Frequently Asked Questions About the Certificate of Excellence
Learn more about the Certificate of Excellence with these frequently asked questions from accommodations (Hotels, B&Bs / Inns, and Speciality Lodging), restaurants and experience owners. We have a separate page about the Certificate of Excellence for vacation rental properties — read more here.
What is the Certificate of Excellence?
Since 2011, the Certificate of Excellence honors hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world. This designation is presented to approximately 10% of total businesses on TripAdvisor that have consistently achieved great reviews over the past year. There is no application process for the Certificate of Excellence, and the achievement is earned over time.
Who is eligible to receive a Certificate of Excellence?
Accommodations (Hotels, B&B / Inns, and Specialty Lodging), restaurants, attractions, and vacation rentals worldwide are eligible to receive a Certificate of Excellence.
How are Certificate of Excellence recipients determined?
To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, an accommodation (Hotels, B&Bs / Inns, and Speciality Lodging), restaurant or experience must:
- Maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five
- Have a minimum number of reviews
- Have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least twelve months. A business must be listed for the full 12-month qualifying period between April 1 to March 31 to be considered. Recipients are announced only once a year in late May.
To determine Certificate of Excellence recipients, we use a variety of user-generated content. We use an algorithm that primarily takes into account the quality, quantity, and recency of user reviews, as well as the business’ tenure on the site.
The algorithm also takes into consideration any content integrity issues, animal welfare policies, and/or fraudulent activity associated with the listing. If your business received an "Official Notification from TripAdvisor" letter, we recommend that you respond with your concerns to that letter or contact email@example.com. Our Content Integrity Team is the only group that is able to work through issues of that nature with you.
Due to the algorithm being proprietary, we can't disclose further details about the Certificate of Excellence criteria.
How do I find out if my business received a Certificate of Excellence?
Businesses that are listed on TripAdvisor and have qualified for the Certificate of Excellence will automatically get a "Certificate of Excellence" badge on their TripAdvisor listing. All registered owners, will also receive an email notification in late May with details about the achievement.
What can I do to earn a Certificate of Excellence?
Since the Certificate of Excellence is given out to businesses that consistently have received great reviews, we recommend encouraging reviews every chance you get.
We offer some free tools to help with this. We recommend you order free "Review Us" stickers and other items. You can also use Review Express to send customized emails to past customers, encouraging them to write reviews about your business.
Remember that your business must be listed on TripAdvisor for a full 12 months between April 1 and March 31 to be considered for the Certificate of Excellence. Additionally, any fraudulent behavior will disqualify a business from being recognized.
Can I pay for a Certificate of Excellence?
No, you can't pay for a Certificate of Excellence. The Certificate of Excellence is an achievement automatically given to qualifying businesses on TripAdvisor, and there is never any purchase required to qualify.
If your business receives a phone call, email, or any communication about purchasing an award from TripAdvisor, email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. Do not give sensitive information to anyone claiming that you can pay for an award, which is likely a scam.
Do commercial relationships with TripAdvisor influence Certificate of Excellence?
No, Certificate of Excellence recipients are determined by ratings and reviews on TripAdvisor. A commercial relationship with TripAdvisor is not a factor when determining recipients.
I used to have a Certificate of Excellence badge on my TripAdvisor listing — where did it go?
Each year, Certificate of Excellence recipients are announced in late May. At that time, Certificate of Excellence badging on TripAdvisor is updated to reflect the current recipients. This means if your business qualified last year, but not this year, the badge will be removed from your page.
Where can I find a full list of Certificate of Excellence recipients?
TripAdvisor does not publish a full list of recipients anywhere on the site.
If you are affiliated with multiple businesses and would like to confirm which properties qualified for the Certificate of Excellence, we recommend you manually check each property in your Management Center, following these directions. If you are interested in seeing which other businesses have qualified, we recommend you navigate to their TripAdvisor pages to see if they have the Certificate of Excellence badge.
What is the Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame?
With the launch of the 2018 Certificate of Excellence campaign, we brought back the Hall of Fame program. Businesses that have received a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years will qualify for it. Specifically, this means 2018 Certificate of Excellence recipients qualify if they were recognized in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Note that the Hall of Fame was not offered in 2016 or 2017. The only other time the Hall of Fame was offered was in 2015 for the fifth anniversary of the Certificate of Excellence.
How many years has my business qualified for the Certificate of Excellence? How can I order materials for previous years?
To request a printed certificate for previous years and see how many years your business has qualified for the Certificate of Excellence, sign into the Management Center. Click on the Marketing Tools section of the navigation bar and select Awards* from the dropdown menu. On the left side of the page, click Certificate of Excellence.
Click on Order Form in the "Claim your Certificate and Sticker" section. On the order form page, select the year that you are looking for by clicking the dropdown box next to “Year,” which displays each year your business has qualified for a Certificate of Excellence. Fill out your shipping details and submit the Certificate of Excellence Request form. Your certificate will arrive in the mail within 8 weeks.
*Note that the Awards section will only show for businesses that have qualified for an award or recognition currently or in prior years. For example, if your business is brand new on TripAdvisor, this Awards section will be hidden until your business qualifies for an award.
What is the difference between Travelers’ Choice and Certificate of Excellence?
The Travelers’ Choice is our highest honor. The award identifies and ranks the very best businesses such as hotels, destinations, islands, attractions, restaurants, etc. in specific categories and geographies. Travelers’ Choice award winners make up about 1% of listings on TripAdvisor.
The Certificate of Excellence recognizes businesses that earn consistently great user reviews. It is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide once a year. Approximately 10% of businesses on TripAdvisor receive a Certificate of Excellence.
Both are based on the millions of reviews and opinions from users on TripAdvisor.
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Last Updated: January 14, 2019