NEWTON, Mass., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the launch of its innovative TripConnect ™ service. The self-service platform, a first for the hospitality sector, allows TripAdvisor Business Listings subscribers to participate in Hotel Price Comparison and to drive direct bookings from TripAdvisor to their own property's website. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080902/TRIPADVISORLOGO ) Each month, over 260 million unique users visit TripAdvisor to plan travel. TripConnect will enable independent accommodation owners to bid for this traffic, an option previously only available to online travel agents and large hotel chains. These independent hotels and B&Bs will be able to add their own room rates and availability, allowing travelers to click directly through to the property's own website to make a booking. Designed with, and tested by hoteliers, TripConnect complements the recent launch of Hotel Price Comparison, which allows visitors to TripAdvisor sites to see real-time room rates and availability from various booking partners at the same time. The visitor can now click on the search results link of their choice, be it the hotel itself or an OTA, and make their reservation. "We are delighted to bring to market a service that fills a need for the hoteliers in the industry," said Jean-Charles Lacoste, vice president of direct connect solutions at TripAdvisor. "It's a unique way we can use technology to level the travel accommodation landscape, placing small and independent properties on an equal footing with large hotels and online travel agencies. Clearly TripConnect is fulfilling a need, as evidenced by the significant number of Internet booking engines working with us to provide this platform to their customers. TripConnect is designed to help independent owners drive more direct bookings and increase revenues, as well as collect more reviews and track performance." TripConnect is a self-service platform that is easy and seamless to use. Independent hotels and B&Bs that subscribe to TripAdvisor Business Listings can simply place a bid that reflects their budget. They can bid for a favorable position in the Hotel Price Comparison rankings by choosing how much they wish to pay per click.