Responding to reviews online drives booking inquiries

Hotels which respond to online reviews enjoy a fifth more bookings than those which ignore them, according to new research from TripAdvisor. The study analyzed data including the number of reviews, management responses, and photos and videos across a sample of hotel and B&B pages to reveal which factors have the greatest influence on travelers to look for more information about a property.

Hotels providing a management response to reviews are 21 percent more likely to receive a booking inquiry via TripAdvisor than those that don't respond to any reviews. Properties that respond to more than 50 percent of their reviews increase their likelihood of receiving a booking inquiry by 24 percent, compared to properties that do not respond to reviews.

The more reviews the property's management responds to, the higher the average review rating. The level of engagement from travelers also increases with the presence of management responses - hotels and B&Bs that have responded to at least one review see 17 percent more engagement from travelers, compared to those with no management responses. Properties that respond to reviews at least 13 percent of the time see a 21 percent boost in engagement, compared to those that never do. This increase in engagement trends upward the more management responds, reports Big Hospitality.

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Similarly, responding to reviews has a significant impact on overall ratings for hotels and B&Bs on TripAdvisor:

  • 0% response rate = 3.81 average review rating
  • 5% - 40% response rate = 4.04 average review rating
  • 40% - 65% = 4.05 average review rating
  • 65%+ response rate = 4.15 average review rating

"Looking at the results of this study, a clear theme emerges: the more engaged the business owner, the more interested the traveler," said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business. "It's no secret that travelers 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, traveler engagement levels and booking inquiries 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 traveler from a casual browser into a potential guest."