BLLA found the following article relating to guest reviews to be extremely beneficial for boutique hoteliers. Written by Margaret Ady, Vice President of Marketing at TrustYou and Donna Quadri-Felitti, Ph.D., Director of the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University.
Review data has a significant impact on travelers’ booking decisions; 95% of travelers read reviews, according to a recent TrustYou study. This study was designed to understand which factors (e.g. cleanliness, service, WiFi, etc.) mentioned within those reviews have the greatest influence on travelers’ booking decisions. Eight different travel contexts (i.e, romantic get-away to business travel) were served to US travelers in simulating booking engine environments. The variables of price and quality were kept constant, and respondents were asked to choose a hotel in each scenario based only on a short review snippet containing a couple of words about hotel attributes, such as “great service,” “free WiFi,” “clean rooms,” etc. Booking choices were then analyzed using heat-mapping technology. Following the booking simulations, respondents were asked to rate the importance of each factor when choosing hotels. Data were gathered from 568 respondents in the United States.