Great new data about reviews and their importance

Picture 10 HotelNewsNow just published a great article with some exciting new stats from PhoCusWright about the importance of online reviews on OTA’s. For example:

  • According to a PhoCusWright study of 27,000 U.S. hotels comprising 65 major brands, two out of every three online traveler reviews were posted to an OTA. The remaining third, or 34%, were posted to a travel review site like TripAdvisor. (Of the reviews that Revinate monitors, we see 27.5% on TripAdvisor. See our distribution here.)
  • Roughly 7% of unique visitors to any major OTA complete a booking within the same month. Of those who click through to read a full review, that percentage bumps up to 13%.
  • Facebook, foursquare and Twitter helped the number of U.S. online travel reviews grow from roughly 880,000 in 2008 to nearly 1.1 million in 2010, according to PhoCusWright.
  • Anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 U.S consumers went to book a hotel room immediately after visiting a social review site like TripAdvisor from 2008 to 2010. Facebook dwarfed that count, sending upwards to half a million referrals during 2009 and 2010.

So what does this mean for hoteliers? For one thing, remember that you should be monitoring your reviews across the entire Web, not just on TripAdvisor. Revinate clients can use the reviews overview report to see which reviews sites and OTAs have a lot of reviews for your property, and which ones don’t. Don’t forget to see where your competitors are getting their reviews from and if you don’t have fresh content on those OTAs, it’s time to start encouraging your guests to write reviews.

With Facebook driving so many referrals, make sure you get your guests talking when they’re on site. On a recent trip to Texas I was the recipient of a great amenity and I immediately turned to my social networks to share the news. The post I shared with my friends is on the left. While proving an amenity to each and every guest isn’t realistic, watch your Twitter activity to see who is tweeting while on site. These people are prime targets for surprise and delight since they’re active sharers and will likely tell their networks about any extraordinary experiences on site.

Read the whole HotelNewsNow article here.

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