*UPDATE - TripAdvisor plans to release further details of the Connect service on Thursday.*
TripAdvisor is days away from unveiling details of a new service for its Business Listings customers called TripAdvisor Connect.
Information sent to partners, and seen by Tnooz, says the service will enable 'all hotels and B&Bs to participate in metasearch pricing display and automatic review collection', an option currently only available to OTAs, hotel chains and aggregators.
Although TripAdvisor unveiled its Review Express service back in March to help hoteliers solicit reviews, the Connect functionality will combine the review collection with direct booking functionality.
The reviews giant plans to launch the service in Q4 of this year and accommodation owners have to be TripAdvisor Business Listing subscribers to participate as well as be able to provide online booking via a 'certified Internet Booking Engine.'
TripAdvisor says it is currently contacting those internet booking engines to register interest in TripAdvisor Connect with a view to establishing API connections to enable the hotels and B&Bs to connect to it.
No further details are available as to what the interface will look like or how the bidding model will work.
The TripAdvisor Connect move is an interesting one especially as it comes hard on the heels of the launch of its hotel metasearch globally last month.
Many questions remain such as how will Business Listings now be different from the hotel metasearch service with TripAdvisor seemingly hedging its bets between various revenue models.
It is also interesting in light of other recent moves in the world of metasearch including Priceline's acquisition of Kayak last November, Expedia's investment in Trivago in December and Google's ongoing developments with Hotel Finder.
Tnooz has asked TripAdvisor for further details.