At the recent PhocusWright Conference in Orlando, Florida, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Stephen Kaufer, Founder, President & CEO of Travel User Generated Content leader and pioneer TripAdvisor.com.
In his presentation at the PhocusWright (picture shows Stephen Kaufer presenting in the background, and myself together with Philip Wolf in the foreground), Stephen was talking about the importance of trust in the travel research and buying process. In order to get trust (the gold dust of the Internet), a site need “honest brokers” (people that give trust), and a “social network” (the group that you can trust). He also emphasized the importance of transparency, and that the monitoring of negative hotel reviews would hurt the integrity of the site, but also would diminish the value of all the real true brand ambassadors. Monitoring is a natural process that happens as part of the online community.
Enjoy the 10 minute interview (please excuse the wind noise), where Stephen addresses the growth of Tripadvisor, what is next with the company, his personal aspirations, as well as his views on sites like Facebook and integrating applications.
Tourism Internet Marketing