Tapping into the Value of Guest Reviews: The Key to Effective Destination Online Reputation Management

Discover how guest reviews will help your destination attract more travelers, improve quality standards, and enhance your online reputation. 

Feedback – A Powerful Tool in Attracting Travelers

In the highly competitive travel industry, destination reputation management is pivotal in attracting and retaining travelers. Travelers increasingly rely on online platforms to research and plan their trips, and the reputation of a destination heavily influences their decisions.

More than nine out of ten travelers read reviews before booking.

The rise of online review platforms and social media has empowered travelers to share their experiences and opinions with a global audience. Feedback has become a powerful tool in shaping the perception of a destination. It serves as virtual word-of-mouth, allowing potential travelers to gauge the quality and appeal of a destination based on the experiences of others.

Why is Online Reputation Management Important for Destinations?

Online reputation management refers to actively monitoring, influencing, and maintaining the perception and image of a destination in the digital realm. It involves managing and curating online content, reviews, and social media presence to shape the overall reputation among potential visitors.

Nowadays, travelers heavily rely on online information, reviews, and recommendations when planning their trips. They seek authentic experiences and trustworthy insights from those who have already visited the destination. A solid online reputation builds credibility, trust, and confidence among potential visitors.

What Matters Most for the Modern Traveler

Researchers First, Buyers Second

The digital era has exposed consumers to countless possibilities for purchasing services or products. With so many choices available, filtering through the noise takes much more time to get the best options possible. Consumers have become researchers first and buyers second. 

A recent study from Travelport shows that 69% of consumers look for information at least weekly before making a decision, compared to 53% buying products or services online at the same frequency. 

Fast, Relevant, Genuine Content

In the search phase, finding relevant information about the property, attraction, or destination is crucial for potential travelers. Besides relevant content, consumers also look at factors such as the ease of booking and load speed. 

The first 1 to 3 seconds are critical for the user experience. Bouncing can increase by 32% if you don’t capture your visitors’ attention in this timeframe.

A genuine experience is also something that travelers are looking for. That’s where review content plays a huge role – it helps consumers understand through the eyes of others whether the destination and experience match their expectations. 

Travelers want to read it all. Our recent research shows that looking at negative feedback is almost as important as looking at positive reviews because it helps them create a closer-to-reality image of what they can expect. 

Travelers read, on average, nine reviews before booking. 57% of the feedback they read is positive, and 43% is negative.

Manage Your Destination’s Online Reputation Using Insights from Guest Reviews

A traveler’s journey begins way before arriving at their destination of choice. From booking to post-stay, destinations can implement effective strategies to support their visitors through the entire discovery journey, in this way, increasing satisfaction and the likelihood of attracting more travelers. Here are a few things to consider: 

Engage Your Visitors Through Their Entire Discovery Journey

Booking Phase

The research and booking stages are critical for potential travelers in deciding their destination. Here are a few ideas to enhance the booking process: 

Know Your Travelers

Knowing what makes your destination unique and what visitors like and dislike about it is essential to target your potential visitors.

Looking at feedback is among the best strategies that will help lead potential travelers to your destination. Examine all of the reviews you receive to understand your strengths and weaknesses thoroughly. TrustYou Analytics breaks down the data from your destination’s guest reviews into actionable insights. We have over 180 categories you can track: from cleanliness to sustainability; these will give you a clear idea of what you can improve.  

Showcase Your Accommodations

If you’re managing an integrated booking platform, dealing with multiple properties simultaneously on your website and ensuring each has a fair chance to convert is a real challenge. 

Here’s where summarized review content will help you focus on highlights while providing travelers with authentic, unbiased insights from other fellow visitors. By leveraging TrustYou’s feedback solutions, you can easily integrate various review widgets on your website to highlight each accommodation’s reputation. 

TrustYou’s Meta-Review is an extremely efficient way of summarizing past reviews and displaying the most important categories that interest travelers based on an innovative semantic analysis. Similarly, our TrustScore uses a scale from 1-5 to highlight the average of past review scores and give travelers a quick overview of the quality of the hotels in question. 

Meta Review Is Among The Review Marketing Solutions Destinations Can Use To Increase Website Conversions
Meta-Review is among the Review Marketing solutions destinations can use to increase website conversions.

Many destinations also leverage badges, which emphasize the best-performing accommodations in specific categories, such as a top location of a great hotel. These are easily displayed on the company website for visibility.

What might seem like a lot of work is easily automated by the Review Marketing solutions of the TrustYou platform, which incorporates all of the widgets mentioned above.

During the Travel Experience

Ask for Feedback

Learn more about your travelers and how they perceive their experience. With our survey solution, you can ask relevant questions about your destination and receive feedback from your visitors. Whether you want to identify key profiles, their motivations to visit, or their overall experience, a survey will help you get the information you need. Distribute your survey via QR codes in hotels, restaurants, or attractions or/and approach the visitors directly and ask for feedback. 

A Sample Survey A Destination Could Send During The Travel Experience 1
A sample survey you could send during the travel experience.

After the Travel Experience 

Get Access to Actionable Insights & Competitive Benchmarking

The best indicator of what does and doesn’t work can be found within guest feedback. Your previous guests have the most valuable insights. Not leveraging these honest opinions would be a waste.

Collecting more guest reviews will help you get more actionable data. Encourage your accommodations to ask for feedback in the post-stay phase and manage it actively by replying to positive and negative reviews. 

The data from reviews will help you understand which categories should be improved or to increase the scores in the future.

Key Data for Online Reputation Management for Festinations can be found in the TY Dashboard.
Get access to actionable insights by looking at the guest reviews your destination receives.

You can also benchmark yourself against competitor destinations to identify your strengths and weaknesses and properly position yourself in the market. 

All this information is made available through an online platform or for consumption by a BI system through our API.

Best Practices – How Destinations Stay Competitive and Attract More Travelers with Guest Reviews

Having access to all these key insights from guest reviews will undeniably give you a competitive advantage as a destination. Another critical aspect for maximizing results and attracting travelers is what you do with this data. Here are a few examples of how other destinations use guest feedback to improve quality, raise awareness, and stay competitive. 

Monitor and Improve Quality Standards for Your Destination

It has become increasingly challenging to maintain an increased level of visitor satisfaction. Continuous improvement is required in a highly competitive travel market to attract more visitors. 

Aggregating review data for your destination will help you understand what guests appreciate most and things that might need attention. You can constantly monitor and improve quality standards across all accommodations by monitoring categories that perform best and those that bring more negative reviews. 

Trentino Marketing Alessandro Angeli
How Trentino Marketing Monitors Key Guest Satisfaction Indicators

“Trentino Marketing uses the TrustYou Dashboard and Analytics features consistently.

The dashboard allows you to monitor general indicators based on region or categories. If we see differences or critical issues, we analyze them in-depth and alert the Territorial Tourism Associations (APTs) involved. For example, we notice through the system that guests reported a malfunctioning WiFi in a particular area, we confirm that the problem exists and then alert the APTs.

These issues are managed by an internal office, which communicates continuously with the 15 APTs.”

Alessandro Angelini, Digital Technology Manager and Platform Specialist, Trentino Marketing.

Attract Travelers Through Tailored Marketing Campaigns

The effectiveness of a marketing campaign depends on whether it resonates with your target audience. That’s why knowing who your travelers are and your unique selling points will help you achieve higher levels of customization when promoting your destination. 

Using a survey during the travel experience, you can determine your travelers’ profile and identify target groups, the best channels, and messaging for your campaigns. Data from guest reviews will help you understand what’s unique about your destination and the categories that make you stand out. When advertising to potential travelers, it will give you a competitive advantage and more personalization options.

Survey Data For Destinations
Tailor your marketing campaigns by identifying your travelers’ profiles and preferences. 

Offer Guidance and Expertise for Your Accommodations

Managing guest reviews can be overwhelming for hoteliers. Create specific guidelines to help your accommodations actively engage with guests during and after their stay. Best practice guides and workshops on managing guest feedback will help them better address occurring issues, respond to both positive and negative feedback, and positively impact the destination’s reputation management. 

How Two German Destinations Are Using Guest Reviews to Promote Quality and Excellence

The Saxony & Saxony-Anhalth regions have been using TrustYou’s platform to get valuable insights from guest reviews and celebrate excellence through a dedicated award for the best accommodations in the area.

Destination Online Reputation Management - Saxony & Saxony-Anhalt Client Success Story

Actively Engage Accommodations to Improve the Travelers’ Experience

Guest reviews can also serve as a great tool in fostering a culture of excellence and focus on quality among your accommodations. Many destinations using TrustYou are hosting excellence awards based on review data to celebrate the best accommodations.  

Since 2015, the region Saxony in Germany has celebrated their best accommodation units. The “Guests’ Favorite” competition started with 430 participants. Now it has grown to 725. The destination reports that hospitality providers are more aware of the importance of improving their services based on guest feedback. 

Another innovative approach was developed by the region Mato Grosso in Brazil. Using review data provided by TrustYou, they created the Index of Tourism Development (IDTur). Review volume, response rate, and performance scores are among the data integrated into this innovative approach to track quality and guest satisfaction. Each region’s destination can access this index, compare it against other municipalities, and improve based on the insights they get. 

A Table Summarizing Key Tourism Performance Indicators From Trustyou Data And The Proprietary Idtur Created By Mato Grosso For Its Municipal Destinations
A table summarizing key tourism performance indicators from TrustYou data and the proprietary IDTur created by Mato Grosso for its municipal destinations. 

Guest reviews play a central role in shaping a destination’s online reputation. By recognizing their value and actively managing them, destinations can cultivate positive perceptions, attract more visitors, and ultimately thrive in the competitive tourism industry.

Get Your Demo with TrustYou

See an overview of the world’s leading all-in-one platform, including reputation management, review marketing, and guest surveys. You’ll see firsthand how to make better business decisions for your organization, earn trust, and succeed.

The Worlds Leading All In One Platform For Hospitality