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Travel Providers Keeping Up with Online Reputation

There have been several discussions on how online travel reviews and reputation are creating a huge impact on people’s travel plans. A couple of articles from Brian Payea, head of industry relations at TripAdvisor, address this hot topic.

It is important that travel providers monitor their brand online and address any comments (positive or negative) in a timely manner.  Here are some reasons why:

Influence – Public review sites such as TripAdvisor and Social networks such as Facebook are having a significant influence on a person’s travel plans. If a friend posts great comments and photos of a hotel or a tourist attraction, the person is likely go there too if he/she is visiting the area.  Sometimes, it could even push the person to add this destination to their “must visit” list.  While it might technically not be possible to monitor conversations happening on the social network site, you at least want to monitor what folks are talking about on the public review sites.

Create a communication channel with your reviewers – Not all posts on the public review sites are going to be positive. There will be customers who will complain if they receive poor service. Instead of simply ignoring the comments, use this as an opportunity to create a communication channel with your customers. Knowing that their concerns are being addressed and taken care of will most likely increase the positive feedback you receive online.
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Here are also some numbers gathered by TripAdvisor on a recent survey:

“71% of the travelers surveyed said that seeing a management response to reviews by an official hotel representative is important to them.”

“Sixty-eight percent of travelers said that it they were considering two comparable properties, the presence of management responses on one would sway them in its favor.”

Get ahead of your Competition – In spite of travel being the number one industry that people are generating reviews for; there are still very few travel providers who are monitoring what is being said about them and responding in an effective manner. If you start doing this today, it is likely that you are already well ahead of your competition.

If you need more information on online reputation management (ORM), visit Wikipedia for an overview.

There are several tools in the market, which can help monitor your online reputation. Google recently launched one called “Me on the Web“.  There are also other tools suggested in Sitepoint’s article grouped by source that you’d like to track – blogs, tweets, referring sites and others.

Good luck!

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