Happy Friday! This week in hospitality news, TripAdvisor released a new report, GlobalWebIndex reported on the social networking habits of Chinese internet users, and the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office posted an update on the outbound travel destinations of U.S. citizens.
TripAdvisor: Hotels that Respond to Reviews Get more Bookings
This week, Hotelmarketing.com reported on a recent TripAdvisor study that looked at data like the number of reviews, management responses, photo and video content across a sample of hotel and B&B pages. They found:
Hotels providing a management response to reviews are 21% more likely to receive a booking inquiry via TripAdvisor than those who don’t respond to any reviews.
Properties that respond to over 50% of their reviews increase their likelihood of receiving a booking inquiry by 24% (compared to properties that do not respond to reviews).
Hotels that respond to reviews get a significant boost in overall ratings. The increase in engagement trends upwards the more management responds. For example: 0% response rate = 3.81 average review rating; 5%-40% response rate = 4.04 average review rating; 40% – 65% = 4.05 average review rating; 65%+ response rate = 4.15 average review rating.
“Looking at the results of this study, a clear theme emerges: the more engaged the business owner, the more interested the traveller,” said Marc Charron, President, TripAdvisor for Business. Click here to read more about TripAdvisor’s recent study.
74% of Chinese Internet Users are Social Networking Each Month
According to a report released by GlobalWebIndex, 74% of Chinese internet users aged 16-64 used a social networking service last month. That’s 347 million users, which includes demographics like Millennials, GenX, Boomers, and parents with young children.
It’s important to note that the popular social networks in China are different from elsewhere in the world. This knowledge can help hoteliers record more detailed information on each guest for a more personalized guest experience and targeted guest marketing.
More U.S. Citizens are Traveling Abroad
According to statistics released this week by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, the number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad in April 2014 increased by 17% over the same month last year. Here’s the destination breakdown of outbound U.S. travel:
42% – Mexico
12% – Canada
14% – Europe
12% – Caribbean destinations
It’s also interesting to note that more U.S. travelers are visiting Central America and the Middle East than previously. The number of U.S. citizens visiting Central America increased by 11%. U.S. citizens visiting the Middle East increased by 12%.