Here’s Tripadvisor’s message to the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry

"While no one knows when this will end, the one thing I am confident in is that — yes, people will travel again."

TripAdvisor, which is based in Needham, Massachusetts, says it has changed its rules about reviews that contain allegations of rape or other crimes.
Tripadvisor's headquarters in Needham. –Steven Senne / AP

Tripadvisor’s CEO recently took to social media to assure the more than 8 million businesses on the travel website’s platform that his company is eager to support them during “this extraordinary and unprecedented time.”

“Take seriously the recommendations of your local health authorities and ensure your employees are doing the same,” said Steve Kaufer, the Needham-based travel website’s CEO and co-founder. “I know this isn’t always easy, especially for an industry that is built on bringing people together, but the more diligent we are now, the sooner we can defeat this virus.”

Kaufer said he will help Tripadvisor “weather the storm” by foregoing his salary for the remainder of 2020. He also outlined three ways his company is helping businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, which he called “different from anything the travel and tourism industry has seen in our lifetime.”

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First, Kaufer said Tripadvisor is “actively encouraging” governments to support public policies that help protect the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors, including businesses and workers impacted by the pandemic.

Second, the company is “taking a fresh look” at its suite of paid subscription and media products with the goal of easing the financial strain on the most impacted businesses. He said businesses can expect more details about that soon.

And, finally, the company is exploring what it can do to help encourage its users to support the 5 million restaurants featured on its site.

“In places where folks are being advised to stay at home, we want to showcase the take-away or delivery options that are available to them on our platform so that you can continue to serve your customers, both loyal and new,” Kaufer said.

Tripadvisor is also finding ways to support restaurants that do not offer delivery, he said, such as encouraging gift card purchases.

“While no one knows when this will end, the one thing I am confident in is that — yes, people will travel again,” Kaufer said. “Customers will walk through your doors again. They will book reservations again. Get on planes, trains and hop in their cars again. Dine out again. Tourism will rebound.”


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