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TripAdvisor pushes into city guides with line of Android apps

TripAdvisor developed the apps after seeing a need from consumers to do more than just book trips on their mobile devices. The guides are available for cities including Paris, San Francisco, Sydney and Hong Kong.

“We’ve found that travelers are hungry for more information both as they plan their trips, as well as when they’re actually taking their vacation,” said Joost Schreve, general manager for EveryTrail, Newton, MA.

“Seeing a strong demand for travel information on the go, we thought our Mobile City Guide apps would be a perfect supplement as travelers research and take trips to popular travel cities around the world,” he said.

EveryTrail is a property of TripAdvisor and helped the company develop the apps.

Guiding light
The city-specific apps let users research local stores and restaurants for their vacations.

The apps aggregate content from and lets consumers view more than 50,000 user-generated reviews.

Consumers can also store specific locations to view later in the app and use the device’s GPS to follow along with tours that highlight specific attractions in each city.

Additionally, users can get directions to specific locations.

Travelers can also view additional content, such as city facts that include information such as the best times, neighborhoods and transportation around the specific city.

“TripAdvisor aims to help travelers plan and have the perfect trip, whether they’re at home or on the go using their smartphone or tablet,” Mr. Schreve said.

“We felt these new apps were a natural extension of that mission, helping travelers get the most out of their trips while they’re visiting their destination,” he said.

Explore on mobile
TripAdvisor is the latest company to expand its mobile offerings to city guides, signaling that is a company to be watched in the mobile space.

Gowalla recently repositioned itself away from mobile check-ins to focus more on city guides.

Additionally, foursquare recently expanded its check-in services to line up with real-time events to give consumers additional information while on the go (see story).

By expanding into city guides, TripAdvisor sees an opportunity to capture more consumers on mobile to drive the brand’s message home.

Additionally, the company realizes that consumers are doing more than just checking into places on their mobile devices.

“By staying at the bleeding edge of mobile innovation in the travel industry, we’ve been able to help more travelers plan and have the perfect trip,” Mr. Schreve said.

Being able to reach travelers whether they’re on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone has enabled us to expand our footprint and help more travelers on a global basis,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York