British Travellers Give Best Accommodation Reviews

British travellers are among the most positive when visiting foreign countries, according to the results of a recent survey released by TripAdvisor, a company that offers an online travel community for collating user-generated travel information.

When giving reviews, contributors from Britain have scored 4.1 out of 5 on average, which is among the most positive on the Tripadvisor site, and much higher than most European nations. South Africa has topped the list of most positive reviews on TripAdvisor, with an average score of 4.22 out of 5 posted by reviewers there, and compared with a 3.8 average score posted by the least positive nation of reviewers, Malaysia.

TripAdvisor reports also indicated that while Canadian travellers provide the most detailed reviews of accommodation, with around 191 words on average per review, British travellers could only come second with their reviews averaging 177 words.

Emma Shaw, the spokesperson for TripAdvisor, said, ‘When TripAdvisor was founded, the idea of ‘the wisdom of the crowd’ was still relatively unheard of and there was a fear that people would only want to share their travel horror stories. In fact, our experience over the last twelve years has shown the opposite to be true – people do genuinely want to share their good experiences with the world first and foremost.’

A commissioned survey of more than 2,100 travellers conducted by TripAdvisor, in July 2011, had cited that the most important reason given by travellers for writing a positive review was their desire to share a good experience with others.

Three new travel websites launched for US frequent travellers

US-based marketing companies, Think Placement and First Quest SEO, have announced that they have launched three websites to help frequent travellers with their travelling needs.

The three sites – http://www.frequentflyersprograms.com, http://www.frequentparkerprograms.com and http://www.hotelstayprograms.com- are in their beta stage. They will provide frequent travellers with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with new offers, customer loyalty rewards and other pertinent details from a single source. The firms said that initially, the sites would provide unbiased reviews of programmes that are being offered by companies to travellers so that they may decide for themselves which offer to take.

Angela Luongo, president of First Quest SEO says, ‘I know from experience how difficult it can be to keep track of all the different loyalty rewards programmes. Only after we fully review the frequent travel programmes will they be added to the websites. We want to get the most ‘succinct’ information to the traveller. Which ones truly reward you the most for your money?

The promoters of the initiative said that the sites would help travellers identify offers that provide the best value for money. They also claimed that the sites would help customer identify fine prints in offers by highlighting often-missed information so that customers do not bargain for what they do not need. The firms are also having plans to link all companies that provide reward programmes. A social-media presence is also in the offing.

Modesto Chinosi, president of Think Placement said, ‘Times are still tough and the economy is still recovering. We believe that the websites will be an invaluable resource for people looking to save money and earn valuable points, free parking days, free airline tickets and hotel stays, etc.’

 

Hoteliers take on TripAdvisor

In the last decade one of the most tricky issues holiday accommodation has had to deal with is likely to be the online review.

 

More likely than not appearing on TripAdvisor, angry reviews could reach millions in minutes of being posted. Holiday goers could browse reviews in an attempt to find a true reflection of a hotel’s services, and honest opinions of places to stay.

 

Now hoteliers are fighting back against negative reviews, which many argue are unfair views of tricky customers or worse – fake reviews written by rivals to ruin reputations.

 

TripAdvisor have responded by opening a new customer support phone lines, which will allow untruthful reviews to be flagged up.

 

Following a documentary on Channel 4 focusing on the negative comments posted on the website, an investigation was launched by the Advertising Standards Agency.

 

UK-based hoteliers with a grievance can call 0800 098 8460 or 0203 318 5019.

‘Reviews you can trust’ removed from TripAdvisor website

The famous ‘reviews you can trust’ slogan has been removed from TripAdvisor’s website, and been replaced with ‘reviews from our community’.

 

This follows allegations made by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) over that bogus reviews have been posted on the site.

 

A investigation has been launched concentrating on were the reviews can be trusted – claims that the post were made by ‘real travellers’ could not be substantiated.

 

It is thought that between five and ten million reviews could be fake, KwickChex.com has had up to 2,000 hoteliers approaching them feeling they have been incorrectly reviewed and claiming the site can be misleading.

 

The website which helps more than 45 million consumers fin hotels each month is alleged to have refused to remove deceptive posts and does not substantiate its reviews or verify its users.

 

Kwikchex argues that this means TripAdvisor is not as reliable as it declares.

 

However, the travel website was prompt to state that the alteration to the website was not an outcome of the ASA investigation, but a decision made before it was even launched.

 

Emma O’Boyle, a spokesperson for TripAdvisor, said: ‘The “reviews from our community”, which is now visible on the hotel pages, is part of our evolving communication efforts, this time highlighting our commitment to our all-important community.

 

‘The description of TripAdvisor as a trustworthy source of travel advice and information remains used in other parts of the site, and by example you’ll still see this wording on the homepage.

 

She added: ‘This evolution was carried out across all domains gradually from June to August this year, first appearing in the UK on June 27, 2011.’

 

KwikChex’s co-founder Chris Emmins, said the company had recently found more cases of hotels being the target of false negative reviews, and subsequently being ‘red flagged’ by TripAdvisor.