It sends a red flag to guests when their peers don't take the time to post and makes properties look lazy for not engaging their customers in an online discussion given the current pervasiveness of social travel.
Hotels are realizing the power that user reviews hold in boosting or kicking their profits. Major brands like the Four Seasons have revamped their websites to include TripAdvisor reviews, and Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration found that a one point increase in guest ratings leads to higher demand, performance, and pricing power.
A new study conducted by PhoCusWright delves into more detail about when and why travelers read and write reviews. It suggests that hotels need to invest in reading reviews, because responding appropriately to negative reviews may be better than having no reviews at all.
As many as 53 percent of survey respondents said they would not book a hotel that had zero TripAdvisor reviews.
Seventy-eight percent of travelers said that seeing management responses to reviews made them believe that the hotel cares about its guests, and 57 percent of respondents said seeing management engagement makes them more likely to book a hotel.
The report was conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor, which had a hand in the presentation of its results.