Skift Take

The online review is entering the mobile space, where travelers are already — and developers mean them to be increasingly — employing apps to find site- and scenario-specific feedback that helps them to make in-destination decisions.

Earlier this summer we launched our new report Online Reputation Management for Travel Brands focused on the surrounding management, response, and analysis of the feedback travel consumers create.

Below is an extract. Get the full report here to get ahead of this trend.

When it comes to making choices about hotel destinations, travelers are deeply and increasingly invested in the online review. One area of development is the travel review within the mobile-app milieu. One company that’s working on that equation is TripAdvisor — it’s app experience aims to take reviews to a new level of real-time functionality, at a more granular level than its desktop users typically require.

“It’s a function of scale, and there’s a huge opportunity for mobile,” said Kevin Carter, senior public relations manager at TripAdvisor, in a phone interview. Carter emphasized the company’s focus on mobile apps being able to help travelers to further define their trip when they’re already at their destinations and making choices, day to day. That is, what if they decide to drive six hours, impromptu, from Point A to Point B, and need a hotel that they hadn’t initially planned for?

“An area that the industry as whole needs to be focused on is providing that type of localized, in-destination information, around the world,” Carter said.

Not just trip planning, but in-trip consultation. TripAdvisor intends its mobile apps — via features such as Near Me Now and Point Me There — to supply review and how-to-get-there content that answers those kinds of questions on the fly.

As with curation, the other side of a mobile-review experience impacts brands as well, and developers are creating tools to provide hotels with more dynamic ways to respond to the reviews travelers create.

Revinate is one company that is pushing for ways to shave hours and minutes off that kind of hotel-reaction turnaround. The social-media and online-reputation management firm is working with a new ORM user interface for hotelier’s smartphones and tablets. With the company’s app in hand, hotel representatives are set to receive near-instant notifications when feedback about the brand appears online. And then a series of work tickets can be created from the mobile device — empowering the brand’s team to respond in a networked fashion no matter where they’re located at the time.

“Hoteliers rarely sit behind their desks, and social media demands real-time attention,” according to Matt Zarem, director of Product for Revinate, in a press release last December. (20) “It’s critically important that we think about the mobile experience in everything we do and allow our customers to actively manage their hotels’ online reputation at any time, from anywhere.”

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