Over half of hotel owners plan to engage with their guests who write reviews on TripAdvisor, according to the online travel site's first annual survey of UK accommodation owners.
The results of the survey, in which 520 hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners were questioned in January 2011, finds that 56% said that they plan to respond to both positive and negative reviews, while 20% intend to respond to negative reviews only and 23% do not plan to respond to reviews at all.
The survey also identified a significant increase in the number of hoteliers posting pictures of their properties on TripAdvisor, rising from 61% in 2010 to an expected 77% in 2011.
"The results show that most accommodation owners are now taking proactive steps to manager their online reputation," said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business.
"Most are seizing the opportunity to connect with prospective guests, demonstrate their commitment to customer service and, ultimately, provide the vital online community with an accurate and attractive picture of their business."
Other key findings of the survey include:
â- With the market more competitive than ever, the majority of respondents plan to renovate their properties this year, with 75% saying they are looking to make improvements to the interior and 52% planning to upgrade the exterior of their hotels.
â- 75% of accommodation owners intend to offer special promotions this year with 51% planning to offer room discounts.
â- The importance of free in-room internet for guests is highlighted by 82% of hoteliers saying they plan to offer a free service in 2011. Only 7% plan to levy an internet charge, while the rest have no plans to offer internet at all.
â- Of those hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners who are already engaged in social media, 44% expect their social media budgets to increase this year, while 39% did not engage in this form of marketing in 2010 and do not intend to in 2011.
â- Mobile marketing is beginning to show a steady growth with 27% of respondents having offered information via mobile telephones last year and 18% looking to launch such programmes in 2011.
Hoteliers support Bannatyne campaign against TripAdvisor >>
By Janet Harmer
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