TripAdvisor offers brave travellers Halloween night at The London Dungeon

TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest online provider of tours, activities and attractions, has launched a ‘Sweet Screams’ sweepstakes in partnership with The London Dungeon, offering one lucky winner and three friends or family members the chance to stay overnight in the Dungeon on October 31, 2017 for the ultimate Halloween experience.

Besides the overnight stay at The London Dungeon, the sweepstakes winners will receive a round-trip flight to London, as well three nights in a TripAdvisor top-rated London hotel.

‘TripAdvisor is all about getting under the skin of top bookable attractions, and this exclusive, truly unforgettable experience will make sure four brave souls have their most memorable Halloween ever,’ said Hayley Coleman, media relations manager for TripAdvisor.

‘The London Dungeon is the home of Halloween and the winners will have the chance to experience a sleepover like no other,’ said Steve Blackburn, General Manager, The London Dungeon. ‘This is a once in a lifetime chance as they will be spending the night inside our limited run show the ‘Death Express.’ The question is, are they brave enough to take on the challenge?’

The London Dungeon brings together actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides to recreate London’s various gory and ghoulish historical events. The TripAdvisor sweepstakes winners will be taken back to London’s most terrifying past where they will experience the chilling ‘bad old days’ as they are brought to life.

The Death Express is a limited run show telling the story of the Necropolis railway. It runs from the October 5 until November 5. Tickets prices on the door are available for GBP30.00 (adult), GBP24.00 (children), and may be booked in advance online saving up to 30 percent.

The Sweet Screams sweepstakes is open to participants in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France and Canada, and will run from September 25, 2017 at 12:01 AM EDT through October 10, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT. The winner will be selected on October 11, 2017. Participants must be at least 18 years-of-age and their three friends or family members must be at least 12 years-of-age.

There are Dungeons located in London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Warwick Castle and York. Each dungeon will offer up a unique experience adapted to the unique history of each location, TripAdvisor said in a release.

TripAdvisor launches ‘Travel Timeline’ on mobile app

Leading travel site TripAdvisor has announced the launch of a ‘Travel Timeline’ feature for its mobile app that will enable travellers to log and share experiences from their trips.

The Travel Timeline feature automatically chronicles the places visited and photos taken on a trip, and allows travellers to recall and review sites and share their travel timeline with friends. The feature will operate without an Internet connection, helping travellers avoid data and roaming charges.

‘Travel Timeline is a useful and valuable tool for chronicling travel experiences and conveniently capturing moments to remember,’ said Adam Medros, senior vice president, global product, TripAdvisor. ‘TripAdvisor not only helps travellers plan and book their trips, but with Travel Timeline we help our community document and share them too.’

To activate Travel Timeline, users may log on to the TripAdvisor mobile app and opt-in to the feature. Upon activation, it will automatically create a timeline of the places that the travellers have visited and the photos they’ve taken at each location, which can be viewed in chronological order or as a route on a map.

While the timeline is private to the user on their TripAdvisor app, travellers can edit their timeline and share it with family and friends. It will register the points of interest that the user has visited in a running timeline, allowing them to rate and review hotels, restaurants, or other attractions visited.

Travel Timeline uses the phone’s GPS and motion sensors to predict the places of visit. Travel Timeline will be available through the free TripAdvisor mobile app only on iOS in 28 languages worldwide. Users may turn the feature off at any time.

According to TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 350 million unique monthly visitors with more than 290 million reviews and opinions covering 5.3 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 47 countries worldwide.


New York top US destination in holidaymaker survey

New York has been named the best holiday destination in the United States in a survey carried out by travel information and review website, Tripadvisor.

In a survey of millions of the websites’ users, New York topped the popularity poll for the second consecutive year, beating Chicago into second place, with San Francisco coming third. The top five US destinations list was completed with Las Vegas and New Orleans in fourth and fifth places respectively. Meanwhile, holiday hotspot Orlando in Florida could only scrape into the top ten in last position, despite its Disney connection and its plethora of popular family theme parks. The other destinations making up positions five to nine were Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and Washington DC.

With the survey being based on Tripadvisor’s quality and quantity of reviews for hotels, restaurants and attractions over a 12-month period, even New York did not fare well when compared with worldwide results, only managing twelfth place after being second overall in last year’s poll. Topping the international poll was Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, in its first appearance in the top ten. Rome was second, with last year’s number one, Paris, France, dropping to seventh this year. London retained the creditable third place that it achieved last year.

Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, was reported in the Daily Mail, saying: ‘If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travellers’ Choice Destinations.

‘Our global travellers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.’


UK’s Milestone Hotel receives top honour at the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards

The Milestone has been named the UK’s Best Hotel in the TripAdvisor 12th Annual Travellers’ Choice Awards.

The Milestone was also named the fourth best hotel in Europe and fifteenth in the world. The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the group that owns Milestone, had a major representation, as 11 of its properties were recognised in the rankings across all of the award categories.

Of Red Carnation’s London properties, the five-star Hotel 41 was named 13th Best Small Hotel in the UK, 12th Best Luxury Hotel in the UK and 14th Best Hotel for Romance in the UK. The five star Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge was listed fourth Best Small Hotel in the UK, and 11th in Europe.

Among the four star hotels, The Chesterfield Mayfair was named 21st Best Small Hotel in the UK, and The Montague on the Gardens in Bloomsbury 23rd Best Small Hotel in the UK. The group’s Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Dorset was named eighth Best Small Hotel in the UK, and in Guernsey The Old Government House Hotel was named 21st Best Luxury Hotel in the UK.

Jonathan Raggett, managing director of Red Carnation Hotels, said: ‘Everyone at The Milestone Hotel and Red Carnation Hotels overall is immensely proud at our significant presence in the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards.

‘The Milestone has consistently featured highly in the TripAdvisor Popularity Index for the last five years, and offers the unique atmosphere of a luxury country house bolt hole in the heart of Kensington. TripAdvisor is doubtless a key driver of business for us.

‘Above all, we attribute our considerable guest loyalty and our continued success on TripAdvisor to our personalised approach to guest service. Our philosophy is ‘no request too large, no detail too small’ which guarantees an individual approach for each and every person that stays with us.

‘Furthermore, these awards are also a testament to our inspirational president and founder, Mrs. Beatrice Tollman. She has an innate sense of what it takes to make the guest experience truly exceptional, and has an exceptional eye for detail and design.’

Red Carnations’ properties in Ireland, Switzerland and South Africa were also honoured at the awards.

British air travellers admit to cheating to get an upgrade

One in six British travellers admitted that they have cheated to get an upgrade on a flight or at a hotel, according to a survey by travel website, TripAdvisor.

The survey, covering over 8,000 Britons, revealed that nearly 17 percent admitted lying to airline or hotel staff to win a better room or seat. A separate survey of over 12,000 holidaymakers showed that one in eight had also pretended to be sick for a holiday extension.

Responding to the findings a spokesperson for ABTA, a UK-based travel association, said, ‘Treats and upgrades can be a real perk of travel but there’s a danger that we’ll stop seeing them if this goodwill is abused.’

Earlier this year Telegraph Travel reviewed airline upgrades and several carriers reportedly said that the best way of being selected for an upgrade was to join the airline’s frequent flyer scheme. ‘It is sometimes necessary to upgrade customers,’ a British Airways spokesman said, adding, ‘This is rare and will normally apply to frequent flyers who are members of our loyalty programme first.’

A spokesman for Germany-based carrier, Lufthansa, said, ‘Passengers who paid more for their tickets are more likely to be upgraded than passengers who bought a discounted ticket. The frequent flier programme status is also taken into account.’

According to many airlines, upgrades are mostly offered for ‘operational reasons’, like when the economy class cabin is full or oversold, but the premium cabins are not. ‘It never hurts to ask’ for an upgrade at the check-in desk, they said, adding that a genuine reason, such as ‘being exceptionally tall, pregnant, or even celebrating a honeymoon, birthday, or anniversary, would certainly improve your chances.’


TripAdvisor launches format to boost business reviews

TripAdvisor, a travel information website featuring customer reviews and opinions, has launched a new review collection service to assist tourism-related businesses in obtaining reviews.

Review Express is a free facility that enables businesses to send a customised e-mail simultaneously to a large number of their recent customers, requesting them to post a review of their visit. TripAdvisor claims that the importance of reviews to businesses cannot be underestimated, as figures compiled by its own statistical format, TripBarometer, show that 87 percent of travellers worldwide said that they use review sites when planning a trip, and 95 percent say that they are influenced in their decision-making by the reviews of others.

The new format is intended as a tool for restaurants, hotels, guesthouses, attractions and all other travel businesses that welcome guests directly to help build their reputation on TripAdvisor by quickly gaining reviews. It also provides the consumer with easy access to the review process, as the e-mail that they receive from the business in question has a ‘Write a Review’ link direct to the TrpAdvisor website.

Severine Philardeau, vice president of global partnerships for TripAdvisor, was quoted by Breaking Travel News, saying, ‘This is a time-saver for owners, providing them with a powerful system to manage multiple emails and requests at no cost to the business. Review Express has been developed and enhanced based on extensive user testing and is an invaluable service for hospitality business owners looking to build their online reputation. When used in conjunction with our free display offerings for owners, Review Express provides a great online marketing package for small and independent hospitality business owners to capture the value of user reviews for their property.’

TripAdvisor Releases 2013 Travellers Choice Hotel Awards Lists

TripAdvisor, a company offering an online travel community for collating user-generated travel information, has announced its 2013 Travellers’ Choice awards for hotels.

The awards have acknowledged the most outstanding properties globally in the categories of Top Hotels, Luxury, Bargain, Service, Small Hotels, and B&Bs and Inns.

The lists name around 6,000 hospitality properties across the world in 82 countries and nine regions.

Barbara Messing, the chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, said, ‘Once again, TripAdvisor is thrilled to recognise the finest accommodations based on the feedback from those who really matter: their guests. It’s the insights from millions of travellers that make these awards so special, as they help others discover the hotels travellers love most – whatever the budget, in all corners of the world.’

In the UK, the top ten hotels are Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate; The Milestone Hotel, London; Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham; Casa Hotel, Chesterfield; Corinthia Hotel London, London; 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences, London; Swinton Park, Masham; Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton on Sea; The Green Park Hotel, Pitlochry; and Staybridge Suites London-Stratford City, London.

The top five Small Hotels in the UK are The Chester Residence, Edinburgh; Boskerris Hotel, St Ives; Ardeonaig Hotel, Ardeonaig; Can-y-Bae, Llandudno; and Hotel 41, London.

The other UK hotel to make it on to the world list is the Lauriston Court Hotel, Llandudno, which was ranked as one of the Best Hotels for Service in the World.

The average per night rate for winners of the 2013 Travellers’ Choice awards for hotels is £133. More than 75 percent of winning hotels have an average nightly rate of £125 or less.

TripAdvisor Survey Reflects Economic Optimism of UK Hotel Owners

UK Hotel operations are among the most profitable in Europe, and hotel companies are feeling optimistic regarding the industry’s buoyancy, according to TripAdvisor, a company that provides an online travel community for collating user-generated travel information.

The latest update of the TripAdvisor Industry Index survey has revealed that economic optimism is prevalent in the UK hospitality industry, with 27 percent of around 2,500 respondents from the UK prepared to state their faith in economic growth. This can be compared to the TripAdvisor Industry Index survey statistics released in December 2011, when only around 19 percent of the respondents had stated their belief in an economic upswing.

With 79 percent of respondents having described their current operations as beneficial or very profitable in the last six months, this makes the UK hotel industry the third most profitable hospitality industry in Europe, with only Turkey and Germany outperforming it.

When asked if Britain’s time on the world stage this summer, would have any lasting effect on business, with London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games following on the heels of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, over half of respondents (58 percent) stated it would have no effect. A third of respondents (35 percent) were more positive, saying there would be either a short-term or long-term improved effect.

Even if the 2012 London games fail to have a positive impact on the UK hotel industry, the Eurozone crisis is likely to have a more serious impact, as around 87 percent of respondents expect the crisis to impact on their bottom lines in next six months.


TripAdvisor Announces City Guides For 50 Travel Destinations

TripAdvisor City Guides are now available for 50 travel destinations worldwide.

TripAdvisor, a company that provides an online travel community for collating user-generated travel information, has doubled its existing mobile apps offering information on destinations around the world. The company is adding 30 new cities to its mobile application portfolio.

The apps will also be including new features for the Android platform. These will allow travellers to view local transit stations, generate customisable maps, and see itinerary proposals from travel experts. The apps also include user-generated reviews and opinions taken from the TripAdvisor community.

Adam Medros, the company vice president of global product, said, ‘Users have already raved about the ease of use and helpfulness of TripAdvisor City Guides, with more than a million app downloads to date. We are excited to bring more cities and enhanced functionality to travellers, and ultimately help them enjoy their trips even more.’

The 30 New City Guides that are now available in English include Athens, Austin, Bangkok, Madrid, Manchester, Marrakech, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Miami, Milan, Montreal, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Dublin, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, New Orleans, Taipei, Philadelphia, Toronto, Prague, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, and Vienna.

The apps are available free of charge, both from Google’s Android Market or Apple’s App Store, for use in smart phones and similar devices.

Earlier, the company acquired US-based EveryTrail to provide mobile applications. EveryTrail offers a GPS-enabled publishing platform to construct outdoor tours and city guide applications for mobile devices.


Bournemouth is UK’s best beach destination

The winners of TripAdvisors second annual Travellers’ Choice Beach Destinations awards have been revealed. Bournemouth was crowned the UK’s best beach destination and was the only UK finalist in the European top 10, where it took fourth place, beating every beach destination in Italy, France, Portugal and more.

Jersey’s St. Brelades was named the UK’s second best beach destination while Devon’s Woolacombe took third place.

“These awards recognise the UK’s and Europe’s best beach destinations, according to those that really matter – travellers themselves,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Bournemouth has long been a popular seaside resort and recent investment in the area has clearly paid off – not only has it been named the UK’s best beach destination, up from third place last year, but it’s also ranked ahead of almost every Mediterranean beach destination.”

Bournemouth takes top spot

Following its third-place finish in 2011, Bournemouth rose through the ranks to be named the UK’s best beach destination this year.  It was joined by two other Dorset destinations: Weymouth in 8th place and Swanage in 9th.

Bournemouth is currently undergoing significant improvement with some £11 million recently injected into the seafront at Boscombe. The area has seen the addition of new designer beach ‘pods’, water sports academies, and new bars and restaurants sitting alongside a newly refurbished pier.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, commented: “Those that live in Bournemouth have long known what a great town it is, but for it to be recognised by TripAdvisor’s travellers as the UK’s best beach destination really is a tremendous honour for the area.”

Cornwall claims almost half of the top ten spots

Home to three of last year’s winners, Cornwall triumphed again claiming four of the UK’s ten best beach destinations: St. Ives in 4th place, Newquay in 6th, Bude in 7th and Padstow in 10th.

Malcolm Bell, head of tourism, VisitCornwall, commented: “Cornwall is an iconic destination where our fantastic beaches are one, if not the major draw, be that to swim, surf, walk on or dine beside.”

Award winners were determined based on the most highly rated beach destinations by travellers in TripAdvisor reviews. Unlike any other honours, TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.

For the complete 2012 Travellers’ Choice Beach Destinations winners and more reviews, opinions and candid holiday photographs, go to