SPAIN’S hoteliers have been under pressure to please this summer, as online reviews have become more powerful than ever.
Online ratings website TripAdvisor is now the most influential travel website in the world and hoteliers have discovered that guest reviews can mean make or break for their businesses.
The consumer-led reviews website is now the go-to site for those planning a holiday.
Hotel Molino del Santo has recently been voted the second-best hotel in the whole of Spain.
Andy Chapell, manager of the hotel, told the Olive Press: “We think TripAdvisor is great. It is very helpful to have so much positive feedback that new clients feel they can trust – and even the occasional less-than-complimentary comments are useful to help identify problems.”
But there is a dark side to TripAdvisor’s new-found influence.
“There are a few cases of over-demanding guests,” said Javier Carazo, of the NH chain, which has 400 hotels around the world and thousands of comments on TripAdvisor.
These include guests threatening to post a damning review on the website if their requests for free upgrades and wifi are not met.
“In these kinds of cases we have to be aware, and not give in to a specific threat.”
Francesc Holgado, director of the Mercer Hotel in Barcelona – ranked the best in the city – receives 60,000 hits a month on TripAdvisor page.
“To be among the top-ranked hotels gives us a visibility we could never have hoped for otherwise, particularly in the international market,” he said.
He added that with the constant need to respond to customer queries and make changes based on feedback, being a hotelier is ‘more demanding than ever’.
TripAdvisor receives around 100 customer reviews and comments every minute. According to TripAdvisor’s Spanish spokesperson Blanca Zayas, a prospective guest will read between 12 and 15 comments about a hotel before deciding whether to make a booking.
“Hotels cannot ignore customers’ opinions on the internet any more than the receptionist can turn their back on a guest who makes a complaint,” she added.
People should be aware that all such reviews can be faked very easily. These days, it is very easy to crowdsource reviews from people who do these fake reviews for a living. Anyone can just look at TripAdvisor to see how some restaurants zoom up (and down) the charts unexpectedly, just like search engine results (another scamathon). Learn the reality of the world before reading such articles. I have my own internal trip advisor, it’s called common sense lol.
TripAdvisor is a strange one and only something I tend to use if in really big cities, I am in Fuengirola and top restaurants according to TripAdvisor here are quite laughable. The last time I looked The Wessex in Torreblanca was number one restaurant, I have never eaten there so can’t comment on the food which is your standard British Costa menu but would find it hard to believe it was better than some of the excellent Spanish Restaurants we have here. Bit hey the people have spoken
TripAdvisor ,dont look at the top twenty percent of comments or the bottom 20 percent and you will have a good idea of what you are getting!!!!!!!!!!!!
1. Mr. Hotel owner you must have someone on staff every day respond to trip advisor comments once in am and once in pm even if negative comments are not true say thank you for bringing that to our attention etc.. look how Langham and Shangri La handles all their responses to trip advisor we can all benefit from their example.
2.in reference to restaurants this is the weakest part of their matrix because what they are showing as great restaurants in some cities turn out to be one step above street carts and low price so too many backpackers are giving good endorsements to backpacker markets. Business hotels and business restaurants are not being covered enough. I recommend all people travleing on business to olease share hotel and restaurant reviews it does help us who travel internationally alot,
Destination Hotel Partners, LLC
NY NY 10022