Highlights from key hospitality & travel research.
2017-2018 TripBarometer Global Report Available in English only
The Four Booking Behaviors Driving Travelers TripAdvisor study reveals travel booking patterns and traveler personas.
Men spend less time booking trips than women. Younger travelers tend to start their planning later. And 59% of travelers begin researching their next trip between one and three months before departure.
Those are just a few of the findings in the latest TripBarometer1 survey from TripAdvisor. Together with independent research firm Ipsos, we asked 36,000 travelers how they plan and book their vacations – and discovered four booking behavior trends and six distinct traveler personas. To download the full 2016 TripBarometer report (in English) click the "Full Report" link on the right.
Four behaviors based on how travelers book their trips:
- Flight bookers (48% of respondents):
- Book flight and destination first.
- Are destination-orientated – they travel mostly to experience different cultures.
- Are most common among those taking longer vacations, in which flights are often more expensive.
- Hotel bookers (29% of respondents):
- Start by researching and booking accommodations.
- Make decisions based on price, and prefer family-friendly destinations.
- Travel for just a weekend break in half of all bookings.
- Mavericks (13% of respondents):
- Book quickly and don’t spend as much time on research.
- Tend to be business travelers, or go on long vacations.
- Are creatures of habit: 17% choose destinations they visit every year.
- Balanced bookers (10% of respondents):
- Combine their interest in cultures with their desire for good travel deals.
- Invest time researching destinations.
- Travel for about as long as other travelers.
Six travel personas based on attitude, booking preferences, age, and income:
- Value seekers are those who say, “We want to make the most of our vacation.” Often traveling with children, they have a medium income and fall mostly into the 25-34 age group. They particularly value TripAdvisor to help them find deals, babysitting services and kid clubs -- and they tend to research on their smartphones. Beach holidays are a favorite for people in this group.
- Luxury travelers are those who say, “We want to enjoy and spend.” These are high earners who travel with a partner, have a substantial budget, and are most prevalent in the 25-49 age group. They like their destinations hot and sunny, and cities and beaches top their lists of places to go. They check TripAdvisor before booking—90% say ratings on review sites are important when making a final accommodation booking decision.
- Social travelers are those who say, “We want to share and engage with others.” They don’t travel alone, preferring to spend time with friends and family. They also appreciate babysitting services and kid clubs since they often travel with children. They’re very influenced by word of mouth and recommendations from other travelers and tend to prefer beach holidays. They trust TripAdvisor to help them identify hidden treasures, have medium to high income, and tend to fall into the 25-49 age group.
- Independent travelers are those who say “I want it my way.” They love to go solo and make travel choices independently. They want adventure and use online research to find it. Culture matters to them – climate doesn’t. They are mostly low or high earners, falling into the 25-49 age group. They are most likely to share a TripAdvisor review on social media.
- Researchers are those travelers who say “We want it perfect.” They spend a lot of time researching destinations, activities, restaurants and accommodations, usually on laptops. They spend a little extra for something special. They are often high earners in the 25-49 age group who travel with a partner. Researchers trust TripAdvisor to provide the voice of the consumer when deciding on each stage of the journey.
- Habitual travelers are those who say “We want it simple and easy”: They tend to go to the same locations repeatedly, so they don’t need to spend much time planning or researching. Travel is more about relaxing than activities. Mostly male, they often go away by themselves and tend to be low earners in the 35-64 age bracket.
To download the full 2016 TripBarometer report (in English) click the "Full Report" link on the right.
- 1. Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from 21st of June to the 8th of July 2016, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 36,444 interviews were completed in 33 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who chose to take part in the survey and have researched their travel plans online in the last year. The survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the global online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer.
Are you reaching the lucrative Connected Traveler? TripBarometer report reveals that “Connected Travelers” are twice as likely to make travel bookings via mobile.
There’s a growing subset of Connected Travelers, or travelers who have used their smartphone to plan or book travel. And reaching these Connected Travelers is a big opportunity for travel and hospitality businesses.
In fact, our TripBarometer Connected Traveler report shows that more and more travelers are planning and booking travel on their mobile. Findings from TripBarometer, the world’s largest accommodation and traveler survey1, show that smartphones are now an essential travel companion. How prevalent is mobile usage for planning and enjoying travel?
Travelers booking via mobile apps has doubled since last year.
In 2014, 4% of TripBarometer respondents booked an accommodation using a mobile app. This year, it’s doubled to 8%. And for the Connected Traveler segment, that rises to 11%.
Booking lodging on mobile is becoming more habitual.
1 in 4 Connected Travelers who book their accommodation through a mobile app say they do so routinely. 1 in 5 say they booked through a mobile app because of the ease and speed. And 3 out of 10 did so because they felt they got a better price.
Booking travel activities is especially popular on mobile.
And it’s not limited to last minute, what’s nearby booking either. 45% of Connected Travelers use their smartphone to book travel activities pre-trip.
Travelers are big into using their mobile during their trips.
The lucrative Connected Travelers segment is especially engaged on mobile while on holiday:
Getting directions/using maps
- Connected Travelers: 81%
- Global travelers: 67%
Looking for restaurants
- Connected Travelers: 72%
- Global travelers: 56%
Looking for activities
- Connected Travelers: 67%
- Global travelers: 51%
- Connected Travelers: 64%
- Global travelers: 47%
Looking for an accommodation
- Connected Travelers: 50%
- Global travelers: 36%
Accommodations are enabling convenient bookings.
Accessibility is on the rise for travelers, thanks to a growing number of accommodations that accept digital bookings. 73% of accommodations worldwide accept online bookings, while 55% accept mobile bookings.
There’s room for improvement with mobile check-in.
34% of the smartphone-loving Connected Travelers audience wants a mobile check-in option. Yet only 11% of lodgings offer this option that saves time for both guests and front desk staff.
- 1. Data based on results from online survey of 10,261 accommodations and 34,016 travelers by TripAdvisor and Ipsos, collected January-February 2015.
Oxford Economics Global Travel Market Study Get insights on the size of global travel market and TripAdvisor's impact from "Sizing the Worldwide Travel Economy" study, conducted by Oxford Economics in partnership with TripAdvisor. $5.29 Trillion Value of the 2017 global tourism market 41.9% Growth of global travel market in the past 10 years...
DECISION PHASE Key Takeaways from the Decision Phase of the Traveler Path to Purchase Last Updated: March 12, 2018 The Decision Phase of the Traveler Path to Purchase is usually where our hotel partners say they invest the most time and resources. In this phase, travelers are ready to book as compared to the Shopping Phase where travelers are still compiling their consideration sets — the short list of accommodations they’ll choose from (more on influencing travelers in the Shopping Phase here). OVERVIEW OF THE DECISION PHASE
The Decision Phase is when a traveler selects a place to stay and books. During this time, travelers are choosing from their narrowed consideration set that was previously developed in the Shopping Phase. Marketing reach at this point is limited, since travelers have already narrowed in on their choice. But, the travelers who you do reach have a very high booking intent.
Unsurprisingly, price is reported as the most important factor when making a booking decision. In a recent TripBarometer study,* 93% of travelers said price was the strongest booking factor and 72% said finding a good deal was most important to them.WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOU...
SHOPPING PHASE Key Takeaways from the Shopping Phase of the Traveler Path to Purchase Last Updated: March 12, 2018 As mentioned in the previous article of this series, “An Overview of The Traveler Path to Purchase,” the Shopping Phase is your biggest opportunity to attract the attention of travelers. Here, you’re reaching travelers who have already decided on your destination and are now searching for a place to stay. Your marketing dollars have the opportunity to make a big impact because you’re reaching a targeted audience of travelers with high booking intent. OVERVIEW OF THE SHOPPING PHASE According to comScore research, the Shopping Phase occurs 1-19 weeks before a traveler books their accommodation. During this period of time, travelers are partaking in a number of activities — from searching for hotel information, to reading reviews online and scanning through photos and videos....
OVERVIEW An Overview of the Traveler Path to Purchase Last Updated: March 12, 2018
The traveler’s path to purchase in today’s world is tangled and complex. Travelers are inspired from a variety of sources — from something they saw online, to a billboard on the side of the road, or a story from a friend’s recent trip. With so many different channels, both online and offline, it can be daunting to decide where to invest your marketing dollars.
In an effort to learn how and why travelers book the way they do, we partnered with comScore to understand where travelers go to shop and what inspires their next trip. We consolidated this data in our recent webinar, “Influencing the Traveler Path to Purchase with TripAdvisor” presented by Charles Ballard and Martin Verdon-Roe. We encourage you to watch the full on-demand webinar, but, if you don’t have the time, or are looking for something more scannable, we have just that.Travelers are inspired from a variety of sources — from something they saw online, to a billboard on the side of the road, or a story from a friend’s recent trip. OVERVIEW OF THE PATH TO PURCHASE The traveler path to purchase is comprised of three phases...
2017 comScore Worldwide Path to Purchase Report Don’t miss out on an in-depth look from comScore into how travelers research and book, and the impact TripAdvisor content has on these decisions. Some key findings in this exclusive report: The average hotel purchaser takes 89 days to purchase, visiting 34 sites and consuming 182 pages The vast majority of first travel searches (73%) are generic with no destination in mind As the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor is visited by 74% of all travelers who later book on a hotel site A staggering 25% of all shopping time is spent on TripAdvisor...
ON-DEMAND WEBINAR Influencing the Traveler Path to Purchase with TripAdvisor Details
On average, travelers start researching their trip more than 20 weeks before they actually book — engaging with 34 different travel sites, consuming 182 pages of content, and initiating 40 online searches*.
How can you break through the noise and help travelers choose your property? Our exclusive on-demand webinar showcases the most effective ways you can influence traveler purchase decisions.
The live event is now available on-demand! Sign up now to access the recording (in English only).
*Source: Worldwide Travel Path to Purchase 2017, comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, September 2017
Short on time?
We understand. Read our key takeaways from the "Influencing the Traveler Path to Purchase" webinar.
Responding to Reviews Builds Revenue and Reputation
A recent study reveals a direct relationship between responding to reviews and increased hotel occupancy rates.1
You’ve known that writing Management Responses is a good way to boost traveler engagement, and now there’s evidence that it does much more than that.
A March 2015 study by Medallia shows that accommodations that respond to more than 50% of social media reviews grow occupancy rates at more than twice the rate of properties that tend to ignore reviews. What’s more, these responsive properties also grew occupancy rates faster than the hospitality industry as a whole.
Management responses matter
The takeaway is clear: Travelers prefer to book with properties that respond to reviews. This is great news if you already make a habit of writing Management Responses to your TripAdvisor reviews. It’s even better news if you don’t, because there’s a terrific new incentive to start now.
The research shows that responding to more than 50% of reviews correlates with 6.8 percentage points growth in occupancy rate.
Time is of the essence
“This research shows that letting employees engage with customers online pays real dividends.” – Michael Morton, Vice President of Member Services, Best Western hotels
According to the study, it’s also important to respond to reviews in a timely manner: On average, properties that responded to feedback in less than a day boasted occupancy rates 12.8% higher than properties that took two days to respond. So don’t wait – make it a priority to respond to reviews as soon as they come in!
Being responsive affects your reputation
Finally, the Medallia study demonstrated that highly responsive properties also rate more highly in terms of customer satisfaction than less responsive properties. This is consistent with a recent TripAdvisor survey that exposed a strong link between writing Management Responses and an increase in a property’s average review rating.
As Michael Morton, Best Western’s Vice President of Member Services, put it, “This research shows that letting employees engage with customers online — armed with their first-hand knowledge of specific customer experiences — pays real dividends.” There’s never been a better time to join the conversation and engage with your reviewers. Get started today!
Other TripAdvisor Research
Research: What makes a helpful review
TripAdvisor recently conducted a survey — of both travelers and business owners — to gather information on what makes a helpful review.1 Read on for key global findings from your peers in the hospitality industry.
How often do you check your reviews on TripAdvisor?
- 60% of business owners who responded say they check their reviews “whenever a new one comes in”
- 19% check their reviews daily
- 12% check their reviews weekly
Do online review sites like TripAdvisor have a positive impact on the hospitality industry?
- 82% of business owners agree with this statement
- 43% strongly agree
- 6% disagree
70% of surveyed businesses have taken steps to improve their quality of service as a result of a review
Have you improved your business’s service as a result of a review?
- 70% of surveyed businesses say yes
What’s important in the content of a review?
It’s all about the service: accommodation, restaurant and attraction owners agree that the quality of service is the most important factor to mention in a review.
What about writing style?
- 63% of business owners feel it’s important to provide a context for opinions
- 58% of respondents say it’s important to share a balanced view, including pros and cons
- 30% of respondents feel it’s important to explain the context of why they visited, or who they were traveling with
- 29% think good grammar and spelling matter
Biggest turn-offs in a review
- 51%: when a reviewer doesn’t provide enough detail
- 45%: overly nitpicky comments
- 40%: reviews written by someone who “sounds angry”
- 31%: bad grammar
What makes a great management response?
- 48%: be specific
- 41%: be professional
- 40%: show your personality
- 36%: be original
Most useful factors in a review
- Useful, detailed information about the business
- Written within 3 months of the experience
- Relate personal, unique experiences
- Use specific examples and hard facts
- Mention how the service offering could be improved
Least useful factors
- Extreme opinions or phrasing, whether positive or negative, without much explanation or justification
- Reviews written long after the experience (3 months to a year later)
- Use of personal feeling, without explanation
The message is clear: reviews are most relevant when they’re timely, use specifics and include references to the level of service provided. Want to collect more of these reviews for your property? Try using Review Express. It’s the free TripAdvisor tool that lets you email a review request to up to 1,000 recent guests at once.
- 1. Survey included 95,608 travelers and 7,215 hospitality business owners
New Study: Influencing Diner Engagement on TripAdvisor
Download our 2017 Diner Engagement Study to learn how to improve your TripAdvisor listing, take advantage of exclusive restaurant marketing tools, and get more reservations from one of the world’s largest restaurant sites.1
With over 150 million average monthly restaurant browsers, TripAdvisor is one of the world’s largest restaurant sites.1 In a recent study, we analyzed the behavior of these customers on our restaurant pages, along with the best practices used by our most successful restaurant partners. Based on this analysis, we've uncovered the key factors that are most likely to turn browsers into bookers.
Download our 2017 TripAdvisor Diner Engagement Study via the “Full Report” link to the right to see the findings. In the report you’ll find:
- Customer behavior insights: See the things TripAdvisor consumers look for on every restaurant’s page before making their dining decisions
- Restaurant marketing best practices: More details on exclusive restaurant marketing tools and best practices that can improve your TripAdvisor listing and bring in more reservations
- Keys to engaging guests: Learn how to create a self-fulfilling, virtuous circle of customer engagement on TripAdvisor that can help you bring in more and more business
- 1. Source: comScore Media Metrics for TripAdvisor Site, worldwide, May 2016 and TripAdvisor log files Q2 2016
New Research: 2017 TripAdvisor Restaurant Marketing Study The 2017 TripAdvisor Restaurant Marketing Study reveals the latest trends in restaurant marketing today
With over 4 million restaurants listed, TripAdvisor is one of the world’s largest restaurant sites.1 To learn more about the evolving marketing trends that are impacting restaurants today, we’ve surveyed our partners for their thoughts. The result is the largest TripAdvisor Restaurant Marketing Study to date -- spanning five markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy.2 Read on for the latest restaurant marketing trends.
Time Invested in Restaurant Marketing
Time Spent: In the United States, nearly half of respondents spend less than 10% of their time on marketing activities. This is consistent with the majority of global respondents who also report spending 10% or less of their time on marketing activities (56%).
Employees and Consultants: Only 17% of United States survey respondents have hired a dedicated marketing employee and just 1% report using an outside marketing consultant. Globally, 9% of respondents have hired a dedicated marketing resource and 3% have hired a marketing consultant.
Time Spent on Marketing Activities by Country
Monetary Investments in Restaurant Marketing
Marketing Channels: The top 3 channels where US restaurateurs invest their marketing dollars are Social Media (82%), Print Advertising (68%) and Online Listing Services (56%).
Reputation or Social Monitoring Services: In the US, and across the globe, 13% of respondents report paying for a professional reputation or social media monitoring service.
Percentage of Owners Investing in Top 3 Marketing Channels
Effectiveness of Marketing Activities
Overall effectiveness: The vast majority of US respondents (85%) believe they should be doing more to promote their businesses. This compares to 71% of global respondents.
Effectiveness of channels: Worldwide, restaurateurs report that their most effective marketing channels for driving more business are Social Media (1), Online Listing Services (2) and Search Engine Marketing (3). Online voucher/coupon services were reported to be least effective by worldwide respondents. It’s interesting to note that Print Advertising is not among the top three most effective channels, despite its place among the top three most popular channels in which restaurants invest their marketing spend.
Restaurateurs Who Feel They Could Do More Promotion
Online Reputation Monitoring
Reputation Monitoring: In the United States, 94% of restaurateurs report that they are monitoring the reputations of their businesses. This is very consistent globally, with 93% of respondents indicating they’re monitoring their reputations regularly.
Frequency: The majority of worldwide restaurateurs report that they monitor their online reputation several times each week.
- 1. Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q2 2016
- 2. Methodology: The TripAdvisor Restaurant Marketing Study is based upon an online survey conducted in April 2017. A total of 2,157 surveys were completed in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy. The sample is made up of restaurateurs who have claimed their listings on TripAdvisor.
[Research] Key Insights from “Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement” Want to learn what top performing hotels on TripAdvisor have in common? Looking for tips to get more traffic from TripAdvisor, increase booking conversion and more? Read on for insights from “Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement” from Atmosphere Research Group.
Atmosphere Research Group, an independent travel industry research firm, in partnership with TripAdvisor, has released a new report on the correlations between hotel engagement and TripAdvisor performance. The study is based on data from over 12,000 properties located in the top 25 traffic markets on TripAdvisor, as well as interviews with executives from four global hotel chains.
Read on for a summary of key findings from this report along with tips on how to apply them and improve your business’s performance on TripAdvisor:
Key finding #1: Highly Engaged Hotels Perform Better on TripAdvisor
In analyzing TripAdvisor data, Atmosphere found that highly engaged hotels on the site saw:
- More page views*: Hotels with higher engagement receive nearly four times more page views on TripAdvisor
- Higher market visibility: The average Popularity Ranking for highly engaged hotels was 63% higher than their non-engaged counterparts. As a result, highly engaged hotels could be seen by two of every three travelers searching that market
- More revenue: The study revealed that highly engaged hotels see 30 to 40% more traveler interaction with revenue-driving products like Business Listings
So what makes a hotel highly engaged? Atmosphere discovered four common actions that these properties take:
- Take ownership of the property's page on TripAdvisor by registering in the TripAdvisor Management Center
- Publish at least 10 Management Photos to their listing on TripAdvisor
- Respond to at least 25% of reviews on TripAdvisor
- Add direct contact information to the property’s TripAdvisor page with Business Listings
*Note: To help better measure the quality of the traffic visiting your page, we enhanced the way we report on this information in Q2 2017 – evolving from page views to unique visits.
Tip #1: To become more highly engaged on TripAdvisor, properties will need to take full advantage of the Management Center. For a cheat sheet on how to quickly register, publish Management Photos, write Management Responses and more, click here.
Tip #2: Take your TripAdvisor listing to next level by adding your property’s contact details, Special Offers and more. Learn more here.
Key finding #2: Successful Hotels Employ a “Virtuous Circle” of Guest Engagement
In addition to hotel engagement, Atmosphere found that the most successful hotels follow a “virtuous circle” approach to engage their guests:
“If you put a focus on getting reviews, you will see the positive results. You need to make it easy for guests to post their reviews.”
- Javier Carazo, Senior Vice President, Operations and Quality, NH Hotel Group
- The hotel commits to systematically encouraging reviews from guests after their stays
- Review feedback is constantly monitored and analyzed
- The hotel makes improvements based on those insights
- These improvements lead to more satisfied guests, better reviews, and ultimately more visibility on TripAdvisor
- This enhanced visibility results in more traveler bookings, which causes the cycle to repeat again
Atmosphere found “…when well-planned and executed, the result of this ‘virtuous cycle’ is a hotel highly attuned to its guests’ insights and nimble in its ability to respond and act on feedback as required.”
Tip #3: Keep in mind, an important part of the “virtuous circle” is asking all guests to write reviews. This will ensure you’re getting the full scope of feedback and incorporating it into your business. Learn more about why it’s important to request honest feedback from all guests here.
Key finding #3: Systematically Encouraging New Guest Reviews Drives Results
As part of the study, Atmosphere analyzed data from properties that used TripAdvisor’s Review Collection Platform (RCP) to systematically request reviews from each guest. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of a programmatic approach:
- More guest reviews: When properties launched a solution like RCP, they saw an increase in reviews of 30 to 80% over pre-launch numbers
- More page views*: Highly engaged hotels using RCP saw 40% more page views than highly engaged hotels that did not have a similar solution in place
- Improved revenue-driving performance: These hotels also saw a 25% increase in Business Listings** link activity and a 32% increase in CPC clicks, when compared to those that did not use it
Tip #4: While RCP is primarily available to larger hotel chains, TripAdvisor offers a wide range of tools that enable business owners to systematically collect reviews, including Review Express. Learn more here.
Key finding #4: The Importance of Incorporating Reviews into the Booking Process
Atmosphere interviews with key hotel chain executives revealed another benefit to collecting reviews. When review content is published within the hotel’s direct booking channel, they provide travelers with a sense of transparency and credibility. In fact, when in-line reviews are added to a hotel’s booking site, they can improve “competitive effectiveness against third-party intermediaries, such as online travel agencies, by providing helpful information in the booking path that a traveler can use to determine whether a hotel is right for a particular trip.”
Tip #5: Want to get more from your reviews? Use TripAdvisor widgets to add them to your property’s website.
Want more insights? Download the full “Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement” report on the right side of this page.
*Note: To help better measure the quality of the traffic visiting your page, we enhanced the way we report on this information in Q2 2017 – evolving from page views to unique visits.
**Beginning in January 2017, Business Listings will be replaced by an exciting, new subscription product for accommodations: TripAdvisor Business Advantage. Learn more here.Last Updated: August 31, 2015
Video: Review insights you can’t miss Get the latest facts on the power of reviews…all in under 90 seconds
The results are in! Recent research conducted by Phocuswright,1 on behalf of TripAdvisor, continues to demonstrate the importance of reviews and the key role they play in a traveler’s decision-making process. Among the key findings:
- 86% of TripAdvisor users would recommend TripAdvisor to others for trip planning
- 84% of users consider reviews “extremely” or “highly” important when booking a hotel
- 63% percent of respondents prefer one location where they can read reviews, compare prices and book
Don’t miss the video above for even more insights from the research!
And be sure to watch TripAdvisor Insights – and your email inbox – for even more relevant data from this study coming soon.
- 1. 2015 ‘Custom Survey Research Engagement,’ an independent study of 14,991 respondents conducted by Phocuswright on behalf of TripAdvisor
PhoCusWright insights plus TripAdvisor tips, Part 2 Keep your momentum going with three more PhoCusWright insights and TripAdvisor tips.
Continuing to follow up on our 24 insights to shape your TripAdvisor strategy infographic, here’s part 2 of our trends and tips for you.
TripAdvisor Insights exclusive: Power the feedback loop
The insight: Amenities and hotel description are in the top 3 factors for choosing a hotel (along with location and price).
“Globally, travelers want to see pictures, they like to book properties that win awards, and they like to read the most recent reviews to get a fresh perspective.” – Barbara Messing, Chief Marketing Officer, TripAdvisor
The tip: Track your TripAdvisor reviews for feedback to help determine what amenities you should introduce or improve. You can also track the property features and amenities that guests consistently praise in reviews so you can include them in your marketing. Mentioning these positive attributes in your TripAdvisor property description and amenities, as well on your website, will help you attract your traveler target market.
Travelers want the full picture before booking
The insight: 3 in 4 TripAdvisor users rely on photos from other travelers to help pick a hotel.
The tip: Ask travelers to upload photos as well as write a review. Include the photo request whenever you encourage a review, such as during checkout, in your “thanks for your stay!” email or in your customizable Review Express emails.
Right hotel, right price, right away
The insight: The majority of TripAdvisor travelers say the TripConnect meta search, or price comparison, feature helps them “find the right hotel at the right price” and “save time when planning”.
The tip: TripConnect isn’t just for travelers. If you’re a small or independent property, visit our TripConnect page for accommodations for videos, webinars and step-by-step walkthroughs to help you master how to drive more direct bookings using TripConnect.Last Updated: February 25, 2014
Excellent service reviews influence 77% of travelers Reviews that mention excellent service are a frequent influencer for travelers when it comes time to book.
As you know from our recent “The New Guest Service: Social, Real-Time and 24/7” webinar that’s now available on-demand (in English), the nature of service is changing. Luckily, reviews from recent guests can impress potential guests and demonstrate your commitment to delivering excellent service.
If you’re wondering just how influential they can be, we asked thousands of travelers around the world1 if reviews mentioning excellent service are influential when booking.
“It’s about anticipating needs and exceeding them in ways that are convenient for the guest.”
When researching accommodations, do reviews mentioning excellent service influence which hotel you choose?
- Always: 30%
- Often: 47%
That means 77% of travelers worldwide put an emphasis on receiving excellent service from you. Or the competitor down the street, if they’re doing a better job of delighting guests and collecting reviews from those happy customers.
Of the travelers surveyed, those from Southeast Asia, Germany and New Zealand are most influenced by reviews mentioning excellent service.
Whether travelers are coming from a neighboring town or the other side of the world, providing them with excellent service is a big priority. Here’s how to demonstrate and broadcast your commitment to special hospitality.
How to emphasize your excellent service
1. Deliver great experiences
You can’t just rely on ocean views or comfortable bedding. Excellent service is what you do, not what you have. It’s about anticipating needs and exceeding them in ways that are convenient for the guest. Depending on the situation, that could mean following a rigid mindset (such as, all room service orders must be delivered within 25 minutes) or a more open policy (such as, ask yourself how you’d want this request or issue handled if your mother were the guest).
2. Get more reviews
The more guests who review your property, the more potential opportunities you have for glowing mentions of the great service you provide. But we know that whether you have a 5-room B&B or a 600-room resort, it’s hard to find time to ask recent guests to write a review. That’s why we created Review Express, a free tool that makes it easy to email a review request to up to 1,000 recent guests at once.
3. Make your reviews work for you
As you gather more positive reviews, promote them to impress potential guests. Free widgets from TripAdvisor let you display your latest reviews or your rating on your website. And responding to the reviews you get – positive or negative – further demonstrates that you value your guests and providing the best experience possible. Respond to positive comments with sincere thanks – you can also share additional details about that service, or mention other things that are related. For negative comments, say how you’ll rectify the issue to reassure future guests reading the review and response.
4. Turn new feedback into action
Responding to a review isn’t enough. To close the service feedback loop, you need to analyze, share and act on that feedback with your team. For instance, if you spot a glowing review that mentions one housekeeper leaving a charming personal touch during turndown service, integrate that across all staff. Or if you spot a service trend causing unhappy reviews, tell the relevant staff members and update operations and training accordingly.
- 1. TripAdvisor traveler poll, August 2014. 12,659 responses.
PhoCusWright insights plus TripAdvisor tips, Part 1 Give your TripAdvisor presence a boost with these insights from PhoCusWright and powerful tips from TripAdvisor insiders.
We recently created the 24 insights to shape your TripAdvisor strategy infographic to help you stay on top of travel review trends for 2014.
To take things even further, here are some key trends and our tips for you on how to turn these insights into a stronger TripAdvisor presence for your property.
TripAdvisor Insights exclusive: Inspiring reviews
The insight: Common reasons why travelers write review are…
- I feel good sharing useful information with other travelers
- I want to share a good experience with other travelers
- I want to make the property aware of its strengths/shortcomings
- I feel like I’m part of TripAdvisor’s social community
- I want to warn other travelers about a bad experience
The tip: The main motivators for writing travel reviews all start with two things: having a sense of belonging and being heard. To foster those feelings with you, train all staff (not just traditional frontline employees) to greet guests with a smile and friendly hello. Then make sure a team member – from management, if possible – asks how things are going for the guest and if there’s anything you can do to make things even better. You’ll show that you value the guest’s experience and their feedback, which boosts their opinion of you and encourages them to share their feedback online as well.
“Not only are travelers referencing reviews before they book, they are clearly more highly engaged by businesses that respond to reviews.” – Barbara Messing, Chief Marketing Officer, TripAdvisor
The wisdom of the crowds
The insight: 1 in every 2 travelers wait to book until they read a hotel’s reviews.
The tip: Add the Rave Review Widget or Review Snippets Widget to your website. You’ll impress travelers doing their research, and you’ll save them time so they can book even sooner. Learn more about free TripAdvisor widgets.
Close the loop to close the deal
The insight: 62% of travelers are more likely to book a hotel that responds to reviews.
The tip: Give yourself a deadline (such as 3 days from when new reviews are posted), or reserve a certain amount of time each week, to respond to new reviews. And to maximize the benefit you get from your responses, start by reading The one thing your Management Response must do.Last Updated: February 19, 2014
Key Findings: The Global Economic Contribution of TripAdvisor study How TripAdvisor influences the global travel economy – and how your business can benefit
Since its launch in 2000, TripAdvisor has contributed significantly to the growth of the global travel and tourism marketplace. Now, a team at Oxford Economics has quantified TripAdvisor’s contribution, showing just how significant the impact has been. Here are seven key findings from the The Global Economic Contribution of TripAdvisor study and how they impact your business.
Key finding 1: Influence on travel planning
Travelers rely on the millions of reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor to help them feel confident in their decisions when planning and booking travel. According to Oxford Economics, TripAdvisor content influenced 13% of international trips and almost 8% of all domestic travel worldwide. This translates to over 350 million trips and 1.8 billion tourism nights in 2014 alone.
Key finding 2: More trips and longer trips
According to the findings, in 2014 there were 22 million extra trips and 352 million additional tourism nights directly generated by TripAdvisor. Oxford Economics have determined that this additional travel would not have occurred were it not for the content, features and tools available through TripAdvisor.
Key Finding 3: Increased spend on travel
The research found that content on TripAdvisor sites directly influenced $478 billion of global travel spend in 2014. This includes $64 billion of additional travel spend which was directly generated by the site’s content and functionality and wouldn’t have occurred without it.
In 2014 there were 22 million extra trips and 352 million additional tourism nights directly generated by TripAdvisor.
Key finding 4: Impact on travel and tourism jobs
Oxford Economics has been able to identify that the increased travel activity influenced by TripAdvisor has helped to sustain 1.9 million jobs worldwide, including over 900,000 jobs within the tourism sector that were directly created by TripAdvisor.
Key finding 5: Driving interest to destinations
Through analyzing TripAdvisor data, travel trends and economic activity, the research established a link between TripAdvisor content and destination choices. The findings illustrate that the number of trips taken to a particular destination increases as content such as photos, reviews, listings and information for that destination on TripAdvisor increases.
Key finding 6: Improved hospitality standards
Increased travel leads to increased content shared on TripAdvisor. That content helps other travelers planning trips and also provides businesses with valuable feedback to improve service and in turn attract more customers. Furthermore, businesses that provide thoughtful Management Responses to the reviews and feedback they receive also perform better on the site.
Oxford Economics has linked this virtuous cycle of TripAdvisor content to improved standards in the hospitality industry.
Key finding 7: Levels the playing field
The study found that TripAdvisor content gives travelers the confidence to choose a property based solely on reviews, ratings and photos from other travelers. This trend particularly benefits non-branded businesses, enabling smaller, independent businesses to compete on more equal footing with larger brands.
Three top tips to help you leverage the influence of TripAdvisor:
- Make a good first impression: TripAdvisor influences 13% of international travel and 8% of domestic travel. To capitalize on this reach it’s important to ensure that all of the information on your TripAdvisor page is complete and up to date. This includes everything from amenities and contact details to operating hours and photos. Visit your Management Center to update your business information and upload photos.
- Content drives business: Every customer represents a new chance to collect a review. Each new review adds fresh content to your TripAdvisor page and your destination, presenting a new opportunity to appeal to future customers. Check out these five free tools TripAdvisor has available for businesses to encourage guests to leave a review.
- Management Responses add content too: Providing personal responses to reviews can have a big impact on both your revenue and your reputation. Management Responses not only show other potential customers that you care about guest feedback, they also provide a platform to communicate any improvements you may have made as result. To start responding to reviews, see our guide - How to add Management Responses to TripAdvisor Reviews.
24 insights to shape your TripAdvisor strategy New infographic reveals key travel review trends based on an independent PhoCusWright study commissioned by TripAdvisor.
Last Updated: February 11, 2014
5 Tips Inspired by Our New Traveler Survey We asked. Travelers answered. An important new survey shows why reviews matter — and reveals key ways to grow your business.
In the rapidly changing hospitality industry, it’s important to listen to feedback from today’s travelers. That’s why Phocuswright, on behalf of TripAdvisor, recently surveyed1 global users of the world’s largest travel site. One thing we heard clearly: TripAdvisor reviews matter more than ever — both to travelers and to the businesses that serve them.
Here’s what you need to know, plus tips to help you turn these insights into action.
Key finding #1: TripAdvisor reviews influence booking behavior.
- 96% of TripAdvisor users consider reading reviews important when planning trips and booking hotels.
- 83% of TripAdvisor users will “usually” or “always” reference reviews before deciding to book a hotel.
- More than half of TripAdvisor users will not book a property that doesn’t have any reviews.
- And it’s not just hotels: 87% of TripAdvisor users consider reviews important when booking restaurants; 81% say reviews are important when booking attractions.
Tip: Make sure people who read your TripAdvisor reviews can easily take the next step and become your customers. Hotels, inns and B&Bs can add contact details and post special offers to entice travelers, or accept bookings directly on your TripAdvisor page. Other types of businesses can follow similar steps; see our guides on how to optimize your restaurant listing and how to optimize your attraction listing.
“The majority of our users are coming to TripAdvisor not just to read reviews but also to compare options for their trip, make an informed decision and book. With travelers now finding the end-to-end solution they need on the site, peer-generated reviews are as important as ever.” - Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer at TripAdvisor
Key finding #2: The more reviews — and photos — the better.
- The majority of TripAdvisor users (79%) will read at least 6-12 TripAdvisor reviews before choosing a hotel. Most (58%) will also read at least 6-12 reviews before choosing a restaurant.
- 4 in 5 TripAdvisor users will “usually” or “always” reference reviews before deciding on an attraction to visit.
- 76% of TripAdvisor users agree that traveler-submitted photos influenced their booking decision.
Tip: Capitalize on travelers’ interest in your TripAdvisor page by ensuring that you have plenty of recent reviews and traveler-submitted photos. Encourage customers to share feedback with Review Express, a free email-based review collection tool. (Already using it? Check out 10 tips for building successful Review Express campaigns.)
Key finding #3: To drive bookings, highlight TripAdvisor content.
- 82% of users agree that TripAdvisor helps them to plan better trips.
- 2 out of 3 TripAdvisor users are more likely to book a hotel that displays TripAdvisor reviews and ratings on its website.
Tip: Free TripAdvisor widgets are a great way to showcase your TripAdvisor reviews, ratings and awards, both on your website and on social media.
Key finding #4: Travelers now want to read reviews and book – on the same website.
- The majority (63%) of TripAdvisor users want one place where they can read reviews, compare prices and book.
Tip: Hotels, inns and B&Bs can attract savvy travelers with instant booking, which lets customers book with you directly on your TripAdvisor profile page. Restaurants can turn a global TripAdvisor audience into paying customers by adding a booking button from TheFork, and attractions can do the same with Viator.
Key finding #5: Your responses to reviews are more important than ever.
- 85% of users agree that a thoughtful response to a bad review will improve their impression of the hotel — an increase of more than 50% since 2013.
- 65% agree that they are more likely to book a hotel that responds to traveler reviews, versus one that does not respond.
- 4 out of 5 TripAdvisor users believe that hotels that respond to reviews care more about their guests.
Tip: Responding to your reviews can have a big impact on both your revenue and your reputation. To get started, see our guide: How to add Management Responses to TripAdvisor Reviews.
- 1. The 2015 ‘Custom Survey Research Engagement’ was an independent study of 14,991 respondents conducted by Phocuswright on behalf of TripAdvisor. Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey between April 8, 2015 and April 29, 2015, driving responses via pop-ups on TripAdvisor websites in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Australia, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The survey targeted users of the website’s hotel reviews who have also purchased lodging for travel within the past 12 months, and planned their own trips. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey while visiting the TripAdvisor website via a link which directed them to an online survey instrument.
Best Western sees 76% more reviews with TripAdvisor and Medallia partnership The international chain of hotels collects significantly more reviews thanks to its partnership with TripAdvisor and Medallia.
The goal: Collect more TripAdvisor reviews
Getting more reviews is a top priority for many hoteliers and innkeepers. And with more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, Best Western has a lot of franchise owners focused on collecting more traveler reviews.
It’s easy to understand why. As Director of Review Services at TripAdvisor, Minesh Shah explains, “Reviews influence a property’s reputation, as well as its popularity on TripAdvisor. And that popularity influences the attention and direct bookings a property receives from travelers.” So to gather more reviews, Best Western decided to team up with some experts uniquely positioned to help.
The partnership: Seamless synergy for hoteliers
Maybe you’ve heard the popular expression, “Work smarter, not harder.” Wise words, especially for Best Western and other busy hoteliers who value increased efficiency.
“It’s seamless for travelers – and hoteliers can collect these additional reviews without any extra effort.” – Minesh Shah, Director of Review Services
That’s why TripAdvisor partnered with customer experience management company Medallia. This joint effort, called Medallia Promote for TripAdvisor, focuses on integrating the TripAdvisor review form into the guest satisfaction surveys Medallia sends to recent hotel guests. As Shah explains, “Best Western guests can easily submit a new review while they’re already engaging with the brand by taking the survey. It’s seamless for travelers – and hoteliers can collect these additional reviews without any extra effort.”
The results: Increased reviews and ratings
76% more reviews for Best Western
The Best Western properties collecting TripAdvisor reviews through the Medallia survey receive 76% more reviews via the partnership. For instance, in August 2013, Best Western properties collected 8,638 reviews through the partnership, in addition to 10,071 reviews collected in other ways.
Average rating up from 3.98 to 4.28
While the main goal of the partnership was to increase the number of reviews coming in, it’s interesting to note that review quality also went up. The average rating for reviews collected via this partnership was 4.28 out of 5.0, compared to just 3.98 for reviews collected in other ways.
Why? Shah thinks a contributing factor is how invested the reviewer is. “With the Medallia guest satisfaction survey, you’re soliciting reviews from guests who might not have written a TripAdvisor review otherwise. Someone who is willing both to complete a survey and write a review likely is highly engaged.”
And, as revealed by Cornell in a 2013 study, there’s a link between having more reviews and a higher TripAdvisor rating.
The conclusion: Higher TripAdvisor popularity
Whenever you can improve on the three main factors below, your property is likely to see an increase in its TripAdvisor ranking:
- Review quantity – how many reviews your property has
- Review quality – how a traveler rates your property
- Review recency – how “fresh” your reviews are
The fresh reviews (quantity and recency) and strong ratings (quality) collected via the partnership helped contribute to higher popularity for these Best Western properties. As a result, these properties show up higher in TripAdvisor search results, which helps them get more attention from travelers eager to find the right accommodation.
The opportunity: Staying ahead of the competition
To keep your advantage over competitors, you need to be proactive. Luckily, a partnership is just one way to collect more reviews and potentially improve your popularity on TripAdvisor.
For all accommodations, attractions and restaurants
Review Express is a free tool that makes it easy for you to send a review request email to recent guests. 47,000 properties have already tried Review Express, and regular users see a 33% lift in TripAdvisor reviews1 – so why not try it yourself today?
For accommodation brands
If you have multiple hotel, B&B or resort properties, contact email@example.com to learn more about how a TripAdvisor partnership can help your brand collect more reviews.
- 1. TripAdvisor site data, January 2014
Bookings and traveler engagement driven by management actions Study shows management engagement is linked to traveler engagement and booking inquires on TripAdvisor.
According to a recent study of accommodations in the 25 most reviewed cities on TripAdvisor1, your level of engagement impacts how engaged travelers are.
To encourage more travelers to view your TripAdvisor page and make booking enquiries, follow this step-by-step guide on the top three traveler engagement factors.
Engagement factor: How many photos you have
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to having at least one photo on your property page, it’s also worth 138% more traveler engagement and a 225% increase in likelihood of a booking inquiry. For properties with at least 100 photos, engagement levels rise to 151% and likelihood of a booking inquiry rises to 238% compared to properties with no photos.
How to get more photos:
- Start by reading our guide How to maximize your photos on TripAdvisor.
- Pick an employee with a good eye to take photos, or consider hiring a professional photographer – ask the photographers who work the weddings at your property to recommend someone.
- Whenever you add a feature, make renovations or redecorate, take photos and upload them to TripAdvisor.
- You should also encourage guests to upload photos of their stay. You can integrate the suggestion into your check-in and check-out processes, and include a link to write a review and submit photos in the email you send thanking guests after their stay.
Engagement factor: How many Management Responses you have
Taking a little time to respond to reviews can improve both traveler engagement and average review rating. Compared to properties that don’t respond to reviews, those that respond to at least 13% of reviews see a 21% boost in engagement. And accommodations that respond to at least 50% of reviews increase their likelihood of receiving a booking inquiry by 24%.
Plus, joining the conversation on TripAdvisor has a significant impact on overall ratings for hotels and B&Bs. Properties that don’t respond to reviews have a 3.81 average review rating, with average rating jumping to 4.05 for accommodations that respond at least 40% of the time and 4.15 for properties with a 65%+ response rate.
How to write Management Responses:
- Read our guide on How to add Management Responses to TripAdvisor traveler reviews. It covers which reviews to respond to, where to go in the Management Center to write responses and what to say – and what not to say.
- Set measurable goals, such as “Respond to at least 1 in 7 reviews” (based on the 13% above) or “Spend 1 hour each week reviewing Management Responses from staff.”
- Treat each review as if you got the feedback in-person. In your Management Response, thank the traveler for their feedback, share any helpful additional information and explain how you’ll incorporate this feedback moving forward.
- If there was an issue, apologize for the inconvenience, explain your side of things without getting defensive and reassure the traveler – and potential guests reading your response – by detailing what you’ll do to prevent the issue from happening again.
Take the next step
Now that you know there’s a measurable benefit to being more engaged on TripAdvisor, it’s time to get into action. Login to your Management Center to upload Management Photos and respond to traveler reviews.
To encourage more guests to submit their own photos as part of a review, try using Review Express. It’s a free way to email up to 1,000 recent guests at one time with a reminder to write a review on TripAdvisor.
- 1. Cities included in study sample are: London, Rome, Paris, New York City, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Orlando, Milan, Florence, Bangkok, San Francisco, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Prague, Edinburgh, Venice, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Dublin, Marrakech, New Orleans.