Every year, Revinate looks at the state of online reviews and shares global trends and insights to help hoteliers navigate post-stay feedback and benchmark their success. In 2020, not surprisingly, we saw global review volume decrease by 53% as travel in most parts of the world came to a halt because of the pandemic. But, as the vaccine rolls out and travelers begin leaving their homes and visiting hotels again, online reviews and post-stay surveys will become critical for enticing new guests to visit and improving services and amenities. Prospective travelers will want to know whether past guests felt safe and what the new hotel experience looks like. Watch a short snippet from our Revenue Market Insights webinar with Henk Adrianns, Managing Director EMEA, to see the state of online reviews in 2020.
What are the insights and statistics that we think you’ll care most about from our research into the state of global reviews in 2020?
No Change in the Review Leaders
Booking.com and Google continue to lead in review volume. In 2020, Booking.com captured 31.62% of reviews and Google captured 28.73%. With more than 60% of reviews coming from these two sources, hotels should ensure accurate listings on these sites, maintain updated health and safety information, and post photos that represent the real experience that you are offering your guests.
With Revinate Guest Feedback, you can aggregate online reviews from 100+ sites into a single, customizable dashboard so you never have to worry about missing a new review. In addition to saving time and resources, it also
Review Responses have Decreased
Given furloughs and layoffs in 2020, we’re not surprised that hoteliers had less time to respond to online reviews in 2020. In fact, management responses decreased between 3% and 7%, depending on the review score. Hoteliers responded to 34% of one-star reviews, down 7% from 2019. They responded to 35% of five-star reviews, down 3% since 2019.
Our opinion is that hoteliers need to be vigilant about responding to post-stay guest feedback, especially during the pandemic. As we wrote in a recent blog post, today, with travel anxiety at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to your online reviews, especially any that call out health and safety concerns. It’s your opportunity to set the record straight, share your policies and ensure your prospective guests know what to expect when they walk through your doors.
Review Averages Stay Largely Unchanged
The global online review average in 2020 was 4.2 stars, which is a small increase from 2019 of 0.03%. When we look at reviews by region, U.S. and Canada get the lowest average score at 4.0 stars, down .11% from 2019. Asia has the highest review average at 4.4%, a .1% increase over 2019.
As you begin the process of reopening your hotel and welcoming back your guests, don’t forget that your prospective guests will be closely reading online reviews to understand how the guest experience has changed over the last year. Do health and safety regulations impede activities? Are all outlets open? These are just some of the clues they will be looking for in online reviews. As we mentioned earlier, you must continue to pay attention to online reviews, respond publicly to show you’re listening and use data from reviews to continually improve the guest experience.
To continue to learn about 2020 Guest Feedback Insights, view the entire webinar, which originally aired at ITB Now.