I have been looking at the new Trip Advisor "Trip Connect" feature offered to hostels to gain improved exposure on Trip Advisor and I am rather impressed. As a person seeking to identify innovative solutions for hostels to be more efficient then I have to admire Trip Advisor for what they have come up with. It's not that I think TripConnect is good for hostels and I am not 100% sure how it will evolve. But it is genius in how it facilitates a hostel to be able to pay per click so the hostel's profile on Trip Advisor is promoted. So instead of a hostel using a Google Adwords account to create links that go direct to the hostel's own website to improve the ranking of the hostel's website via pay per click. Now the hostel can use the TripConnect to pay TripAdvisor to improve the Tripadvisor ranking on Google. This is a "user pays" style of system rather than the common variant that the hostel agent retains 10% commission and decides itself how much it will promote your hostel.
The problem with the commission 10% variants is that it is becoming a 14% variant etc etc. All hostels on the commission variants get listed the "same" - in theory. But in reality there are many secret deals. Anyway, the TripAdvisor TripConnect enables the awake and switched on hostel owners and managers to pay more and gain an advantage over the lazy non participative hostels. TripConnect seems to be a middle ground between a commission agent listing and a hostel's own Adwords Account activity.
Here is a link to more information we have provided to our users about Trip Connect.