Guests at U.S. hotels posted 25,000 fewer online reviews this summer than the same quarter last year. However, those reviews got more attention from hotel management and were more positive than those from previous years.

TrustYou’s quarterly report on review trends looked at more than 250,000 U.S. hotel reviews from more than 250 sources and social media networks this summer.

The report found that travelers are writing fewer reviews, but that review scores and management response rates were on the rise throughout July, August, and September.

Hotels’ “TrustScores,” a number out of 100 that represents the overall guest experience, improved across all U.S. markets. New York City had the highest score, 90.5, followed by Orlando (88.98) and Chicago (88.12).

Customers’ satisfaction with hotel location, room, and food improved throughout 2013. This was assisted by the growing prevalence with digital maps and more sophisticated search tools. However, guests are less satisfied with service and Internet access.

TrustScore 2013TrustScore 2012TrustScore Change (%)
Total United States81.279.62
Major Markets: US85.2841.4
All Other Markets78.476.42.7
Northeast81.179.22.4
Midwest79.678.51.4
South81.480.21.5
West82.4803

The overall number of hotel reviews decreased 9 percent over the same period last year. This could be due to traveler fatigue, a switch in hotels’ focus from soliciting reviews to responding to them, or travelers’ growing loyalty to a single review platform.

TripAdvisor is the largest review platform and accounts for 42 percent of all reviews in the third quarter. TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Priceline were the only sites that gained reviews year-over-year.

Other review sites including Hotels.com, Expedia, and Google+ reported significant declines in review volume.

Total Number of Reviews 2013Total Number of Reviews 2012Total Reviews Change (%)
Total United States261,891287,537-8.9
Major Markets: US198,437216,641-8.4
All Other Markets63,45470,896-10.5
Northeast39,71740,492-1.9
Midwest35,45739,460-10.1
South75,26977,687-3.1
West111,448129,907-14.2

Guests’ reviews could be improving due to a spike in responses from hotel management. The response rate of hotel management increased 82 percent across the United States.

Hotels pushed guests to leave reviews in 2012, but focused more on engaging guests and responding to feedback in 2013. This helps the hotel brand build credibility and foster trust online.

Management Response Rate 2013 (%)Management Response Rate 2012 (%)Management Response Rate Change (%)
Total United States291682
Major Markets: US281763.2
All Other Markets301598
Northeast291685.8
Midwest311693.8
South301775.5
West271579.9

The full report from TrustYou can be downloaded here.

Photo Credit: A travelers searches TripAdvisor for hotels in New York City. PlaceIt by Breezi