The following article was covered this morning on tnooz.
Last week, USA Today published a story about the most searched hotel amenities in 2010. According to Orbitz, what people search for the most before booking a hotel is free parking, airport shuttles, swimming pool, pets welcome and spa/fitness center.
But what do people write about the most in their hotel reviews? Luckily, in my role at Revinate, I have access to millions of hotel reviews that span the leading review sites and OTAs. I looked at the most mentioned words that appear in reviews in 2010 to see whether people write about the same things they search for when booking a hotel.
While all the Orbitz terms do come up in online reviews, only ‘pool’ and ‘parking’ make the top 10 list. ‘Pets’, which comes up high in the Orbitz study, rarely comes up in online reviews. In fact, ‘breakfast’ comes up 25 times more often. Please see the image, above, for the list of the 10 most-written-about services and amenities in hotel reviews.
There were some other interesting nuggets in the data that I think hoteliers will find interesting.
Nugget number one: Think only angry people write reviews? Nope. In fact, positive words vastly outnumber negative words. The words ‘great’ and ‘good’ appear almost five times more often than the words ‘bad’ or ‘terrible’. ‘Clean’ appears more often than ‘dirty.’
Nugget number two: Check-in seems to be a much more review-worthy topic than check-out. People write about the check-in process more than 3 times as often as check-out. Hotels have done a great job allowing guests a quick check out. Maybe it’s time to rethink the check-in process.
Nugget number three: While online reviews and recommendations now drive more bookings than either location or price, the word, ‘location’ is the 42nd most prolific word in reviews. (‘The’ gets the most mentions and the only nouns that get more mentions are ‘room’ and ‘staff’.)
Nugget number four: While both have become a necessary part of our day, the word ‘internet’ is written about 20 percent more often than the word ‘coffee’.
Nugget number five: Concierges don’t seem to be getting the recognition they deserve. In fact, ‘valet’ gets mentioned 15% more often than ‘concierge’.
Nugget number six: Think people care about their bedding components equally? Think again. ‘Pillow(s)’ comes up four times more often than mattress. ‘Sheets’ comes up half as often as ‘pillows’.
Hoteliers, if you’re not already reading your reviews closely to find out what people like and don’t like about your property, 2011 is the year to start. Reviews are ripe with suggestions and ideas for improving your hotel operations, and the feedback is free and readily available.