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TripAdvisor Tips from The Independent Hotel Show

19th October 2012

Attending the Independent Hotel Show in Olympia brought about the chance to meet the crème de la crop in the world of UK hospitality, both hotel owners from across the country as well as some of the most luxurious suppliers to the industry.

Throughout the two-day show hospitality experts gave insightful talks, including Alistair MacGregor: Territory Manager, North Europe for TripAdvisor Business Listings. Alistair works to help hoteliers better understand how to make the most of their TripAdvisor presence.

Here are the main points of interest from his insightful presentation ‘TripAdvisor – Friend or Foe?’

  • 74% of UK travellers find reviews to be influential when choosing where to stay
  • 10% of Trip Advisor users, around 6 million people, visit the site on a mobile platform
  • Trip Advisor is the 2nd most popular app after Google Earth in the travel industry
  • The app is downloaded on average 25 times a minute
  • 79% of users feel reassured by a management response to a negative review
  • 68% agree they’d chose a hotel with more management reviews over similar competitors
  • 10% of the TripAdvisor team work in the Content Monitoring/Fraudulent Review team, constantly checking the validity of reviews, both positive and negative
  • When responding to a negative review, use it as a chance to turn around the user experience. Cross-sell or upsell your services – talk about new dishes on the menu, treatments in the spa, renovation work scheduled to improve the building…
  • The algorithm that places hotel in ranking order focuses predominantly on the average score of reviews, the recency of reviews and volume of reviews in relation to the size of the organisation

Throughout the talk there was growing concern, particularly from the smaller family run businesses, surrounding the issue of online anonymity and how this affects hoteliers’ ability to track and deal with negative reviews.  A lively debate developed between some of the hoteliers who felt they’d been put in compromising positions by guests who understood the importance of maintaining positive reviews and a high ranking: meals taken off bills, an extra night’s accommodation for free, cash refunds were all mentioned as examples of preventing a dreaded over-exaggerated review.

Alistair stressed the next stage for TripAdvisors’ development is full Facebook integration to eradicate reviewers being able to hide behind generic usernames to write scathing reviews, instead being accountable for their comments. He also suggested that negative reviews may be toned down in their style when this update is fully implemented – friends would get notified on the platform every time somebody they knew have written a post, the thought process that reviews would be written in a more moderate style as a result…

Here at Wired Media, TripAdvisor monitoring is a vital part of the daily digital marketing strategy for our luxury hotel clients to ensure their online presence is performing to their maximum potential.