According to the results of TripAdvisor’s Engagement Survey, unveiled at World Travel Market this week, hotels in Europe that are listed on TripAdvisor and have more than five management responses to reviews see on average 17 per cent more engagement (those taking time to look at the property) from travellers than hotels with less or none.
“If the hotel responds to a review, whether that review is positive or negative, I think it shows other customers that the hotel cares and as our research shows, that has an impact on their engagement with that hotel,” Julio Bruno, global vice president of sales, TripAdvisor for Business told BigHospitality.
However, Bruno also warns hotel and restaurant owners to take time and consider their responses, particularly if faced with an overtly negative review.
“You have to be very professional,” he said. “I can understand it can be difficult if you are a small property and you it can be hard to be objective and not take things too personally, but 64 per cent of users on TripAdvisor agreed that aggressive management responses make them less likely to book the hotel, so it makes sense to deal with it in a professional way.”
More information, more interest
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the research found that hotel managers who add images and videos to their listing on the site also attract more interest from the website’s users.
On average, hotels with more than 30 photos have 42 percent page views than than hotels with 10 or fewer photos and those with at least one video have 21 per cent more engagement than those without.
“We strongly encourage properties in Europe and around the world to post management responses and update their photo and video content through the free TripAdvisor Management Centre. We also encourage them to ask their guests to share their candid feedback on TripAdvisor,” said Bruno.
“Our data shows that taking these small, yet important measures can give property owners an edge over their competition.”
Bruno said the website had made it easier over the last year for hoteliers and restaurateurs to upload content and interact better with travellers through its dedicated management centre and said the website had not seen any negative impact from last year’s Cutting Edge documentary Attack of the TripAdvisors, which depicted B&B and hotel owners’ frustration at some of the site’s users who chose to wrote overtly critical reviews.
Currently there are 68,617 restaurants, 10,540 hotels and 25,474 B&Bs and inns in the UK listed on TripAdvisor. Not all those listed have registered themselves on the website, but the former Travelport global sales vice president claimed that he was seeing more interest from business owners with registrations rising in all areas.
In the last 12 months the number of restaurant owners in the UK registering on TripAdvisor has gone up by 171 per cent while the number of UK accommodation owners registering their businesses on the site rose by by 24 per cent.
Bruno added: “What I think people like about us and what makes us unique is we are a very democratic platform. Whether you’re a small B&B or a large hotel you have the same amount of space and have exactly the same number of tools available, so I think people realise that it makes sense to register."