PARIS Even as more than 700 hoteliers prepare to file defamation lawsuits against user-generated review site TripAdvisor.com, one major hotel company is experimenting with giving the site an even greater online presence.
Accor has quietly added links to TripAdvisor reviews on the homepages of each of its more than 4,000 hotels worldwide. A small box bearing the TripAdvisor logo, along with the hotel’s overall rating on the site and a link to read user reviews, appears on the right-hand side of each hotel site. Clicking through takes the user to the TripAdvisor page for the hotel, complete with all reviews—both positive and negative. Accor has also begun sending emails to guests encouraging them to post TripAdvisor reviews.
Claire Wearne, Accor’s director of marketing, quality and consumer products, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that the decision to work with TripAdvisor is a recognition of the power of user-generated content. “We appreciate that the decision making of our guests is no longer limited to the information in our brochure,” she says. “We understand that they are making decisions based on valid information from other users.”
TripAdvisor has for a couple years now been offering hotels the option to add this box to their websites, but with the caveat that hoteliers could not manipulate the reviews or ratings. While several small chains and independent properties—especially those with high ratings on the site—have taken advantage of the program, large brands have generally been reluctant to do so.