Google rapidly surpasses Booking in travel review dominance

Punta Cana, DR.- The Shiji Reviewpro Guest Experience Benchmark for Q2 2023 revealed that generated more than 39% of hotel reviews during the period, but lost ground year-over-year, while Google, at 32%, increased its share. Tripadvisor held the third largest market share, with 10%, while Expedia accounted for just 5% of total reviews, a loss of 5.1 points from the second quarter of 2021.

The study, which analyzed more than 3 million reviews and 9 million review comments for 9,500 hotels worldwide across 53 review sources and online travel agencies, also revealed that review volume increased by approximately 20% in the trimester.

The Asia Pacific region showed the highest growth rate in review volume at nearly 71%, but overall volumes are still about 8% below pre-pandemic levels.

Google also came out on top with the highest source index, which is an analysis of reviews for a particular source based on positive/negative sentiments and other attributes.

While Google’s score was 86%, Booking achieved the lowest source rating at 83%. Yes ok and Ctrip achieved higher source ratings, their proportion of reviews was relatively low, about 3% and 2%, respectively.

Despite their small share, Chinese online travel brands saw huge volume increases, with Ctrip increasing its volume almost fivefold and increasing its volume by more than 250%.

A semantic analysis of the review comments revealed that 76% were positive and 24% were negative, with Ctrip reviews recording the highest proportion of positive comments compared to Booking, which had the highest proportion of negative comments.

global review

The room category had the largest negative impact on the Global Review Index score, online reputation score, followed by cleanliness, while the experience category had the largest positive impact followed by staff.

The benchmark also revealed that hoteliers responded to 62% of answerable reviews, up almost four percentage points year over year. The response rate for positive reviews was almost 64% and took 3.5 days, while the response rate for negative reviews was 53.5% and took 4.3 days.

Hoteliers in the Middle East responded to the most reviews, followed by their African counterparts, while hoteliers in North America had the lowest response rate.

Small steps, big results

Overall, the Global Review Index (GRI) increased one percentage point year-over-year to 85.5%, but remains lower compared to the second quarter of 2019, when the score was 86.4%.

The report said: “Given higher staffing levels and abundant amenities, it is perhaps not surprising that 5-star hotels scored the highest GRI (89.8%) of the three-star segments, followed by 4-star hotels. stars (85.7%) and 3 stars. hotels (82.1%). Four- and 5-star hotels also showed the strongest recovery, both increasing GRI by 1.2 points during the second quarter of 2022, with 5-star hotels falling just below the 90th percentile. 3 stars increased 0.8 points.”

Shiji highlights that an increase of one point in the GRI leads to a 1.42% increase in revenue per available room. The company also points out several ways to improve reputation, including automation to help with labor shortages.

“The goal now is to hide staffing issues so that guests are not affected,” the report says. “One of the most effective ways? Help guests help themselves with self-service apps like mobile check-in, keyless entry, and digital food ordering.”

It also advocates improving the payment experience because there were 25,000 negative comments on “payment” in the second quarter and 15,000 negative comments on “invoice.”

The report said: “Mishandling of payments is damaging the hotel’s reputation. “A modern, centralized payment solution integrated with PMS and POS will help hotels prevent issues and provide guests with a seamless payment experience throughout the property.”


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