Q3 Trends in Hotel Reviews: Travelers Writing Fewer Reviews & Being (Somewhat) Kinder, While Hoteliers Are Responding More
Are you looped in to what travelers are writing in reviews and on social media? You should be. Working with Donna Quadri-Felitti, Ph.D., at New York University, Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management, we recently analyzed a sample of more than 250,000 reviews of US-based hotels from across 250+ sources to uncover the key trends in travelers' reviews and hotel satisfaction.
Check out some of the highlights from the report below, and make sure to download the full report for free here.
Travelers Writing Less
Travelers have written 9% fewer reviews compared this same time last year. Consumer review fatigue may be setting in, which underscores the importance of each review and management’s thoughtful response to them.
Travelers Are Being (Somewhat) Kinder with Feedback
Guests are being a bit kinder with feedback with a reported 2% increase in overall review scores. The competitive intensity of major hotel markets puts pressure on management to constantly monitor and improve, which ultimately shows through in user-generated feedback. The US markets with the highest TrustScore go to New York (90.50), Orlando (88.98) and Chicago (88.12). The markets with the most improved TrustScores were Tampa-St.Petersburg (+3.6%), New Orleans (+3.2%), and Philadelphia (+2.6%). Good news for besieged Detroit, Michigan with an improved TrustScore for its hotels of 2.5%.
Hoteliers Are Saying “We Hear You”
Management response rates have increased by double-digit percentages, sending travelers a clear sign that they are being heard. In particular hoteliers in the Midwest, led by hotel managers in Chicago and Minneapolis, increased the volume of management responses by over 15 percentage points. This may be one reason TrustScores have improved in the US: engaging guests directly helps build credibility and trust among travelers in the public review environment.
Five-Star Reviews Are Harder to Come By
Remember we said travelers are being somewhat kinder? Despite higher TrustScores, hotels are seeing double-digit declines in five-star reviews. Across all markets and regions, consumers are less likely to rate their hotel experiences as five-stars. Hoteliers have to work harder to exceed expectations, delight and surprise guests and to differentiate their product and service delivery on what are increasingly high traveler expectations.
Pricing is Not a Pain Point for Most
For most major markets, 14 of the 25, pricing is not a sore spot for consumers. Are hotels being priced fairly or are there revenue opportunities in many markets? We will continue to track this in future reports.
The full report, including additional data and insights is available for free download here.