The next time you had a great stay at your hotel or bread-and-breakfast while travelling, be sure to leave some photos with your glowing review. Not only are you directly helping fellow travellers to have a better idea on what to expect, but you are also helping the great hotel you just stayed at attract more potential guests.
A recent study released by the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor, revealed that the number of photos is among the four key factors that keep travellers on the site’s property page. The photos are not only increasing the levels of engagement between travellers, but it also leads to more potential bookings.
The travel site indicates that hotel and B&B pages that have at least one photo are receiving 138 per cent more engagement with those who do not any photos. Accommodations that have more than 100 photos attract more than 151 per cent engagement and properties with more than 1,000 photos are able to attract more than 203 per cent engagement. The study also showed that properties with more than 100 photos are 238 per cent more likely to receive booking inquiries compared to properties that do not have any photos at all.
The second key factor that determined the online engagement is the total number of reviews received. Managing a Bed & Breakfast myself, I understand the power of reviews written by the guests. It is just make sense that no one wants to stay at a “non-credible” hotel. Reviews posted online are considered as the ‘trophies’ given to the hotel owners by their guests. The more positive reviews you get, the more credible hotel you are.
A quick look at the 270 hotels in Kuala Lumpur listed in TripAdvisor. We found that among the top 20 hotels, 10 of the hotels have more than 100 reviews, with some have close to 1,000 reviews. Most of these hotels also have more than 300 photos posted by fellow travellers who have stayed there.
We also had a quick peep at the 20 hotels that came in last among the 270 hotels in Kuala Lumpur. None of these hotels received any reviews and the properties are either with one photo (which was provided by the owners) or no photos at all.
The study by TripAdvisor that analysed the number of reviews, management responses and photos on accommodation properties in the 25 most reviewed cities, also revealed that property owners who respond to reviews are more likely to increase the level of engagement. The study revealed that properties that respond to more than 50 per cent of the received reviews are more likely to receive a booking inquiry by 24 percent compared to those who chose to ignore the reviews.
The average rating, according to the study is also closely linked to responses given by property owners. The findings from the study showed that properties that have 0 response rate have an average of 3.81 over 5.00 review rating, 5 to 40 per cent response have 4.04 review rating, 40 to 65 per cent have 4.05 review rating, and more than 65 per cent response have 4.15 average review rating.
The last factor that determines the travellers’ engagement on accommodation properties’ pages is the number of reviews in the last one year. A hotel that do well in the first year, doesn’t guaranteed their reputation forever. Smart travellers usually take into consideration the latest updates of a hotel before proceed to book. I believe nobody likes outdated things, same goes to when choosing for a hotel.
“Looking at the results of this study, a clear theme emerges – the more engaged the business owner, the more interested the traveller,” said Marc Charron, President, TripAdvisor for Business.
“It’s no secret that travellers want to see pictures and read reviews of a property before making their booking decision. Taking part in the conversation and demonstrating that the owner cares about feedback has a very real and measurable effect on converting a traveller from a casual browser into a potential guest,” he added.