In February 2000 Stephen Kaufer, Langley Steinart and a few friends sat in an office in the USA and invented a website that they could use to swap travel reviews. Fourteen years latter it was voted the most trusted travel website in the world. Plus it owned 24 other travel branded sites including “booking buddy”, “holiday lettings”, “holiday watchdog” and “independent traveller”.
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. It is a free to use site where anyone can plan and book accommodation, restaurants and other attractions and most importantly also comment on their experience.
The site, which operates in 45 countries, is visited on average 315 million times a month, 200 million reviews a month are placed on it and it contains 45 million venues. The first stop for many travellers is to go to the TripAdvisor site and see what other visitors have said about the venue. Astute business owners are constantly checking reviews as it helps them improve their businesses.
When I wrote this article the TripAdvisor listing for Nannup, my home town, listed 1 Hotel, 9 Bed and Breakfast, 7 other accommodation, 5 Holiday Rentals and 3 Special Offers. When I last checked the site it had 8,416 reviews on Nannup and 295 photographs.
The good news for Nannup is that compared to many other small towns the majority of reviews for Nannup were very positive.
Amongst the comments are reviews such as “The host provided excellent advice in the area”, “cosy and homely, we will be back soon”, “It was truly a magnificent stay”, “Lovely, lush and worth a visit” . If there was an area of concern, it is the lack of eating facilities on, for example, a Monday evening.
Use TripAdvisor as a business tool
TripAdvisor is not just a tool consumers get engaged with. It is also a valuable tool for your business.
You should review it on a regular basis and update it when necessary. Remember people buy with their eyes and the pictures you use are critically important. TripAdvisor for Business is a free service provided by the web site.
The business section of the webpage provides free Webinars to help you promote your business and will help you link your TripAdvisor comments to your Facebook page. It also enables you to compare the performance of your business with anther business providing a similar offer to the consumer, it allows you to benchmark your business.
Use TripAdvisor as a marketing tool by following these three simple steps:
- Display TripAdvisor certificates of excellence and awards so that your guests can see them.
- Provide the guest with TripAdvisor comment cards and encourage them to comment as soon as possible after they leave your premises.
- Respond to guest reviews as quickly as possible and always be professional in your response.