Travel Review Sites Claimed to Boost UK Tourism

Customers that access User-Generated Content (UGC) sites are likely to spend more time and more money on stays in the UK, according to a recent study.

TripAdvisor, a company that provides an online travel community for collating user-generated travel information, has released a study on the impact of online review sites on customer behaviour and the UK tourism and hospitality industry.

The report claimed that page views of TripAdvisor content resulted in bookings worth around GBP1.7bn, on tourism expenditure in the UK in 2011. This comprises around 2.2 percent of total tourism expenditure in the UK for that year.

The study also showed that around 25 percent of tourists stayed longer, spent more or participated in more activities in the UK after using travel review sites. The average domestic spend per trip by users of TripAdvisor UK is around 20 percent more than the average online booking customer, according to the report.

Christine Petersen, the president of TripAdvisor for Business, said, ‘The travel industry has long been ahead of the curve in adopting UGC and really tapping into this to benefit both consumers and businesses alike. Property and site owners that have been truly embracing and engaging with this content not only benefit through the consumer feedback they receive but they have also raised the quality standards of the industry as a whole in the UK.

We knew that our community of over 56 million unique users contribute great consumer insight to each other and the industry but now we see that sites like ours can also drive real economic value.’


Hospitality Industry Welcomes New Standards of Carbon Measurement

The hospitality industry now has a standardised approach to measuring carbon footprints.

The new procedure has been put together by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with UK-based, InterContinental Hotels Group.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group, which has been launched recently, and which includes hotel members within the ITP and WTTC, is offering a global standardised approach for the hospitality industry and its customers.

David Jerome, the senior vice president of corporate responsibility for InterContinental Hotels Group, said, ‘As an industry, we’ve standardised our practices around how hotels calculate carbon emissions, making it easier for our guests and corporate clients to understand the environmental impact of their hotel stays.’

The procedure, developed in 2011, has been tested in different hotels of various sizes, and in diverse geographical locations, to refine the process.

InterContinental Hotels will be using the new methodology to construct a carbon calculator into Green Engage, an online sustainability tool that is designed to enable the group’s hotels to measure, administer and lessen their environmental impacts.

The calculator will allow around 2,000 hotels using Green Engage to offer their customers information on the carbon footprint per occupied room, and the carbon footprint of meetings and events.

Earlier, the chief executive officer of InterContinental Hotels, Richard Solomons, said in a statement on the company website, ‘As the world’s largest hotel group1 we understand that the role of hotels in society goes beyond selling hotel rooms. We must act responsibly and build trust in our brands.

Building trust and being a responsible business are fundamental. Our size and scale give us a big responsibility. The great news is that doing the right thing strengthens our reputation and reinforces trust in our brands. It shows, for instance, that we’re listening to our stakeholders. A growing number of our guests want to make sustainable choices and lots of our corporate clients want proof of our green credentials.’