Most hotel brands and properties have a solid handle on how well they’re doing, based on standard metrics such as revenue per available room (RevPAR), occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) or gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR). But could they be doing even better? Industry benchmarks are an important tool for hotels to compare their performance to their competitors’ and to identify improvements that will have the most impact.
Benchmarking allows hotels to set realistic and specific goals based on industry standards – and goal-setting in itself is an important KPI. A 2014 Revinate study found that Revinate customers that set goals outperform those that didn’t in terms of having the highest average rating and the largest percentage of five-star hotel reviews. Hotel reviews are a key benchmark, according to a Cornell University study that found that a larger number of positive reviews is correlated with increased bookings and the ability to raise rates.
With 23,000 hotel customers in 160 countries and five years in operation, Revinate has amassed a lot of data about online reviews. Using Revinate’s solution for Online Reputation Management, hotels and management companies are able to read, analyze and act on their reviews, as well as benchmark their success against their competitors. But we wanted to go one step further and provide country-level data to allow hoteliers to understand how they’re doing vis-à-vis other hotels in their regions.
In the full 2014 Benchmark Report, we focus on average review score, review pace, review distribution and review response. Each metric holds tremendous importance for the hospitality industry. In this highlight, we’ll talk about review distribution.
Review Distribution: The reviews ecosystem is constantly changing, with guests relying on an increasing number of review sites and OTAs in addition to the dominant channels like Booking.com and TripAdvisor. This benchmark helps hotels identify which review sites are most important and which are gaining or waning in influence, so hotels can better focus their feedback management efforts.
The other metrics that we’ll talk about in the full report include:
Review Score: When guests write reviews, they provide a score, with five stars being the highest. A hotel’s average review score is the best indicator of quality for both the hotel and prospective guests. It gives the hotel a standardized performance metric, while it tells guests what to expect. Hotels that want to rank high on TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index need to focus on getting high scores, since it is one of the factors that TripAdvisor uses to compute a hotel’s Popularity Index ranking.
Review Pace: The frequency of new reviews per month that a hotel receives is critical to driving new bookings, because they reassure guests that the hotel’s quality has not changed. The freshness of reviews that a hotel receives is factored into the TripAdvisor Popularity Index, along with the total number of reviews received. The volume of reviews flowing into a region is correlated with the pace metric.
Review Response: Response to guests’ reviews is correlated with several performance metrics. TripAdvisor, one of the dominant hotel review platforms, found in a September 2014 report that hotels that provide a management response to reviews are 21 percent more likely to receive a booking inquiry on its site, while hotels that respond to more than half their reviews increase the likelihood of booking inquiry by 24 percent.
Global Hotel Reviews Distribution Quarter-by-Quarter Index
Changes in the amount of review share among online sites
● Most review sites saw big jumps in review volume when comparing Q3 2014 to Q2 2014.
● The biggest volume increases came from Priceline, Qunar, HolidayCheck and TripAdvisor.
● TripAdvisor had a bad second quarter in terms of review share, seeing approximately 1 million less reviews than Booking.com. It bounced back in Q3 to grab a larger share of reviews.
● Hotels.com and Expedia lost some ground in Q3.
The Key Takeaway
Increases in the share of reviews amongst less-dominant distribution sites means that hotels must pay attention to more than the top two sites. It’s important to stay on top of your online reputation across as many channels as possible. To do so, it helps to have a reputation management tool that aggregates all online mentions of your hotel onto one simple platform, so you can manage and respond to your reviews in one place.
How does this apply to your hotel? It’s worth your time to have an extra look at sites like Priceline, Qunar, HolidayCheck and TripAdvisor. Even if your property did not previously have many reviews on these sites, the sites had big increases in review volume in general. Find out whether reviews for your hotel have seen a similar increase on those sites. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to interact with guests who write reviews online. If you want to learn more about responding to online reviews, CLICK HERE to download our free Definitive Guide to Guest Feedback for Hoteliers.
Revinate performed a deep dive into its online review data and analyzed more than 9 million reviews published on online review sites and OTAS between July 1st 2014 and September 30th 2014 from 80,000 properties in 125 countries.