The reception area of TripAdvisor's Singapore office
In line with its expansion plans, travel site TripAdvisor recently shifted its Asia Pacific (APAC) headquarters in Singapore from the Tourism Court to the PwC building.
From September this year, the 1,600 square feet office houses around 90 employees in the republic.
According to Andreas Behrens, TripAdvisor's director of mobile partnerships APAC, the team in Singapore will focus on developing products catered to this region and improving the user experience of the currently available offerings. APAC is seen as an important region for the company as it contributed to 22 percent of the global traffic to its website as of August 2013.
With more users turning to tablets and smartphones to search for information, TripAdvisor has largely focused on developing and improving its mobile apps this year.
Firstly, TripAdvisor ensured that its apps are optimised to the different devices (tablets, smartphones, phablets etc) to ensure good user experience.
Next, TripAdvisor partnered with Android handset makers Samsung, Sony and HTC to better integrate its app into selected mobile phones. According to Behrens, TripAdvisor preloaded its app onto the Samsung Galaxy S4 in March this year. Besides the pre-installed app, users are able to add travel content from TripAdvisor to their travel photos through the Samsung Story Album app. To ensure that users have their travel details on hand, users can also load hotel and flight information found on TripAdvisor into the Galaxy S4's native calendar app, as well as load contact information for a hotel or attraction to the phone's Contacts list.
TripAdvisor's mobile apps include:
- TripAdvisor, which offers over 125 million reviews and opinions on over 1 million accommodations, 1.7 million restaurants and 335,000 attractions.
- TripAdvisor City Guides, which provides curated itineraries, self-guided tours, transit maps of 80 destinations. Accessible offline, it also contains hotel, restaurant and attraction reviews from the TripAdvisor community.
- SeatGuru, which equips users with details on the different airplanes (seat maps, amenities etc) and expert flying advice.
- GateGuru, which offers information on airports such as estimated security wait time and real-time flight status information.
- JetSetter, which is a private online community dedicated to providing its members with insider access to destination at prices unavailable to general public.
These apps are compatible with the iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems. Currently, 69 million people have installed them, said Behrens.
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