Tag: Hotel Review SitesView All Tags
There is no question that sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor have changed the scope of the hotel industry, allowing satisfied and annoyed customers alike to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions about their recent experiences. Consumers flock to these forums regularly to seek advice on where to stay.
This week, a new type of review site called TripExpert will join in on the fun, only it will be conducting business a little differently. The reviews won't come from customers and general consumers, rather, it will aggregate expert advice about hotels from different media outlets. Think of it as the Rotten Tomatoes of hotel stays. TripExpert will pull advice and award scores based on the opinions of professional travel guides and magazines, including Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, and Travel + Leisure.
TripExpert says that TripAdvisor and other user review sites have "contributed to people making better informed decisions about how to spend their time and money. They have also increased incentives for everyone from restaurant owners to TV makers to improve the quality of their products and services. But aggregating user reviews does not always produce accurate results."
A few months ago, we wondered whether hotels were abusing TripAdvisor. We’ve done a couple articles about how hotels can be annoying in their attempts to get us to review them online. Managers have asked their employees to post phony positive reviews, and we've personally been offered a free upgrade/cash for a positive review post-stay. Shady business? You betcha. But you know what? It brings a smile to our face.
Correct us if you disagree, but the silver lining in all of this review warfare is the amount of power held by the consumer. According to Market Metrix, 93% of global travelers say their booking decisions are influenced by online reviews. Hotels are clearly desperate to get good feedback published online, and problems that were once able to be swept under the rug are no longer limited to shouting distance. "Word of mouth," good or bad, has never been such an understatement as online reviews reach the eyes of thousands. In this, we certainly take great pleasure. Today, every ordinary Joe possesses the power of the press.
That said, we want to go on the record and note that all the aforementioned desperation is really, truly, starting to annoy us. Why not just let it all happen organically? We (customers) know TripAdvisor exists, and it is our choice whether we want to post our thoughts publically or not. Hotels should focus on providing a pleasant experience, and the rest will take care of itself -- there's no need for the constant begging. Honestly, it comes off rather pathetic in our eyes. We'll write what we want, when we want, if we want -- thank you very much.