TripAdvisor releases iPhone app with reviews, e-commerce components

Online travel community TripAdvisor launched an iPhone app May 25. The app, created in-house, follows the release of a Palm app in March and a mobile website overhaul last December.

The application incorporates all of TripAdvisor’s online features, including user reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions in 13 languages. The app includes a flight search tool, which the travel site also added to its mobile website earlier this month. The app also allows consumers to search partner sites, including Expedia and Travelocity, to book flights.

“TripAdvisor is passionate about helping travelers in whatever way is most useful to them,” said Michael Putnam, senior product manager for mobile at Trip Advisor. “For us it was a natural to expand into mobile.”

TripAdvisor e-mailed its member database to promote the application’s release. It is also running mobile banner ads on its mobile website and planning online ads, according to Putnam, who added that more than 34 million people visit the site monthly.

Putnam would not say what percentage of the company’s overall traffic will come from the iPhone application. However, he added that more than 1 million consumers visited the mobile site last December, the month of its launch.

The target demographic for the iPhone app is younger, well-educated, high-income and travels a lot, said Putnam.

“A mobile application is like a super bookmark, on your phone all the time, so that when people are planning a trip, we are right there,” he said.

TripAdvisor will release an Android app this summer.

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