Keep Checking Your Trip Advisor Listing
In my role as Sales Executive here at Welcome, I meet many different hoteliers, all with their own ideas, opinions, and thoughts on our industry. Trip Advisor is no exception to this, and it’s clear to me that the UK hospitality industry is split on its opinion of this controversial web site.
I regularly meet hoteliers who say they hate Trip Advisor. They say the opportunity it presents to their competitors to write unfounded negative reviews, as well as the power it provides unscrupulous guests, makes it an unfair representation of their business. But, just as regularly, I meet hoteliers who see Trip Advisor as yet another tool in their belt, they love the exposure it provides them and they use it to good effect.
Whichever side of the fence you sit, it is important you regularly check your Trip Advisor listing. There’s the obvious concern of negative reviews, whether they be genuine or bogus, and making sure you deal with these appropriately. Remember that you do have the opportunity to reply to a guest’s comments, and you can contact Trip Advisor should you believe a review is either unfair or totally unfounded.
However, there is another important reason to keep an eye on things. You’ll notice a lot of Trip Advisor profiles now have the ability to search for availability for the hotel on online booking agents such as Booking.com, Expedia, or Hotels.com. On the face of things, this may seem like a positive development for the hotel, as guests can now book with you directly from Trip Advisor. There’s no distractions, no chance to wander off elsewhere, they can find you on trip advisor and book with you there and then. But that is only true if the hotel is listed on those agent’s websites.
It would seem that there is an increasing trend of Trip Advisor listings including links to online booking agents with which the hotel has no affiliation. In these cases, if the guest searches for availability, they are forwarded to other hotels in the area with which the online agent does have an affiliation. Even those hotels paying for a business listing with Trip Advisor are not immune; you can still find links to online booking agents that you have no dealings with appearing on your listing. Whether the guest realises what is happening or not, diverting potential customers onto your competitors is definitely not good for business.
So what can you do?
Be proactive, make sure you regularly check your Trip Advisor listing, and make sure you call Trip Advisor to have any offending links removed as soon as you find them. Reports suggest that Trip Advisor is responsive to such requests, particularly if you have a business listing, and will remove the links when asked. Although it is worth noting that this does not mean they won’t appear on your listing again in the future, so make sure you continue to check.
Chris Willis, 28/03/2012
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