Tripr is a recently launched travel site where people can post video reviews of the hotels they’ve visited. The goal of the Dutch founders is to create an archive of reviews, so that visitors on the basis of the videos can determine whether they want to stay in a hotel or not.
When a visitor decides to book a hotel based on a review, the makers of the video earn 33 percent of the commission.
Jan Kooman, founder of Tripr.TV: “We’re some sort of YouTube for the travel industry. Because the videos are shot by hotel guests, visitors can get a good impression before booking. Moving images are more realistic than those often outdated pictures”.
In the press release (Dutch), the founders claim that the visitor gets an independent impression of the hotel. I dare to differ.
If I were to shoot a video for money, I would show the most beautiful parts of the hotel and, for instance, not zoom in on the dirty parts of the bath room. And really, I’m a nice guy. It’s just that I would feel like I was shooting a commercial, instead of a review. Why would I tell about my negative experiences if I could earn more money by drawing a nice picture?
When asking Kooman for a reaction on this remark, he said: “The good thing about video is that it is particularly hard to disguise the truth. On traditional websites with the well-known pictures, faking beauty is way easier. You just take a good picture from the right perspective and you’re done. When you’re filming, you’re actually walking through the hotel. Moreover, we’ll also publish video reviews made by an independent Tripr adviser”.
The customers and ‘independent’ adviser have the same goal though, and that’s making money. I agree with Koopman that it’s harder to disguise the truth when using video, instead of stamp-sized outdated pictures. Those photographers can turn crappy rooms into royal suites. Yet I don’t think that the label ‘review’ is the right one, since it’s more like a user generated commercial.
This doesn’t mean I don’t like the idea. I’m pretty sure that next time I want to book a night in a hotel, I can’t resist the temptation of checking what the room is like through the eyes of others.
Update: Tripr is now also available in English