Tripadvisor is leaning into travel advisors, who will help plan travelers' vacations via Tripadvisor's new trip-designing platform, Reco.

Reco has in place a network of 300 professional travel advisors with expertise in more than 100 countries; Tripadvisor is calling them trip designers. They will provide travelers with guidance and will have access to perks and deals such as extra amenities and room upgrades.

The platform can be accessed on a computer or via an app on Apple mobile devices.

To use the platform, travelers are asked to share details about their next trip, such as preferred destinations, dates and trip type, and set budget parameters. Then they are connected with a selection of trip designers who meet their needs.

Once they have conversed with a trip designer on the Reco platform, they will pay a $199 hiring fee and the designer will begin to plan and book the trip. Reco will act as the communications hub for the traveler and trip designer, storing documents and confirmations. Travelers will have access to their advisor throughout their trip to help with changes or cancellations.

The trip designers make 25% of the hiring fee, plus any commission the travel booked.

The program was reported to be in beta mode earlier this summer.

"This type of personalized travel service was much needed before the pandemic, and even moreso today with so much uncertainty around what's happening on the ground and in the destinations we're all dreaming about visiting next," Brad Soroca, Tripadvisor's vice president of marketing and general manager of direct-to-consumer, said in a statement.

"Considering the impact of the global pandemic, matching travelers with a Trip Designer who has destination expertise will provide confidence their trip is safer and more enjoyable so they can maximize every second of their next experience."

Reco is currently only available to U.S. residents. Tripadvisor said it will enter new markets, as well as add features and partnerships, in the coming months.

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