5 Things You Didn’t Know About TripAdvisor

Tripadvisor is the world’s largest travel site and it features more than 200 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, tour companies and other businesses at more than 4.5 million destinations.

This website has changed the way people choose where they want to travel and dine and it has also changed the way that hospitality businesses operate. These days when most people are deciding where to eat or planning a trip they take a look online and read reviews from previous customers. The reviews and the overall ranking of a place make a big difference in the customer’s decision to choose that restaurant or hotel.

Also, the online review system means that hospitality providers cannot just promise good service – they have to deliver. If they don’t deliver and their disappointed customers write a bad review, it will damage their reputation and discourage future customers from booking.

Tripadvisor has been a significant website in the world of Hospitality Marketing, but here are five things that you might not know about it:

1. It Once Featured a Fake Restaurant

Tripadvisor has fraud detection systems that prevent against non-existent businesses establishing profiles – but sometimes the odd one slips through, such as “Oscar’s” in the seaside city of Brixham. The restaurant was added to Tripadvisor and it received a string of glowing reviews, climbing above 37 other establishments in the rankings. It remained on the website for two months before it was eventually removed, even though two reviews were posted stating that it didn’t actually exist.

2. A Hotel Was Banned for Bribery

Although hotels and restaurants can encourage their customers to write a review of their stay, it is against TripAdvisor policy for hotels to offer discounts or incentives for positive reviews. This is an issue of conflict of interest – the reviews should be honest and guests should not be writing positive reviews simply to receive a reward.
A hotel called The Cove in Penzance, Cornwall was blacklisted from Tripadvisor in 2011 for offering discounts to guests who left “honest but positive” reviews. The guests would receive 10% off and a room upgrade on their next stay. The hotel had 24/26 positive reviews, all of which were biased and unreliable due to the hotel bribing the customers.

3. The Website Had Small Beginnings

Although TripAdvisor is now an enormous travel website, it had humble beginnings 15 years ago. The company was founded in February 2000 in a small office, located above a pizza shop in Needham, Massachusetts. It has grown a lot since then. These days the total word count of all of the reviews on TripAdvisor is more than 10 billion, which is approximately 12,000 times the number of words in the entire works of Shakespeare.

4. It Didn’t Start With User Generated Content

TripAdvisor was one of the most revolutionary websites in the rise of user-generated content – the website users provide most of the content and the website is supported by advertising. However, the original idea for TripAdvisor wasn’t to create a user generated content platform. It began as a website intended to focus on official reviews from magazines, newspapers and guidebooks.
However, the website had a button for users to submit their own review and that feature simply took off. Customers were eager to share their opinions and soon there were more consumer reviews than professional reviews.

5. There are More Restaurants on TripAdvisor than Hotels

When you think of TripAdvisor, you usually imagine users planning their travels and looking at different hotels in their destination. The website is usually associated with hotels, so it might surprise you to know that there are actually many more restaurants listed on TripAdvisor than hotels. If you are a restaurant owner and you haven’t got a TripAdvisor profile set up, it’s time to start taking advantage of the benefits that this website can offer when it comes to exposure and word of mouth advertising.

These are five interesting facts that you might not have known about the travel review website TripAdvisor. If you have a hospitality business, make sure that you have a profile on TripAdvisor and that you are encouraging your guests to leave their honest feedback – it will be a powerful way to generate more traffic to your business.