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Using TripAdvisor For Your Tourism Business

Summary:

Gain insight on how to use TripAdvisor for your tourism business. Including how to track your performance, top business tips, how to respond to reviews, and more!

7 min read, Article
Lochend Chalets, Port of Menteith

With 490 million average monthly users, TripAdvisor is the world’s largest and most influential travel platform. The site aggregates info and reviews on attractions and businesses to help give tourists an insight into the places they want to travel to. In their own words, the site provides travellers with ‘the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat.’

Why use TripAdvisor?

Established in February 2000, this free service covers every corner of the world – here are just a few reasons why your business should sign up if you haven’t already:

Community

Become part of the world’s largest travel community, where consumers go for advice, opinions, reviews on travel destinations and related products throughout the world.

Exposure

With travel purchases increasingly shifting online, exposure on one of the largest travel review websites in the world can be no bad thing.

Trust

Research shows that people believe reviews by other people more than they trust commercial advertising.

Integrity

You can respond to reviews. Good and bad reviews should both be followed up to show that you take customer relationships seriously.

It’s free

TripAdvisor is free to use (there is an option to upgrade to a paid listing).

Setting up a TripAdvisor listing

There are two ways that your business can be listed; either a representative from your business can request a listing or a TripAdvisor user can review your business and initiate a listing. This means that it is important to check whether you already have a listing and claim your business as soon as possible. TripAdvisor only allows one listing per property, so you should claim an existing listing if it is there, rather than try to create a new one. You can search your business on TripAdvisor by clicking here and typing the name of your business into the box.

If your business does not appear on TripAdvisor yet, click the ‘Get Listed Now’ button. This will bring you to a page where you’ll need to provide information about your business to get started. It is important to complete this form in as much detail as possible so that TripAdvisor can accurately list your business. Here are the details you need to provide:

Your information

Your name, connection with the business, and email address. TripAdvisor will send you a message on this email address once your listing has been published.

Location and contact info

Company name, address, website and phone number. Top tip: ensure you use the same details consistently across all platforms – this removes search confusions across Google and other search engines. You’ll also need to place a marker on a map to show the exact location of your business. This location will be shown to travellers on the site as they plan their trips.

Type of property

Depending on the type of property you want to be listed (ie accommodation, restaurant or attraction) you will have to provide additional information. For example, if you own a hotel you will be asked:

  • Price range
  • If you have on-site staff and security
  • Front desk staffing details
  • If bathrooms are en suite
  • If room cleaning is included
  • Minimum stay requirement
  • Total number of rooms

For more detailed listing guidelines follow the links below:

Accommodation listing guidelines

Restaurant listing guidelines

Attraction listing guidelines

Note: TripAdvisor does not list accommodation that is for exclusive vacation rental. Register your vacation rental at TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals

Describe your property

At this stage you will be asked to provide a short description of your business. This will help users learn more about your business and should be written in English without HTML code, contact info or text in all caps.

Add your profile photo

To complete your listing add a photo that represents your business. Guidelines state that the photo should be in a JPG or GIF file format and have a maximum file size of 100 KB. There should be no logos or borders on the image.

Verifying your business

Working on the website and checking on mobile at the Gleneagles Hotel

Registered business owners must verify their identity with TripAdvisor, as this helps the site control who has access to the account. There are a few ways you can verify:

By phone

If you choose to verify by phone, make sure the number is for your business – not your personal number. Once you are sure your number is correct, you will be able to choose whether you receive your verification code by phone call or text message.

By credit card

Another way to verify is by submitting credit card information. The card details you provide are for authorisation purposes only and you will not be charged (a £1 hold will be placed on the card, but no actual charges). The card should bear your name.

Once you have verified your listing, you will have access to the Management Centre – TripAdvisor’s hub for managing your business.

Responding to reviews

Once you are registered and verified and can access the Management Centre, you can begin responding to reviews. If your listing is new, you probably won’t have any reviews yet. Make sure to sign up for email notifications so you’re alerted when a new review is published:

  • On the TripAdvisor homepage select the dropdown next to your username, then scroll down to ‘Subscriptions’.
  • Under the ‘Emails for Owners tab, make sure that ‘Subscribed’ is selected. This way you’ll never miss a review.

If you already have existing reviews that you want to respond to:

  • Click the ‘Reviews’ tab in the top menu and select ‘Respond to Reviews’
  • Choose a review to respond to in the left-hand sidebar
  • Submit your review response in the box provided.

Tips on how to respond to reviews

When responding to reviews it is important to be friendly and personal. If there is a problem, keep your response short and humble, if necessary ask the customer to get in touch directly. Here are a few golden rules to follow:

Respond quickly

Don’t leave it too long before responding to customers, especially if they have given negative feedback. By setting aside time to get back to reviewers quickly, it shows that you take customer service seriously.

Thank the customer

Always thank the customer for sharing their thoughts. Not only is it polite, it might just win you more business in the long run when potential new customers read your responses.

Resolve issues, don’t ignore them

Try to address the specific issues raised in each review. Even the best business gets the occasional negative review. If you’re at fault, make sure it doesn’t happen again and take the time to acknowledge this in your response. Avoid generic responses.

Highlight positives

Always take the positives! In most reviews there will be at least some good feedback –it’s okay to celebrate this in your responses and expand on what your business is doing well.

Tracking your performance

One of the features TripAdvisor offers is a popularity ranking system which shows the businesses that are performing well in a given area. Your popularity ranking is based on the quality, recency and quantity of your reviews – and the consistency of those reviews over time.

You can track your performance in the Management Centre by clicking on the view performance dashboard. Here you can see an overview of your business performance in terms of:

  • Overall rating out of 5 stars
  • Rating in relation to similar businesses in your geographic area
  • Total number of reviews
  • Number of management responses

Collecting high quality reviews, consistently, is the best way to improve your popularity ranking. To help with review collection, TripAdvisor offers a variety of tools like Review Express and review reminder tools, as well as Review Collection Partnerships.

Top tips

Accommodation providers

Hotels with 10 or more Management Photos are viewed more than those with fewer photos. Properties that also respond to at least one out of every two reviews are 24% more likely to receive booking enquiries.

Food and drink providers

It’s important to share mouth-watering photos of your food, or pictures that give potential diners an idea of the atmosphere – romantic, family-friendly, etc. Select an engaging primary photo to help you make a strong first impression with potential visitors and change this frequently to keep your listing fresh.

Experience providers

Want your existing customers or passers-by to know you’re listed on TripAdvisor? Request a TripAdvisor Sticker in your Management Centre to prominently display or incorporate this onto your own business signage.

Now you’re ready to get started on TripAdvidsor, take a minute to look at why good imagery is key for your business.

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