Can travel companies just ignore review sites?

Many hoteliers believe it’s possible to focus elsewhere

Julio Bruno, TripAdvisor’s global vice president for sales, says his most important advice to hoteliers is to reply to guests’ online reviews, whether positive or negative. But is that really practical?

Hoteliers themselves say that reasons for not replying to guests’ comments on social media include not having the time, not having the language skills, not having the expertise and trying to stop future problems rather than looking at existing ones.

“The TripAdvisor issue is a huge one – it takes a lot of time and dedication to respond to every single review,” Mariah Dailey, general manager of the Equus Hotel in Hawaii, says. “We believe that it needs to be responded to by the appropriate person and given the appropriate dedication of their time and response. It seems that because we don’t have a huge amount of time to spare, we figure, it is better not to do it at all if we can’t do it right.”

Matt Antonelli, a general manager in Cape Town, South Africa, advises: “Forget trying to recapitulate on complaints – it is too late, so focus on prevention.”

John Nicholls, resort manager at Tanna Evergreen Resort & Tours, Vanuatu: “I find that most guests will tell you how much they love your hotel to your face. […] Some of the unhappy ones will not say anything whilst they are in your turf. […] They wait until they are home and lash out as payback. Human nature is fickle.”

eHotelier

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