.
  • For Points of Sale where the room rate can be shown as T&F exclusive, the base rate on TripAdvisor should match the base rate  on partners’ booking page
  • TripAdvisor has a regionally-defined guide to what needs to be included (see Appendix A)

Identifying Violations

  • TripAdvisor will proactively look for meta and instant booking campaigns that deviate from our price parity policy
  • TripAdvisor will not provide partners with price parity status (e.g. white or greylisted) of competitors
  • If the reported violation is structural, affecting several properties in a defined geographical area, TripAdvisor investigates a statistically significant sample defined by different parameters (e.g.: multiple property types) to confirm the list of violation properties.
  • TripAdvisor may contact properties by phone or email in order to verify ambiguous cost information displayed on their direct hotel websites. Property management must be able to confirm cost rates to enable TripAdvisor to enforce compliance to partners effectively. Inability to confirm the amount of T&F will result in treating the cost as non-existent.

Enforcement

  • Once an issue or issues have been identified and confirmed, non-compliant partners will be notified
    • Violation notifications will be sent to the partner via email from tripadvisorpriceintegrity@tampdi.zendesk.com
    • TripAdvisor will work with the offending partner to identify and resolve the issue.
    • Greylisting time frames are as follows after a notice is sent:

Source of issue

Type of pricing issue

Greylist timeframe and grace period

Instant Book

All

Greylist will go into effect within 24 hours

Meta

Price mismatch from TripAdvisor to landing page

Greylist will go into effect within 24 hours

Meta

Incorrect taxes & fees with no price mismatch

3 business days

    • Issues affecting both instant book and meta due to incorrect taxes and fees will be greylisted individually in 2 separate steps following the aforementioned logic.
    • Depending on the points of sale affected by a violation, TripAdvisor will greylist campaigns on all points of sale, or only those which are affected and  applicable (see Appendix B)
  • TripAdvisor reserves the right to greylist a noncompliant campaign at their discretion to protect the customer and TripAdvisor brand. Based on our team’s assessment, the greylist timeframe is subject to change.
  • TripAdvisor will whitelist the partner’s campaign once the issue is resolved and confirmed
  • Campaigns will be placed within three separate tiers relative to their performance
    • White listed
      • Status: No current known issues with price data
      • Display: Normal display
    • White listed (under review)
      • Status: Known systemic problems with price data that the partner has a fixed time period to resolve
      • Display: Normal display
    • Greylisted
      • Status: Known systemic problems with price data or violations of the price parity policy
      • Display: Partner appears on TripAdvisor without prices (Click to check price)
  • Tier assignment for a partner is up to the sole discretion of TripAdvisor
  • Although TripAdvisor will assist in any reasonable way to fix price issues, it is up to partners to resolve the issues that are identified within their API feeds
  • CPC rates and Instant Book commissions do not change based upon partner tier
  • Sorting and placement will be according to the data display rules (e.g. a Greylisted partner will be sorted with non-HAC enabled partners)

Expectations

  • As TripAdvisor continues to study the impact of meta and instant book and the share of our traffic towards each, we expect that additional issues will come up
  • TripAdvisor asks partners to provide all taxes and fees detailed in their API responses to ensure that all elements are treated fairly. This includes universally applicable costs such as:
    • Base Rate including extra guest(s) cost
    • Resort fees paid in advance (at booking)
    • Local Taxes and fees paid in advance (at booking)
    • National Taxes paid in advance (at booking)
    •  Partner fees paid in advance (at booking) including traditional Service Fees
    •  Resort fees paid at location
    •  Local Taxes and Fees paid at location
    • National Taxes paid at location
    • Exceptions:
      • Japanese bath taxes are exempt from this requirement
      • VAT for international consumers located outside of Argentina and Colombia looking at hotels within these countries
        • VAT needs to be included for domestic shoppers and domestic hotels on both meta and instant book
  • Others to be determined
    • TripAdvisor will use this data to ensure:
      • Pricing data is being compared on a level playing field
      • TripAdvisor can meet local legal disclosure requirements where appropriate
      • TripAdvisor can provide our site visitors with the most relevant cost-of-stay estimates from time of booking until end of trip

Display

  • Several taxes and fees are not required to be displayed by TripAdvisor on all points of sale during the initial shopping process. TripAdvisor has adopted to exclude these taxes and fees from the advertised rates on several domains
    • Tax & fee display logic is based on domain and not dependent on user IP
    • To display most competitively, on all domains, partners will have to configure their API to be compatible with TripAdvisor’s Version 8 connectivity
      • All universally applicable taxes and fees are required to be included within an API response. TripAdvisor will determine which taxes and fees may be excluded based on the user’s domain, choice of meta or instant book booking option, and stage in the booking flow.
  • Taxes & fees are displayed on TripAdvisor in one of the four methods:

Booking Flow

Breakout

Description

Meta and Instant Book shopping experience

Base Rate

Only the room rate is displayed as a nightly average

All In

Base rate + all universally applicable taxes & fees are displayed as a nightly average

All In Light

Base rate + universally applicable taxes & fees excluding Appendix C are displayed as a nightly average

Total Stay

Base rate + all universally applicable taxes & fees are displayed as the sum of all nights

Instant Book Checkout

Detailed breakout - All amounts

Base rate + all universally applicable taxes & fees broken out into as great of detail as provided by the partner

  • See Appendix B for domains with the excluded select taxes and fees
  • See Appendix C for examples of taxes and fees that may be excluded

 

Appendix A: Price data required (As of 2019-02-14; this list is non-exhaustive)

Region for property

Base Rate

Taxes

Fees

Resort Fee

Asia

Include

National Tax

Local & City Taxes

Location Service

Charge

Include

North Africa

Include

National Tax

Local & City taxes

Location Service

Charge

Include

Europe

Include

National Tax and VAT

Occupancy Fees

Local & City Taxes

 

Include

Oceana and Southern

Pacific

Include

National Tax and VAT Occupancy fees

Local & City Taxes

 

Include

United States

Include

State and Federal Tax

All Local Taxes

Local Occupancy Tax

 

Include

South and Central America

Include

All Local Taxes

 

Include

Maldives

Include

National Tax

Local Taxes

Transfer fee

Environmental Fee

Service Charge

Include

Japan and Korea

Include

National Tax

Accommodation Tax

Service fee

Include

Greece

Include

National Tax

Local and City Taxes

Stayover tax

 

Include

 

Appendix B: Pricing Breakout by domain during the shopping experience

Point of Sale

Domain

Pricing Breakout

Arabic

ar.tripadvisor.com

All In

Argentina

www.tripadvisor.com.ar

Base Rate

Australia

www.tripadvisor.com.au

Total Stay

Austria

www.tripadvisor.at

All In

Belgium

tripadvisor.be

All In

Brazil

www.tripadvisor.com.br

Base Rate

Canada

www.tripadvisor.ca

Base Rate

Chile

www.tripadvisor.cl

Base Rate

China (Domestic)

www.tripadvisor.cn

All In Light

China (International)

cn.tripadvisor.com

Base Rate

Colombia

www.tripadvisor.co

Base Rate

Czech Republic

www.tripadvisor.cz

All In

Denmark

www.tripadvisor.dk

All In

Egypt

www.tripadvisor.com.eg

All In

Finland

www.tripadvisor.fi

All In

France

www.tripadvisor.fr

Total Stay

Germany

www.tripadvisor.de

All In

Greece

www.tripadvisor.com.gr

All In

Hong Kong

en.tripadvisor.com.hk

Base Rate

Hungary

www.tripadvisor.co.hu

All In

India

www.tripadvisor.in

All In Light

Indonesia

www.tripadvisor.co.id

Base Rate

Ireland

www.tripadvisor.ie

All In

Israel

www.tripadvisor.co.il

Base Rate

Italy

www.tripadvisor.it

All In

Japan

www.tripadvisor.jp

All In Light

Malaysia

www.tripadvisor.com.my

Base Rate

Mexico

www.tripadvisor.com.mx

Base Rate

New Zealand

www.tripadvisor.co.nz

Total Stay

Norway

no.tripadvisor.com

All In

Peru

www.tripadvisor.com.pe

Base Rate

Philippines

www.tripadvisor.com.ph

Base Rate

Poland

pl.tripadvisor.com

All In

Portugal

www.tripadvisor.pt

All In

Russia

www.tripadvisor.ru

All In Light

Serbia

www.tripadvisor.rs

All In

Singapore

www.tripadvisor.com.sg

Base Rate

Slovakia

www.tripadvisor.sk

All In

South Africa

www.tripadvisor.co.za

All In

South Korea

www.tripadvisor.co.kr

All In

Spain

www.tripadvisor.es

All In

Sweden

www.tripadvisor.se

All In

Switzerland

www.tripadvisor.ch

All In Light

Taiwan

www.tripadvisor.com.tw

Base Rate

Thailand

th.tripadvisor.com

Base Rate

The Netherlands

www.tripadvisor.nl

All In

Turkey

www.tripadvisor.com.tr

All In

United Kingdom

www.tripadvisor.co.uk

All In

United States

www.tripadvisor.com

Base Rate

Venezuela

www.tripadvisor.com.ve

Base Rate

Vietnam

www.tripadvisor.com.vn

Base Rate

 

Appendix C:

The below amounts may be excluded from display on All In Light domains during the shopping experience. These amounts need to be included in a partner’s API response to TripAdvisor, though if tagged correctly per our V8 connectivity guidelines, may be excluded by TripAdvisor from displaying on All In Light domains. These excluded amounts include, but are not limited to:

  • City taxes
  • Tourist taxes and/or fees
  • Transfer fees
  • Resort fees
  • Environmental fees
  • Bath taxes
  • Local taxes and fees that are commonly collected at the hotel