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In this case, the guilty party seems to be the Hotel Industry, for despite the buffet of customer feedback online via TripAdvisor and Yelp – it would seem that hotel feedback is not being responded to OR acted on. Reads like an episode of Fawlty Towers?

So why, in an age where everything is done online and the majority of consumers rely on travel and hotel reviews before booking a trip, do hoteliers still miss the opportunity of responding to online reviews and direct hotel feedback?

This is the great question posed in a recent article in Hospitality.net – and it turns out that just 36% of all hotels respond to negative online feedback!! Specifically, 56% of hoteliers offer replies to TripAdvisor reviews and just 17% respond to those that review their experience on Expedia. It is not clear why the hotels act this way. Perhaps resources, systems or latency.

There is ample proof from a variety of studies that it is in a hotel’s best interest for hoteliers to respond to the online reviews that their property receives. Often boosting a hotel’s rank or rating, bookings or booking inquiries and even justifying an increase in room rates.

Consider these guest review statistics:

  • 76% of travelers surveyed were willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores.
  • Properties that respond to more than half of their reviews increase their likelihood of receiving a booking inquiry by 24%, compared to properties that do not respond.
  • If pricing is equal, travelers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with higher ratings.
  • Boston University study found that 27% of responding hotels increased their rating by at least half a star within six months of their first management response.
  • A 2014 TripAdvisor study noted a connection between the rates of management responses with the average review rating a hotel receives. Properties responding to over 65% of the reviews they received saw an average review rating of 4.15.

The cause is not clear but the potential to improve is huge. The full article is here.