Business Traveller

TripAdvisor, hotels and the public seal of approval

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We’re living in “Have Your Say” times. Thanks to social media and online forums it takes seconds to find out what hundreds of other people you’ll never (fortunately) meet think about almost any given subject, experience or venue.

When you search online for a hotel in this word-of-online-mouth culture, one of the first things presented to you are past-guests’ critiques; the rooms are too small, the Wi-Fi irritatingly pricey. In devising a wisdom-of-the-crowd global feedback book, TripAdvisor has allowed the value- and choice-seeking leisure and unmanaged business traveller huge sway over the hotelier.

How should the hotel industry react, if at all, to all these pesky reviews?

Scott Davies, UK Commercial Director at Amadeus, an IT company which powers much of the airline and hotel industry’s booking engines, thinks that this more immediate and transparent global review of customers’ experience should guide the way that hotels provide services to customers.

“Maybe service failures are dealt with more promptly and bluntly in the review culture than before,” he says.