The rule in brick-and-mortar retail is said to be “location, location, location.” For hotels today, it’s “reputation, reputation, reputation.”
New research by Ipsos MORI for TripAdvisor suggests that due to the importance of online ratings and reviews, hotels are most likely to invest extra dollars in online reputation management.
About 75 percent of hotels agree that online traveler reviews were very important to the future of their business, and “nearly the same percentage said this about online reputation management overall.”
“While price ranked as the most important factor in accommodation booking decisions, cited by 96 percent of travelers worldwide, accommodation ratings on review sites and online reviews and posts on TripAdvisor came in second and third, at 88 percent and 86 percent, respectively,” according to eMarketer. “Appearance mattered too, as photos and videos posted online were important to 85 percent of respondents.”
And perhaps it does matter. November, 2014 research by YouGov showed that 36 percent of U.S. internet users do read online consumer reviews before booking a hotel accommodation or room to rent.
“Hotels were also focused on improving their reputation among travelers staying with them, as 80 percent of respondents said that increasing repeat business was very important to their future,” added eMarketer.
Also critical: excellent service and experiences, as well as competently trained employees. The research also revealed that — to further enhance reputation — many hotels are investing in renovations large and small.