What’s Up with the TripAdvisor Thumbs Up?

The TripAdvisor Thumbs Up, or “Recommended By” percentage, is at first glance a bit of a mystery to many hoteliers. It shows up on some properties’ pages, but not others, depending on the user’s browser and the type of business. Additionally the question, “Would you recommend this hotel to others?” is no longer on the TripAdvisor guest review form.

So, how is TripAdvisor calculating the Thumbs Up? Some in the TripAdvisor support community have figured it out, but here’s our rundown.

The “Recommended By” percentage is a feature that TripAdvisor chooses to display for certain properties. It indicates whether users would recommend this property to others. This feature is not available on all properties, like restaurants, and it is only available on properties that use third party booking sites like Orbitz and Expedia.

TripAdvisor appears to roughly calculate the “Recommended By” percentage by adding up the number of four and five star reviews, and looking at those as a percentage of total reviews. So, for example:

At this property, the four and five star reviews add up to 91% of its total reviews.

5 star: 490 reviews
4 star: 222 reviews
Total: 782 reviews

(490+222)/782 = about 91%, which is roughly the thumbs up percentage for that property.

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3 responses to “What’s Up with the TripAdvisor Thumbs Up?

  1. Thank you for the valuable information. The true question is why is it not updated more frequently?
    I have seen hotels that even though they receive a lot of good reviews and not bad ones, their reccommendation percentage wont change!!

    Thank you for listening 🙂

    1. Hi Katerina,

      Thanks for your comment! We don’t necessarily have this answer, as TripAdvisor isn’t totally transparent about how it works. But, we can speculate. My guess is that while a certain hotel gets more good reviews and fewer bad or neutral reviews over a period of time, the proportion of good reviews to total reviews may be staying the same.

      For example, if a hotel starts with one bad review and nine four or five star reviews, its “Recommended By” percentage is 90%. If it gets more reviews over the next few months and ends up with, say, 90 four or five star reviews and 10 bad or neutral reviews, its “Recommended By” will still be 90%. This would happen because the proportion of good reviews to total reviews remained the same.

      BUT, don’t be discouraged! When this happens, there’s another benefit: The hotel’s Popularity Index ranking may go up, as the influx of positive reviews has an effect on that number. When the Popularity Index ranking goes up, it can be a great thing for bookings. So even if a hotel’s “Recommended By” percentage doesn’t change, there are other benefits.

      Does that answer your question?

      Best,
      Carolyn

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