How does TripAdvisor affect the hospitality industry

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This report is going to research the affects TripAdvisor has on the hospitality industry. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site, it enables potential customers to see other opinions before they part with their cash. TripAdvisor has over 60 million visitors per month looking through over 75 million reviews of hotels and restaurants. The site operates in 30 countries worldwide making it a powerful and unstoppable force. (2013) The next review site that even comes close to TripAdvisor is with a mere 14 million reviews per month compared to the review giant of TripAdvisor. Stephen Kaufer co-founded TripAdvisor in 2000 with the mission to “help travellers around the world plan and have the perfect trip” (2013)

A recent study by trip advisor reveals more than half (53 percent) of respondents state that they will not book a hotel that does not have any reviews on the site, and 87 percent of users agree that TripAdvisor hotel reviews “help me feel more confident in my decisions.” Should the reviews on TripAdvisor be trusted? According to a Panorama documentary in 2012 82% of people surveyed thought TripAdvisor was not to be trusted. Channel 4 even showed a documentary titled “Attack of the Trip Advisors” an insight into hotel and restaurant reviewers. TripAdvisor is obviously a big topic which has the nation talking.

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TripAdvisor could be so popular because perhaps our alter ego takes over and says things you would not usually say after your meal or your stay in a hotel. So is now our chance to embrace this complaining culture and add to the reviews? It seems TripAdvisor has been around forever, but it hasn’t. 12 years ago we would have perhaps spoken to the manager of a hotel or restaurant about are problems or in true Brit style say nothing and vote with our feet. Recently a Land Lady of a pub was asked “How do you feel towards the reviews on TripAdvisor about your pub?” she bluntly replied “You can’t please everyone” Smith, L. (2013)

Perhaps she is right, maybe all the different cultures brought together that are allowed to dispute their views all have very different ones. For example the British may see a plate full of food the Americans may see a poor excuse for a meal, this is undoubtedly going to give mixed reviews on TripAdvisor. A recent chart was put together by it shows the effects TripAdvisor has on bookings buy their rankings for example all hotels/restaurants in the top 50 rankings were more likely to be booked than the hotels and restaurants ranked below this. (2011)
It clear from this chart that the public are listening to the reviews they see before them. This could affect some of the very well-known establishments within the hospitality industry for example; The Ritz Carlton is regarded as the market pioneer of quality and service within the hospitality industry, worldwide. The Ritz Carlton has policies in place that ensure every employee, regardless of position can: Move heaven and earth to satisfy a customer

Spend up to $2000 in order to satisfy a customer
MICHELLI, J. A. (2008).

From the influential Ritz Carlton gold standards many people would expect fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor however this not the case. The London Ritz has 682 reviews only 471 are deemed as excellent.

The Ritz London is Ranked #37 of 1,081 hotels in London according to TripAdvisor. The Ritz does not even grace the Top 10, this shows us that one of the most highly sort after hotel chains in the world is not safe from criticism. The Ritz London was recently asked what there opinion was on trip advisor and how they feel it has affected them, the marketing executive for the Ritz said “On this occasion I must decline to answer any question pertaining to our opinions on TripAdvisor due to company policy.” Moran, S.(2013)

The Ritz London non response could be linked with a lot of legal action TripAdvisor has surrounding it. Many hotels and restaurants have been left damaging comments through TripAdvisor. In 2010 Duncan Bannentynes (Dragon den star) hotel came under fire when a guest stated his hotel was “shoddy” and a “disaster”. Duncan Bannatyne was not the only one to seek legal action, Heston Blumenthal was outraged when a woman claimed she had food poisoning from duck she shared with a friend, and this was not long after his restaurant in Bray was hit in 2009 with an outbreak of the norovirus bug that saw 240 fall ill.

This Is Money (2012) Not only are reviews being used to damage a reputation but also used as black mail. An investigation by the Times had implied that 80% of hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners had complained to TripAdvisor that guests had been using the online review system in an intimidating and black mail way. Guests would demand upgrades or discounts if the business in question did not comply then a bad review would be posted on TripAdvisor.,(2011)

It looks like a new trend is flowing through TripAdvisor full of bad reviews sweeping through businesses, attacking reputations in seconds. A spokeswoman for TripAdvisor said: ‘We take the authenticity of our reviews very seriously and have numerous methods to manage the legitimacy of the content. If a review is found to be in breach of our guidelines, it will absolutely be removed from the site.’ This Is Money (2012) it could be a challenge to manage all the reviews as TripAdvisor has such a large amount of visitors per month, with only 1500 employees to deal with them.

Companies are now making money from the misfortune of others. KwikChex is a new online business set up to help hotels and restaurant find out if reviews about their businesses are in fact true. KwikChex and high profile cases such as Heston Blumenthal and Duncan Bannatyne could bring about a change in the way online reviews are managed and dealt with. On the flip side many business are enjoying being no1 on tripadvisor using it to their advantage and gaining more customers all on the time.

We are now living in a very technology orientated environment and TripAdvisor is just one of the many online resources affecting the Hospitality industry, from this research we can clearly see that bad reviews on TripAdvisor will affect businesses however many hospitality associations are sticking together to combat fake reviews and challenge the authensisty for example the British Hospitality association is heverley involved in bringing justice to restaurant and hotel owners.

In the future TripAdvisor is undoughteldy going to grow but hopefully new laws and legalisations will only allow true reviews to be published. A system could be in place where a unique number or code on a receipt from a meal or stay in a hotel could be entered onto TripAdvisor allowing you to comment on your experience along with a recent photo, this would enable the hotel or restaurant to take the review seriously. However doing this may stop many of the reviews from going ahead as some people may find it too intrusive.

Or instead when signing up to TripAdvisor you must be able to prove your identity this way if it was taken further at least TripAdvisor would know who the culprit was. Amazon the online retailer has taken new measures to insure reviews of products are genuine after it came under scrutiny after many publishers were criticizing rival work. Amazon now has a real name policy; all reviews must be by the same person as there card details shows. Clark, A. (2004)

It is clear that something needs to be done about false reviews however TripAdvisor is a fantastic idea it is just not supervised in a way that allows the reader to determine if the information given can be deemed truthful. If this problem is fixed within TripAdvisor then perhaps the hospitality industry would be willing to except the reviews and stride to be number 1 on TripAdvisor.

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How does TripAdvisor affect the hospitality industry. (2016, Jun 09). Retrieved from

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