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Why accommodation categories are defined the way they are: Q&A with the listings team

In this second part of our Q&A with the Listings team we look at the accommodation categories and how they are defined.

How did TripAdvisor come up with its hotel criteria?
We did multiple surveys of TripAdvisor travelers to determine what services they would expect from a hotel as opposed to other types of accommodation. They consistently replied that they expect a 24-hour front desk, daily housekeeping included in the room rate, and a private bathroom in every room. If an accommodation is not locally licensed or recognized as a hotel, they can still be in listed as a hotel on TripAdvisor if they meet these criteria.

Why are your criteria for hotels so strict?
Because our criteria for a hotel do not always exactly correspond to what is required for local certification, we want to make sure that our requirements are at least comparable to local standards. It would not be fair to locally recognized hotels, or to travelers who are trying to make lodging choices, if we gave accommodations with significantly fewer amenities the same ranking as them.

The criteria to be listed as a hotel is hard to meet for some regions, especially those where business is very seasonal – can this be taken into account?
Absolutely! We recognize a local license or other official certification as we feel that local officials are in a position to define what is considered a hotel in their local market. This can be issued either by a governmental office or a tourist board.

If an accommodation is not locally licensed as a hotel, they need to meet TripAdvisor hotel criteria to be listed as such.

Why do hotels feature more prominently than other accommodation types on your site. Why not list them all together with the option to filter into B&Bs, inns and specialty lodgings?
TripAdvisor displays information in a way that is most helpful to the largest number of travelers. In most locations, the majority of travelers are looking for a hotel so the hotels tab is most prominent.

In locations where there are fewer lodging options, we list all accommodation types on the one page so travelers can see at a glance what is available in that location. There are also areas where B&Bs are the primary type of lodging and in these locations we display B&B/Inns first. For example, if you do a site search for Keswick England you’ll get a page that shows the Top-rated B&B’s most prominently featured.

Why not roll the specialty lodgings category into the B&B section and simplify things for travelers?
Inns and B&Bs are very different properties than the hostels, condo units, and other accommodations listed in the specialty lodging section. If we merged them into one, it would be very confusing to travelers.

If your accommodation qualifies to be in the B&B/inns category instead of specialty lodgings, you can submit a request and we will review it. For more information on what constitutes a B&B or inn versus a specialty lodging, please see our listing criteria.

If there are more questions you would like to ask our listings team, leave us a comment and we will follow up.

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