TripAdvisor: Great Enabler Or Evil Empire?
Some people think that TripAdvisor gives hotels an enormous amount of visibility and that has translated into bookings. But others point out that the company’s business practices offset its original vision of unbiased traveler reviews.
After I wrote my last Marketing:Travel column addressing the debate over whether or not hotels should link to the TripAdvisor site, I got an email from Adele Gutman Milne, vice president of sales & marketing for HKHotels in New York City. For her, there is no debate—of course, you link to TripAdvisor. Her four hotels are all ranked in the top 10 when you search New York City and, for her, TripAdvisor is definitely the great enabler. It’s given her small collection of hotels an enormous amount of visibility and that has translated into bookings. Lots of bookings.
It was clear that Adele had great confidence in her guest experience and that the properties focus on a lot of added-value offers, providing travelers with a great deal for their money. It’s a product well suited for these economic times and it’s translating into lots of very positive reviews on TripAdvisor. To the point that HKHotels proactively invites all its previous guests via email to post a review and even includes a direct link to the TripAdvisor site. At last look, its top-ranked Casablanca hotel had over 2,000 reviews and all their other hotels had well over 1,000.
Adele made a point of telling me they’ve really embraced TripAdvisor and that they work hard to monitor the reviews and respond when necessary to posts that are both favorable and not.
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