If you’ve recently started a blog about travel or you’ve been in the niche for quite a while now and have thousands upon thousands of people checking out your website on a monthly website, you’re in the perfect place.
For today’s article, we’ve prepared a review of the Tripadvisor affiliate program – complete with everything you ought to know about it, from how much you can earn to how you can be paid and more.
We’ll also give you some alternatives in case you find the Tripadvisor affiliate programme to be unsuitable for you for any reason. Read on to find out more!
Tripadvisor Affiliate Program Review
What is Tripadvisor?
If you’ve ever been interested in posting a review of one of your previous travel experiences before, you’ve probably heard of Tripadvisor at least once in your life. It is one of the largest places where people go and express their opinions on pretty much anything from restaurants to accommodation and guided experiences.
But while it started out like this, these days Tripadvisor also recommends these services, and out of every click and purchase made through the aggregator platform, they make a commission – which is where you, as a potential affiliate, come in.
What services can you recommend to your audience?
The main categories that people can opt for using Tripadvisor are hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants, restaurants, cruises, rental cars, and flights.
There’s a variety of other things that travelers can achieve with Tripadvisor, though, since the platform now even recommends the services of so-called trip designers.
These experts, through the unique Tripadvisor Reco website, can provide individuals with recommendations on virtually anything in various places, whether that be the best dates to get flights and cruises, the best bookings in any locations, or the best experiences.
These travel experts are available for hire at the cost of $200 (besides the rest of the expenses related to the trip itself).
As for the Tripadvisor website itself, it works much in a similar way to other travel platforms that we have checked out in the past.
For any experience or hotel, for example, you first select the dates, the property type, the amenities, and the price, and then you browse through the results – most of which are automatically showcased based on the reviews they have received in the past.
What we found interesting about the platform is that it doesn’t show any prices unless you select specific dates. And even after you do so, you’re automatically prompted with the best price depending on separate platforms.
For instance, for the search that we performed when looking at the Tripadvisor website and the way it works, we received results pulled from a variety of separate platforms, such as Holiday Inn Express, Booking.com, Expedia, EconoLodge, and Comfort Inn.
Tripadvisor affiliate sign-up – Joining the Tripadvisor affiliate program
Based on the information that we came across, it seems that the Tripadvisor partner program is now available through two separate affiliate networks – AWIN and CJ Affiliate.
This is beneficial particularly for affiliate marketers who have dozens of websites and enjoy seeing all of their statistics in a single place, so that they can conveniently make an assessment of their performance and potential earnings.
When you sign up as a publisher on any of these two affiliate platforms, you’ll have to submit some basic information such as the country you are based in, your name, email, your media property, and some other details such as the amount of traffic you’re getting on a monthly basis or how you’re planning on promoting these products or services.
*After taking a closer look, it seems that the program is only available through CJ Affiliate these days. However, the Viator partner program, one that we have also reviewed in the past, is available on the AWIN platform – in case you’re interested in another travel-focused option and you’re already using AWIN.
Once you submit your application to CJ Affiliate, you can expect an answer in around a week or so. The affiliate managers are often overwhelmed with the amount of requests they get, and if there’s any individual checking to be done, there could be delays.
How much can you earn with Tripadvisor affiliate marketing?
This is where things start to get interesting – every prospective affiliate marketer wants to know just how big of an earning opportunity there is in every program.
Well, as a Tripadvisor affiliate, you can make 50% out of whatever your referrals purchase through the site. Be advised that when you recommend these experiences, hotel stays, car rentals, flights, cruises, or anything else, you’re not actually suggesting they get it on Tripadvisor but rather on the partner website, whichever that might be.
In other words, your name is going to end up associated with businesses such as Booking, Expedia, Hotels.com or whatever other sites are selling the services directly.
The earning model itself is a little complicated to describe because you’re not effectively earning based off of the things you recommend and whether or not your audience purchases, but also based on the clicks they make to the Tripadvisor affiliate link and the partner website.
Based on Tripadvisor’s own claims, with around 170 clicks, you can make $60 per month. Whether that’s enough or not for you, it’s up for you to decide.
Since Tripadvisor works with CJ Affiliate for the management of their affiliate program, all of the information you need actually pertains to the network and not the program directly.
Consequently, there is a payment threshold of $50 for direct deposits and $100 for cheques sent out in the United States. There is also the option of you using Payoneer, Wise, or some other type of virtual bank account these days if you are not based in this country.
All of the payments are made around the date of 20th to 28th of every month. What’s interesting about the way CJ Affiliates works with payments is that you set your own threshold (besides the limits that we have previously mentioned) – in case you want to wait until you make $300 for example, you can set up that limit right in your account.
When it comes to the Tripadvisor partner program, there is a waiting period of 30 days. This is necessary to ensure that all of the commissions you have received are valid and come from actual traffic and haven’t been ‘faked’ in any way.
Pros and cons of being a Tripadvisor affiliate
When it comes to becoming an affiliate of any company, you need to take the time and assess both the advantages and disadvantages from the beginning, so that you don’t waste time and lose out on other earning opportunities.
The pros definitely seem to be outweighing the cons when it comes to this one. The brand itself is known by millions of people across the world, many of whom go to it especially for the reviews – whether to post their own or check out what other people have said about various accommodation options in the past.
The high Tripadvisor affiliate commission rate, along with the multiple marketing tools that you have at your disposal after joining the program through either AWIN or CJ Affiliate are two other benefits that you should consider.
Apparently, there are more than 500,000 locations available on the platform, and while the information is indeed pulled from other aggregators or direct sellers, the fact that there are so many options to choose from makes Tripadvisor look quite professional.
Another aspect worth mentioning is that you’re not restricted to a specific country thanks to Tripadvisor working with CJ Affiliate – you can be based in any location on the globe and still use this partner program.
When looking at the downsides, there are a few that you ought to bear in mind, but they don’t seem to be deal-breakers. Instant bookings apparently bring you just 3% in commissions. It can also be a bit of a drawback that Tripadvisor doesn’t directly sell these hotel stays since we assume that your rate might have been slightly higher if that were the case.
Some affiliates point out that the 30-day waiting period before you can withdraw your earnings can be another disadvantage, but this is something that you should expect from most other partner programs available today.
Finally, if you’re setting out to build a travel blog from scratch and you’re barely getting traffic, this program might just not make sense for you. There are higher earning opportunities out there, some of which we are going to showcase in the next part of our article.
Tripadvisor travel affiliate program alternatives
This is one of the largest travel websites in the world and the go-to place to book vacations for most Europeans and other people across the globe. The commission you can expect with Booking.com is 25%, but the caveat is that is the share you get out of what the brand is earning from the listings themselves.
Still, given how well-known the platform is with pretty much anyone out there, we’d say that becoming a Booking.com makes sense. We’d also like to note that your rate becomes 30% if you refer more than 50 books every month.
As for payment methods, you can get your earnings through direct deposit (available for multiple currencies from USD to Euro) or PayPal. The threshold is 100 euro, though, so if you’re not making a lot of sales, you may need to wait for a while before being able to withdraw your commissions.
This is another pretty good Tripadvisor affiliate program alternative with the 7% commission on all of the experiences sold through the site. It’s a massive platform with more than two million listings for vacation properties and more and it’s available in almost 40 languages.
The two main methods of payment are PayPal and ACH. Based on the information we came across, the cookie duration for this one is just one day, which almost makes it as bad as the Amazon Associates program. Still, the commission rate is better than what Amazon has to offer.
We recently published a review of the Viator affiliate program, so check it out if you have some time. The commission rate you can expect as a Viator affiliate is 8%, so it’s actually higher than the one that Agoda has to offer, for example. This is a Tripadvisor owned company, by the way.
The cookie lasts for 30 days, so there are no surprises there. As for payments, you get your earnings once a month around the 20th; there are two payment methods, PayPal and wire transfers.
The Expedia affiliate program is a slightly worse alternative, which just goes to show how objective this article is. The commission rate ranges from 2% to 6% depending on the location the booking is made from and the location the affiliate is based in – which makes no sense at all.
The cookie lasts for just 7 days, which is clearly not as good as what other companies can offer you. The program works through Partnerize and based on what we found out about it, you can get your earnings through cheque or electronic bank transfer.
This one seems pretty interesting from what we’ve gathered simply because the commission rate is 6% on all confirmed sales, but there’s no info as to whether that’s a share of the company’s commission, too – so you might actually get six percent of the whole experience/hotel stay or whatever other sale you’re making.
The tracking cookie lasts for 90 days, so it is one of the longest ones we have come across. Similarly to the Tripadvisor partner program, this one works through CJ Affiliate.
So, does becoming a Tripadvisor affiliate actually make sense for you or should you choose something different? While you’re not going to get rich fast with this one, we would argue that it might make a good choice for diversifying your income streams — especially since it is never a good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket.
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