Responses from hotel management to user reviews on TripAdvisor are one of the factors that go a long way toward increasing bookings from guests who are considering a stay.

A TripAdvisor study released yesterday shows hotels where management responds to guests on TripAdvisor are 21% more likely to receive a booking inquiry than hotels where there are no management responses. Hotels that respond to more than 50% of their reviews have even higher chances of a booking, up to 24%.

The study ranks hotel engagement by number of photos, followed by those with the most reviews. Properties with the most management responses and number of reviews in the past year came in third and fourth, respectively.

Compared to properties with no photos, having only one photo on the site leads to 138% more engagement, and more than 100 photos could yield more than 150% more engagement, with more than 1,000 photos jumping to more than 200% more engagement.

Hotels with at least one photo have a 225% likelihood of receiving a booking inquiry, while those with more than 100 photos have a 238% likelihood, compared to hotels with no photos. Even a management response rate of 5% can potentially contribute to a solid rating of 4.04 out of 5.

Many of the photos are submitted by guests so the number of photos mostly isn’t under the hotels’ control.

TripAdvisor reviews are often chief sources for travelers deciding where to stay on a trip. A 2013 TripAdvisor-commissioned study by PhoCusWright shows 77% of travelers reference reviews before making a booking, with 83% saying the reviews make them confident about their booking. Last year, 62% of travelers said reviews with management responses made them more likely to book, backing-up data from the new 2014 study.

Rate of Management Response for Recent Reviews vs. Average Review Rating

Response RateAverage Rating
0%3.81
5-40%4.04
45-60%4.05
65%+4.15

Source: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: The Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans has more than 1000 traveler-submitted photos on TripAdvisor, and many traveler reviews include replies from hotel management. TripAdvisor