These days, everyone knows that guest reviews represent an increasingly important aspect in finding a hotel.
What was previously often word-of-mouth recommendation now takes place on public review platforms and on travel forums.
Every page is personalized to a certain extent – see my series “The Individual Portals”. Yet fundamentally, there are ever-recurring points that are a common thread amongst guests’ questionnaires.
It’s mostly the service, the friendliness of the team, the cleanliness, the breakfast or restaurant offering, the price/performance ratio and the location that are asked about. In addition, personally written commentaries are of course also possible.
Is all of this truly relevant? Does anyone actually read this stuff? And what happens with the information?
Yes, it’s important to make one’s opinion known. If you don’t wish to do this directly online, hotels also offer questionnaires or guest books that can be filled out on-site.
If you have a lovely stay at a hotel and wish to share this with or recommend it to friends, you can quickly boot your computer or grab your smartphone. Whether it’s on a review platform, the hotel’s own website or via Facebook, it’s fast and everyone should know right away when you spread the word first-hand.
What happens with the commentaries? Are submitted reviews even read or taken into consideration?
At this year’s ITB tradeshow in Berlin, I got to attend a very interesting lecture by Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady. In one study, 1200 hotels in Germany were questioned, which resulted in some interesting data:
- 97% of all hotels were reviewed on a review portal in recent months.
- 93% of all hotels regularly read their reviews; only 7% do not use this information.
On internet users:
- 48% of all internet users in Germany read reviews from other users before they book or purchase something (source: Bitkom 2010).
- Germany: 95% of all internet users rate other users’ reviews as “very reliable” or “reliable” (source: VIR/IUBH 2011, n = 1.035).
- 59% of all internet users are “very” influenced by online reviews when booking their accommodations (source: VIR/IUBH 2011, n = 1.027, just as: etailing group, Social Shopping Study 2011, n = 1,004).
This means first of all that you’re not the only reader or writer of reviews, and yes, your opinion – be it praise or criticism – is most definitely taken into consideration!