78% of guest reviews came from four sites in 2016

Revinate, the software as a service (SaaS) company that helps hotels improve guest experience, has released more findings from its 2017 Global Hotel Reputation Benchmark Report

Review pace accelerated in 2016.
Review pace accelerated in 2016.

In 2014, Revinate evaluated more than 20 million reviews from 80,000 properties in 125 countries and this new report is intended to update this information with data from more than 70 million worldwide guest reviews published online over the last two years.

The findings on review distribution, pace and response rates show that top review sites are becoming more prominent over time, overall review pace is accelerating, and hoteliers are responding more than ever to their guests’ feedback.

With regards to review distribution, 78% of all reviews in 2016 came from the top four review sites – Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Google and Hotels.com. This percentage increased by 7.7% compared to the previous year. The report also concluded that guests are more likely to post a review after a satisfactory stay, with 4- and 5-star reviews representing 79.6% of the total. Only 8.2% of reviews were 1- or 2-star ratings.

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Review pace also accelerated in 2016, with notable changes in the number of mid-range reviews. The volume of one- (+18.8%) and five-star (+19.5%) reviews continued to increase the most of all review types. But two- (+11.8%), three- (13.5%), and four-star (+14.4%) reviews grew at a much faster pace than in previous years.

In addition, Revinate’s report showed that review responses are increasing. Although the increase in review volume (+16.4%) far outpaced review responses (+2.8%) in 2016, hoteliers seemed to take their online reviews more seriously than ever before. This trend comes hot on the heels of a new study by Cornell University, which found that hotels that respond to up to 40% of their reviews observe a 2.2x average lift in revenue.

According to Revinate co-founder and CEO Marc Heyneker: “In 2016, more hoteliers saw the value in their online feedback. It’s clear from review response rates that they recognised the importance of monitoring and responding to online feedback, and of acting upon guest reviews insights. At the same time, the deceleration in response rates suggests that managers are struggling to keep up with the modern guest, who is increasingly using social and online review channels to share their experiences.”

On average, hotels responded to 27.9% of all reviews in 2016: a 2.8% increase compared to the previous year. Hoteliers were particularly inclined to respond to one- (27.1%) and five-star reviews (31.6%), although the percentage of answers to one-star ratings experienced a small dip compared to 2015.

Heyneker also recommended that hotels should prioritise negative reviews and aim for a 40% response rate.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

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