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May 30, 2021

TripAdvisor's user-generated reviews now on Canadian site

Online travel bookings by Canadians are on the rise, driven largely the strong loonie.

Trip So, it’s not completely surprising to hear that Canada is one of the most successful local units for Expedia Worldwide, the world's biggest online travel company.

Transactions were up 30% overall last year, with gross bookings hitting a record high of $1.5 billion, the Toronto Sun reports.

Determined to hold on to its dominant position, Expedia, which recently announced plans to split its TripAdvisor unit into a separately traded company, has launched an updated TripAdvisor search engine for Canadians.

With more than 35 million user-generated reviews on the parent site — featuring text, guest-uploaded photos, and percentage of positive recommendations — TripAdvisor is a great pre-booking resource, earning top marks recently from Travel & Leisure magazine in a recent runoff.

Like a restaurant review, TripAdvisor doesn’t sell rooms or offer any actual deals, of course, but it links you to partner sites.

The only drawback: Reviews may include the occasional plant from cronies trying to push up their own hotel’s ratings or flame their competitors, but a profile system for each user makes such posts easier to filter out, T&L reports. Nonetheless, a group of ticked-off hoteliers have threatened legal action over what they perceive as unfair reviews.

Undaunted, TripAdvisor’s Canadianized site offers features including the Fees Estimator (which compiles flight costs with airline and credit card fees included in a single display), airline ratings compiled from flyer feedback and Air Watch airfare alert e-mails that notify you when a better fare comes along.  

You can also search flight availability via the Trip-Advisor mobile app. And colour coded seat maps from SeatGuru help you identify the best seats from the worst.

Are you a TripAdvisor fan? Do you find user-generated reviews in general to be useful? Where do you go for information when making travel plans? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...