TripAdvisor: Where do we go from here?

By Luke Nicholls & Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Tripadvisor

People posting overtly negative or even false and defamatory reviews on TripAdvisor has been a problem for many members of the industry
People posting overtly negative or even false and defamatory reviews on TripAdvisor has been a problem for many members of the industry
Reviews website TripAdvisor has angered some members of the industry who feel the website does not do enough to protect businesses who find themselves victims of false or defamatory reviews.

TripAdvisor allows owners to respond to reviews online and recently launched a customer support line, but is that enough?

This short podcast features interviews with hoteliers Christopher Davy, Harry Cragoe and Imran Hussein, who have had both negative and positive experiences of TripAdvisor and looks at where the industry can go from here to help ensure hotels, restaurants and pubs are treated more fairly in the future.

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Two months later

Posted by David Atherton,

Re my previous comment, we now have 27 reviews on TA (22 excellent), and are at #2/104 in Bolton and #12/942 in Greater Manchester.

And guess what, we are packed, and lots of people say they found us via TA. (and we don't fiddle anything other than replying to verbal compliments by saying 'please say it on TA'.)

We have an advertising plan for 2012, local papers, county mags and so on, which will cost about £15,000, par for the course. So far, we have spent nothing except our time working TA, Facebook etc., and I am seriously considering reducing it. One thing I do know for sure is that every ad we produce will contain a 'check us out on TA' button.

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Flood out bad with good!

Posted by David Atherton,

My theory is that these whingers are well-versed with TripAdvisor (and Urbanspoon, Sugarvine etc.) so pushing the site in your branding (TA buttons on website, the owl logo on your literature) will not attract any more of them, but it will attract many more ordinary guest reviews, which will be truthful, so therefore good (!) and dilute the bad ones.

It was notable that the people complaining were very old-fashioned types, and didn't seem like the type who would actively manage social media.

We have opened a restaurant in September, Suzanna's in Bolton, and already got 12 TA and 38 Urbanspoon reviews, including 10% bad ones. If you consider people are more motivated when unhappy than happy, 90% good is very good.

But notice the number. 50 reviews in three months, from a country pub/restaurant. The point is, we manage social media well, we use Facebook, Twitter etc. a lot. And we were 'no walk-in space on Saturday' after 7 weeks! The growth is based on quality, but the speed of that growth is largely down to using the 'net.

This is our first Christmas, and we know there will be some slip-ups with the rush. But we invite diners to review us and know we will get many more positive comments to the negative ones.

We are even thinking of adding a TripAdvisor logo to our next menu reprint. What about that!

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There are always alternatives

Posted by Barry,

The problem is not confined to TripAdvisor as there are similar review sites with & Qype to name a few.

Twitreview is a new site that has just entered public beta, that aims to aid in the engagement between the reviewer & the business while providing a fair service for both. The site is aimed specifically at the food hospitality industry at present but does show how reviews should be presented (the last 60 days only) and that a bad day should not have a negative impact on a business forever.

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