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Managing online Reviews on Tripadvisor Case Study and Analysis

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Managing Online Reviews on TripAdvisor Case Study and Analysis

By Ruby Tian

Unlike the traditional travel guide, online social travel networking is changing the way tourists plan their trips. As the most popular and largest travel community on the web, TripAdvisor was founded in 2000 and currently operates in 24 countries and covers 455,000 hotels, over 30,000 destinations. Besides, it also provides comprehensive flight information and other travel-related things like lists of vacation rental properties. Basically, TripAdvisor is based on travelers’ reviews for individuals to plan their trips, or at least help them make good decisions. For now, TripAdvisor contained 170 million travel reviews and opinions and written by 60 million registered members. By 2002 TripAdvisor was a profitable company. From the Exhibit 2 in the case, we can find the number of visitors of TripAdvisor is the number one online travel website compared with others, such as Expedia, Yahoo Travel, and Priceline.

With the huge success of TripAdvisor, both consumers and hospitality industry gain benefits from this. For customer perspective, travelers can share their experiences with fellow travelers and give them very useful advice by writing and submitting reviews. Also, customers can write about their comfort degree of hotels, restaurants, and attractions. On the other hand, companies in the hospitality industry can be introduced by this website, collect feedback from customers and adjust their business. Therefore, reviews from individuals become the core information for both customers and service providers. According to a 2012 study cited in the case, “those who read consumer reviews were 81% more likely to make a purchase on the site”, and base on another 2012 study, “72% said they trusted online reviews”. According to a regression analysis of a researcher at Cornell University, apart from price, the position of the hotel in an OTA’s listing, the number of reviews of hotels, and the average user review score have statistically significant effects. Also, Jeacle and Carter concluded that “TripAdvisor rankings engender trust, both personal and systems trust.”

Therefore, managing online reviews on TripAdvisor becomes a key step to achieving success to hotels. Four Seasons Hotels and Homewood Suits both change their marketing strategy based on this situation. Realizing the new opportunity, they put more focus on managing online reviews by shifting more marketing budget to this. However, there are still some challenges ahead.

How should hotels manage online reviews?

First, encourage review writing. As we mentioned before, the number of reviews is very crucial to increase hotels customers and provide a database for both sides. Some rewards or gifts can be offered by hotels to motivate customers writing reviews. Second, respond reviews appropriately. Responding in a good way shows the care and importance of customers. It’s also an opportunity to set explanation and expectation for future guests. According to TripAdvisor, 87% of users agree that an appropriate management response to the negative review improves their impression of the property. Third, analyze from reviews and make an adjustment. Listening to the most complaints and improve hotels’ service.

Could the volume and quality of reviews be increased?

It

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