Travellers have always used others’ recommendations and reviews during the planning stages of a trip, and now with the proliferation and popularity of online review sites, the scope of this feedback and as a result their impact has multiplied. Global websites such as HolidayCheck, Booking.com and trivago boast tens of millions of reviews for travellers to check, and TripAdvisor, the most popular site, hit 100 million in March 2013, with 50% increase in posted content year on year. (eMarketer)
With the number of reviews and their worldwide accessibility, the influence travel sites have is consistently growing. As reported by eMarketer, TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer study found that over half of their 15,000 worldwide respondents had written a review for an accommodation after staying there and around 40% also shared such personal reviews via alternate channels such as social networks or email.
Where are they looking?
Given the wealth of reviews available online, coupled with the risk of fake reviews, travellers look to multiple sites during their research process. PhoCusWright (reported via eMarketer) found that in 2012, around 20% of US travellers used online travel agencies, general search engines and travel-specific review sites during their planning process, and about one third went straight to a hotel website.
Responding to your reviews
While reviews are influential across travel categories, hotel reviews most strongly impact travellers’ booking decisions. A TripAdvisor study found that over half of claimed they would be more likely to book a hotel whose management responded to reviews, compared to one whose management didn’t.
As stated by Flo Lugli, executive vice president of marketing at the Wyndham Hotel Group, “Marketing has gone through evolutions that basically have put consumers in charge, and we need to acknowledge that we’re no longer 100% in charge of our brand message. If marketers crowd source anything, they have to be willing to respond and implement the feedback in some way or form. When consumers are asked for their opinion, their expectation is that something will be done with it.”
With travellers paying a great deal of attention to reviews, and just as highly influenced by managements’ responses to these reviews, it is very important to keep attentive of what is being said about you. Feedback is essential and can transform even negative feedback into an opportunity to display a proactive and positive, helpful service. User-generated content in the form of reviews enables travel organisations to display their service offerings in advance of a traveller’s visit, as an additional tool to convince them during their planning process.
More from #DTTT
In June we present:New Normal, Same VisitorsHow can destinations safely reopen to international visitors? What are the strategies behind the reopening and what's the role of DMOs? These are only few of the questions we asked to VisitJamaica, who told us how they successfully managed to keep the nation safe for both of international tourists and locals, developing effective protocols and solid [...]
In June we present:Staycation Storytelling with Visit Estonia – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 13DTTT · Staycation Storytelling with Visit Estonia Where do destinations find inspiration for their campaigns during COVID-19? How do they convince people to travel again and engage with the local tourism sector? With the focus on recovery and the domestic restart, we have seen many different campaign approaches aimed at the domestic market. The latest [...]#domestic tourism #recovery #COVID-19 #visit-estonia #storytelling #strategy
In June we present:Why is Design Thinking so important in identifying solutions?
We are in an unprecedented moment in the industry’s history, which must redefine itself. Businesses must pivot, but with a purpose, destinations must demonstrate leadership, value and co-design a new future for tourism. In today’s remote world, amidst the uncertainty, we will enable the industry to develop empathy and co-create impactful outcomes for the benefit […]#solutions #recovery #remote design thinking #DMOs #strategy #tourism
In June we present:Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 12DTTT · Creating an Inspiring Staycation Campaign with Visit Greenland With the staycation set to become the new travel trend as restrictions ease, how can destinations adapt to attract the domestic market and restart tourism? This is a key question for the industry which sees the staycation as a solution. The staycation is a movement [...]#Staycation #recovery #COVID-19 #strategy #tourism #Visit Greenland
In May we present:What’s the appetite for Travel? with Beautiful Destinations – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 11DTTT · What's the appetite for travel? with Beautiful Destinations Recovery is now in sight for many destinations and much is being done to improve destinations to make them safe and ready for travellers when they arrive. Whilst the focus has been on the impact to destinations for much of the pandemic, this has now [...]#recovery #COVID-19 #beautiful-destinations #industry #tourism #travel
In May we present:Sustainability Opportunities for Destination Recovery with Dr Cara Augustenborg – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 10
Sustainability is a key issue for the industry as it prepares for recovery. The fast-moving pandemic has been severely disrupting tourism and its impact will change the industry, academic engagement, and customer behaviour. The question many destinations are now asking is how can we be sustainable post COVID-19? We dedicate our tenth Tourism Impact call […]#ecotourism #recovery #COVID-19 #sustainability #industry #tourism