Online reputation has become a major factor in the choosing of a hotel; now, most travelers will use online sources to review hotels and other tourism operators during their decision making process.
Reviews are thought of as a trustworthy source of information and travelers can form a better picture of the property than they could by just looking at the official marketing communication or asking their direct peers.
Needless to say, many factors (e.g. destination image and attractiveness, micro-location of the property, brand, market positioning, service standards, etc.) contribute to hotel performance, and in turn to their online reputation.
In this report we investigate whether a direct correlation between hotel performance and its online reputation really exists, in particular with relation to its ranking on TripAdvisor as the leading global travel review site.
The report focuses on independent resort-type hotels located along the eastern coast of the Adriatic, covering the markets of Croatia and Montenegro.
In addition, we offer some tips and recommendations that all hotel operators can follow to try and improve their online reputation and corresponding RevPAR performance.
GUEST INTERACTION THROUGH DIGITAL CHANNELS
Although the list of topics available online is essentially endless, travel and tourism remains one of the most popular for consumers, and is an area where they are extremely active.
In response to this increasing trend of ‘digital engagement’, companies and brands along the tourism value chain — from airlines, cruise companies to independent and chain hotels, from local to national tourism boards — have set up an official presence on most channels.
Digital channels possess a unique ability to engage, measure and create two-way dialogue between companies and their customers, but this can work both ways.
As a vital component of the travel and tourism industry, hotels are on the front line when it comes to customer interaction.
There are other, third party channels, outside of their control that also need to be managed. Of these, Trip Advisor is by far the most significant.
When all the digital touch points are transferred into an unique guest experience, whether is it an innovative website interface or a management response to a review, they create hotel online reputation.
Digital touch points of guest interaction with a hotel
ONLINE REPUTATION – A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH
In an increasingly digital world, online reputation has become one of the main factors directly influencing travelers’ decisions, thus impacting hotel performance.
Serving as an example is the ever-growing importance of online reviews that nowaday represent the main source of information for potential travelers, thus becoming the key word-of-mouth marketing channel for hotels worldwide.