Aussie operators lagging behind in social media stakes: TripAdvisor

Aussie operators lagging behind in social media stakes: TripAdvisor
By admin

The potential for hoteliers and tourism operators to benefit from rising levels of mobile engagement from travellers while on holiday is huge, but Australia is lagging behind the curve, according to TripAdvisor.

Global vice president sales TripAdvisor for Business, Julio Bruno, told Travel Today that the independent review site’s TripBarometer study had shown that nine out of 10 people don’t watch to “switch off” during their holiday.

“They want to stay connected – travellers want to engage mobile, not only before their holiday but also during their holiday,” he said.

Instead of consulting hotel concierges, people are instead taking their mobile devices down to the pool or the beach and doing the research themselves.

“That’s good because they are engaging and spending money – and it’s an opportunity for hoteliers to increase their levels of engagement which are still not there.”

Of all the Australian hoteliers registered with TripAdvisor, in the last 12 months, just 66% have engaged in social media with potential guests – well behind the global average of 82%.

And that can no longer be attributed to the fear of notching up negative reviews, Bruno said. The average score for an Australian property is now 4.21 out of 5 – above the global average of 4.06.

“That means that over 75% of all reviews are either a four or a five – very good or excellent,” he explained.  “So fear of negative reviews is not there in general – it’s more to do with some generations still not being completely engaged.”

The growing prevalence of social media in an ever expanding number of forms has contributed to a form of “technophobia,” Bruno added, with many operators feeling daunted about the amount of time and effort required to maintain a strong social media presence.

But he stressed the benefits far outweigh the effort required.

“You could have best website in the world but if you don’t have traffic, then it won’t help you,” he said. “If you engage in social media with your guests you are creating loyalty by helping them do things and  building a rapport.”

However, the 66% figure still represents a promising rise of 19% year on year, he added.

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