Responding to guest comments and reviews left on a hotel’s property page will help to drive booking enquiries, according to a new study released by TripAdvisor.
The study analysed data such as number of reviews, management responses, photo and video content across a sample of hotel and B&B pages to discover which factors encourage travellers to find out more about the property.
The research showed that hotels providing a management response to reviews are 21% more likely to receive a booking enquiry via TripAdvisor, than those who do not.
Hotels that reply to more than 50% of their reviews increase their likelihood of receiving a booking enquiry by 24%.
Other factors found to boost traveller engagement on hotel or B&B pages include the number of photos posted, the total number of reviews shown and management responses in the last year.
The study also found that photos were seen as an essential part of a hotel’s online offering; properties showing at least one photo see a 138% increase in engagement compared to those hotels which have no pictures at all.
Hotels and B&Bs with at least one photo also see a 225% rise in the likelihood of a booking enquiry compared to those that had none.
“Looking at the results of this study, a clear theme emerges: the more engaged the business owner, the more interested the traveller,” said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “It’s no secret that travellers want to see pictures and read reviews of a property before making their booking decision. What’s really key is the upward trend in average review ratings, traveller engagement levels and booking enquiries on the site, the more frequently a hotel owner responds to reviews. Taking part in the conversation and demonstrating that the owner cares about feedback has a very real and measurable effect on converting a traveller from a casual browser into a potential guest.”