Positive user reviews allow hoteliers to increase rates without hitting occupancy, according to TripAdvisor.
Chad Silver, TripAdvisor senior sales executive for destination management organisations, told an online marketing conference in Athens: “Good reviews allow you to charge more.”
Silver referred to a Center for Hospitality Research study which suggested hotels with high review scores on TripAdvisor could increase their room rates.
“If you increase your review score by one point, you can increase your room rate by 11% per night without affecting occupancy,” he said.
Silver added: “Getting a bad review is not a problem – not responding to it is the problem. The study shows good responses increase respect for a brand.”
However, he noted: “Only 7% of Greek accommodation reviews [on Tripadvsisor] receive a management response.”
Silver told hoteliers: “Provide free Wifi. If you do, people will do your marketing for you. If you charge them €19 a day, they won’t.”
Google public policy manager Dionisis Kolokotsas told the conference: “There is a correlation between search and travel. The more you search about a region, the more likely you are to go to it.”
He referred to a study Google commissioned from economic research firm Oxford Economics on the impact of online content on tourism in Europe, and on Spain, Italy and Greece in particular.
The study suggests just over half (51%) of Europeans use the web for travel purposes, although one in four households are not online.
Kolokotsas said: “There is a digital gap between countries and within countries: 74% of European households are online, but Greece is 20 points behind. That is huge.”