Technology and social media have dissolved the parameters that once neatly defined hospitality marketing, turned consumers into creators, and empowered a whole new breed of travel reviewers. Love it or hate it, most of these travel reviewers are sharing the good, bad and ugly of their experiences on TripAdvisor—including photos and videos.
TripAdvisor, in case you’ve been living with your head in the sand for the past decade, aggregates consumer travel reviews and opinions about hotel and resort accommodations throughout the world, and relies on advertising for its revenue. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors, and over 60 million reviews and opinions. These sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China.
They are not going anywhere either. According to Reuters, TripAdvisor reported second quarter  revenues of more than $197 million.
When it comes to TripAdvisor, I feel much of the hotel and resort marketing community is trippin’—not referring to the “under the influence of drugs”; but rather the metaphorically “in a panic” or “being unrealistic” definitions of the word—and have opted to do nothing rather than take control of their TripAdvisor page.
We can no longer be ostriches.
Word-of-mouth marketers have long touted the power of customer referrals, and we all know recommendations from friends are among the top influences of purchases.
It’s simple common sense, and clearly an important issue. Researchers report that as many as one in three travelers visit TripAdvisor before deciding to book a reservation at a destination or hotel for which they are unfamiliar.
Read more:Naked Hospitality