Putting hotel reviews on the map: Google reviews platform doubles growth in a year

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Google Maps
Will Google eventually claim the hotel review space?

Booking.com is leading the way when it comes to hotel reviews. But Google is fast approaching, and it’s bringing monumental growth.

Back in February, Google released an update, which brought more power to direct booking channels. It made it easier for us to search for destinations, book hotels and flights, and now it’s proving to be a major player in the hotel review space.

More and more users are reviewing hotels through Google Maps, and they’re not shy in sharing their hotel experiences.

According to findings by Revinate, travellers posted 27% more hotel reviews in 2017. And without Google’s review platform, it would have been just 9%.

Google pushed hard that year and even pushed harder in 2016 when hotel reviews increased by 207%.

“With this increase in review volume, we’re pleased to see hoteliers mostly keeping pace with their responses,” says Marc Heyneker, Revinate co-founder and CEO.

The data is from the Global Hotel Reputation Benchmark Report by Revinate – a company that helps global hotel brands manage their online reputations. It has collected over 320 million online hotel reviews (nearly 77 million in 2017 alone) in over 138,000 hotels in 200 countries.

Research show the tops sites for hotel reviews:

The top hotel review platforms
The top hotel review platforms (Screengrab from the Global Hotel Reputation Benchmark Report)

As shown, Booking.com is still at the top of the heap, while Google is gaining ground at second place. Meanwhile, Facebook is a new entry in the top four, replacing Hotels.com.

How does this affect the industry?

With the ease that comes with online reviewing, it isn’t going away soon. And that’s why hoteliers are recommended to use this report to further optimize hotel guests’ experience.

What hoteliers should be doing right now is to actively read and respond to online reviews, to keep up with the pace, and improve their overall satisfaction.

It’s also important to note the misconception that people post reviews to complain about their experiences. When in fact, most online reviews are positive.

“We’re also encouraged to see that hoteliers and review sites are getting better at driving guests to write online reviews, an effort that ultimately results in more bookings,” added Heyneker.

The study showed that the highest response rates from hotels came from Asia Pacific and Latin America with 40% and 39% respectively. This is considerably higher than in North America and EMEA who had both 25%.

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