Manage Your TripAdvisor Reviews

Learn how to collect, respond and report reviews on TripAdvisor.

Collect Reviews

How Reviews Help Your Business

How Reviews Help Your Business Three reasons why reviews help build a successful hospitality business

Many hospitality businesses make the mistake of not actively collecting guest reviews on sites like TripAdvisor. They may have more pressing priorities or concerns about potential negative feedback. But research shows that reviews can provide strong value for hospitality businesses. Here are three reasons why guest reviews are vital to the success of your business:

1. Reviews impact bookings

A recent PhoCusWright study1 revealed the impact reviews have on travellers’ decision-making:

  • 83% of respondents indicated that reviews help them pick the right hotel
  • 80% read at least 6 – 12 reviews prior to booking
  • 53% won’t commit to a booking until they read reviews

Similar trends apply with travellers and attractions and restaurants:

  • 68% of respondents say reviews help them know about attractions
  • 64% read reviews to find better restaurants

These results demonstrate how reviews can impact sales for all hospitality businesses. If you’re not collecting fresh feedback, and sharing it with travellers, you may be losing business to competitors who do.

2. More reviews over time can lead to higher ratings

The average TripAdvisor review rating is 4.12 / 5.2

Academic research has demonstrated that ratings in reviews usually become higher over time. Why? Early guests often have negative experiences that surprise them, which is reflected in initial reviews. As a property gets more reviews, the average rating tends to increase. The researchers believe this is because additional reviews help set traveller expectations. Eventually, the ratings centralize around a more accurate average.3

Consistently collecting reviews yields a more accurate assessment of your property – which is important to both you and potential guests. With more reviews, the impact of extreme feedback can be limited. Plus, using negative reviews to improve can help ensure future ratings continue to rise.

3. Reviews help businesses evolve

Peter O’Sullivan, Owner of Harington’s Hotel in Bath, England, says:

“We might think we’re doing a brilliant job – but there’s no point in us thinking we’re doing a brilliant job if guests don’t think we are – so we really value that feedback…It gives us a way to improve the service and the quality of product that we offer…In the last three or four years, in particular, we’ve really focused more on it. We can see the level of repeat bookings we’re getting has increased as well."

In fact, reviews are a free way to assess how your business is performing. They highlight what’s going well and where improvements can be made. Trends in reviews also reveal insights into guest expectations and how to better meet them.

How to collect reviews

80% of surveyed travellers say they focus on the newest reviews.

So, how can your property collect more reviews? TripAdvisor has lots of free tools to help. Use Review Express to easily send optimised review request emails. It’s even better than using your own email account because it delivers an automatic reminder and a detailed dashboard that tracks the performance of each campaign.  

For even more tools, log in to the Management Centre and visit the "Marketing Tools" tab at the top of the page. Here you will find widgets for your website and promotional tools like TripAdvisor stickers and "write a review" business cards. 


  • 1. Independent PhoCusWright study prepared for TripAdvisor, December 2013
  • 2. TripAdvisor internal data, January 2014
  • 3. “Online Customer Reviews of Hotels: As Participation Increases, Better Evaluation Is Obtained.” Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. March 2013.
Last Updated: 1 February 2017

8 Reasons to Ask All Your Guests to Write a Review

8 Reasons to Ask All Your Guests to Write a Review When guests check out, many properties ask them to write a TripAdvisor review so that travellers have the fresh feedback they want to see before making a booking decision. What differentiates properties that are doing a great job with this from everyone else? Who they ask.

Properties that only ask for feedback from guests who they know had a great experience are not doing themselves, or their future guests, any favours. Remember the evil queen in Snow White?  Every day she asked her magic mirror who was "the fairest in the land", and she was only satisfied when the answer was her.  In the end, her resistance to hearing the truth backfired.  Here are 8 other reasons why it’s in your best interest to ask all guests for reviews: 

1. Don't assume you know what people are going to say.

You may think that a guest had a fabulous experience at your property or vice-versa, but you never know what will come through in a review.  Give guests the opportunity to surprise you. 

2. Well-rounded reviews set realistic expectations.

Afraid that the couple who commented on your small room size might write that in the review?  If your rooms are indeed small, that’s not a bad thing.  Guests who are considering your property need to know what to expect, warts and all.  If they come in with realistic expectations, they’re more likely to come out pleased.  

3. When all reviews are stellar, it's almost not believable.

No one is perfect, and travellers know that as well as anyone else.  If 100% of your feedback is stellar, it can raise suspicions.   A mix of opinions adds credibility.

4. Travellers focus on the positive. 

When feedback is highly negative, they actually don’t pay much attention to it.  In a 2013 Phocuswright survey, 66% of respondents said that they ignore extreme comments when reading reviews. 

5. Hold yourself accountable.

If you realised that someone was unhappy while at your property, did you really do nothing about it?  If you addressed the issue, that will likely be reflected in the review. And if the traveller is being unreasonable despite redress, that will also come through, loud and clear. 

6. You can’t improve unless you know what all your guests think.

If there is a valid problem at your property, you need to know about it.  You can't get better if you don't know what all your guests think. And if the feedback is negative, write a management response and tell the world what you’re doing about it. 

7. Demonstrate confidence in your product. 

Inviting every guest to write a review demonstrates that you’re confident your property is providing the best experience possible.  If you’re not confident in that, all the more reason to get as much feedback as possible and figure out what you need to fix. 

8. Honesty is the best policy.

When it comes down to it, it's just not that honest to cherry-pick for positive feedback. TripAdvisor provides a platform for all travellers to share all of their opinions, not just the ones that you like.  And soliciting feedback from everyone helps insure that you remain in compliance with our fraud policy. 

The bottom line is, successful hoteliers welcome all feedback and use it to their advantage, either to market their properties or make them better.  Ask every guest for a review, embrace all opinions and your business will benefit in the end.   

Last Updated: 22 September 2014

The Complete Review Express Guide

The Complete Review Express Guide Learn more about the fast, free way to collect TripAdvisor reviews for your property.

Looking for an easy way to get more reviews for your business? Try Review Express – the review collection tool that TripAdvisor created based on feedback from hospitality businesses like yours. It’s free for all types of properties – no subscription required.

PhoCusWright data shows that more than half of travellers won’t commit to a booking until they read reviews1

With Review Express, you’ll create and send professional-looking emails that encourage guests to write reviews of your business. These emails can be customised with your property’s branding. There’s also a Review Express dashboard that provides in-depth analysis and tracking to help you fully optimise your campaigns.  On average, regular Review Express users see an uplift of 28% in the amount of TripAdvisor reviews for their property.2

Read on to learn how easy it is to start using Review Express for your business: 

Getting started

The first step to using Review Express is to gather your guests’ information. Start by collecting guest email addresses, permissions, and language preferences in a spreadsheet or other easily accessible location. Accuracy is important because it increases the likelihood that your Review Express emails will be delivered, opened and clicked – resulting in more reviews for your property.

Often, the best way to collect email addresses is to simply ask guests for the information before they leave. If you have an online booking function, consider incorporating “Email Address” and “Language Preference” fields into your online form. You can see more tips for collecting guest email addresses here. Before you start collecting guest data, be sure to review any applicable email laws in your country and make sure your plans comply with them.

No matter how you collect an email address, it’s important to get guests' permission to email them. You should explain exactly how you’ll use their addresses. If you’re sending a Review Express campaign, be sure to tell them that in advance. Properly setting guests’ expectations can help increase your open and review rates.

Set up a Review Express campaign

Setting up a Review Express campaign is simple. Go to tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress and type in your property name to access the Review Express home page. This hub contains everything you need to start requesting reviews from your past guests. To send an email, click “Create Email" from the top menu.

Create Email 

The “Create Email” area is where you configure the email you’ll send to guests. The first time you use Review Express, it will default to the TripAdvisor template in your language. Just click the "Edit" button to customise each element of the template:

  • From address: This is the address that appears in the “Sender” field of your guest’s email. Be sure it’s something that’s easily recognizable.
  • Subject: This is the email subject line that will appear to your guest. Avoid using exclamation points and other punctuation to limit bounces (emails that aren’t able to be delivered).
  • Photo: There’s a spot for a photo next to the name and address of your property at the top of the email. You can use your property’s default image, upload a new one or choose not to include one.
  • ​Message: The email message includes the headline and body of the email. You can use the current message, edit it or add your own. Generally, shorter is better and it’s a good idea to thank guests for their business.

If you make changes to the TripAdvisor template, you’ll be prompted to save them as a new message. You can also choose to make your new message the default for that language. When you make a message the default, an asterisk will automatically be added to its name and it will appear first when you select that language in the “Create Email” area. You can always identify the default template by the asterisk in its title.

To have the most success, send targeted messages to guests in the languages they speak. Review Express is available in about 30 languages and there are TripAdvisor templates in each one. You can use these templates to contact guests who speak other languages, even if you do not.

Once your template is ready to go, click the “Continue to send” button to move on to the next step. 

Send Email

In this step, add the email addresses of the guests you’d like to reach. Have just a few addresses? Type them into the text box. If you have lots of emails to send, upload a spreadsheet of up to 1,000 email addresses using the file upload box. Review Express will accept .CSV or .XLS files up to 5MB in size. If you’re sending emails to guests in different languages, be sure to set up a new message and upload just those addresses for that campaign.

Don't worry, an email address will automatically be removed from a campaign if: The email recipient has reviewed your business in the last 30 (restaurants) to 90 days (attractions). A Review Express email was sent to the address in the last 30 days. The email recipients have unsubscribed from Review Express emails.

Keep in mind, TripAdvisor takes fraud and privacy very seriously. The addresses you submit must belong to people who have visited your property and you must have permission to email them. You cannot have a personal relationship with any of the recipients and they cannot be offered any incentives for reviews. Finally, avoid selectively emailing only the guests you believe will write positive reviews. Review Express emails should be consistently sent to all guests – properties are often happily surprised by the results. 

Once you’ve added your recipients, review and click the three notices at the bottom of the page. Then hit “Send.” Your emails will be sent within 24 hours. Reviews that you receive through Review Express will have a label indicating they were collected in partnership with your property.

Go automated

Sending Review Express emails can be even easier for accommodations that are working with a TripAdvisor-certified connectivity provider – like an internet booking engine or property management system. These properties can opt in to have Review Express emails sent automatically to guests when they check out. And it’s free! 

If your property is eligible, you can sign up for this feature on the Review Express home page. Just click the button in the “Automate” box. Remember, you’ll still need to use the “Send Email” method outlined above to request reviews from guests who book through another third party, like an Online Travel Agent.

Once you sign up, your connectivity provider will begin providing TripAdvisor with the data to automatically send guests your default Review Express email on your behalf. The email will be sent to guests within 72 hours of check out. You won’t have to do a thing! You can edit your Automated Review Express default emails and monitor the status of your connectivity provider in the "Settings" tab.

If your accommodation isn’t able to sign up for automated Review Express, it could be that your connectivity provider is not certified. Please contact your provider to get connected. To learn more about automated Review Express, click here.

Add private surveys

In addition to using Review Express to collect public feedback that shows up on your TripAdvisor page, accommodations can also get private feedback as well. With the Review Express + private surveys add-on, each Review Express campaign you send also includes a short, customizable guest satisfaction survey.

If travellers choose to complete the optional survey, that feedback is just for you and your hotel or B&Bs’ staff. Your survey responses remain confidential and don’t show up on your TripAdvisor page or influence your TripAdvisor rating or ranking.

To add your private survey, go to the Create Survey tab. You’ll see a list of pre-translated questions you can ask your guests. Click on a question you want and drag it to your survey – if you change your mind, you can reorder or remove questions as well.

Your private survey responses will show up in your Review Express Dashboard. To learn more, check out Understanding your private survey responses.

Review Express Dashboard

Once you’ve started sending campaigns, the Dashboard tracks the success of each one. To access it, click “Dashboard” from the top menu within Review Express.

First, you’ll see the key statistics from all the campaigns sent including Total Campaigns, Total Emails Sent, Total Opens, Total Clicks and Total Reviews. The Dashboard tracks the performance of all Review Express campaigns at the property level, no matter who sends them. You can use these numbers to evaluate your Review Express success over time.

Another key section of the dashboard is recent reviews. Titles and ratings of your most recent reviews are listed. If you don’t have recent reviews, the dashboard will provide some tips to try for future campaigns.

Finally, the “Recent email campaigns” report has regularly updated stats for each campaign sent by your property. It tracks the number of emails sent, opened and clicked as well as how many were bounced or suppressed. Suppression is used to prevent unnecessary emails to your guests. An email address will be automatically removed from a campaign if: 

  • The email recipient has reviewed your business in the last 30 (restaurants) to 90 days (attractions).
  • A Review Express email was sent to the address in the last 30 days.
  • The email recipients have unsubscribed from Review Express emails.

For more tips on the dashboard, including how to use it to drive your Review Express success, check out this tip sheet.  

Resources

Ready to get started with Review Express? Visit tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress today. You’ll be able to set up and send your first campaign in fifteen minutes. If you’re looking for more help, including tips for sending Review Express campaigns, frequently asked questions and more information on why reviews matter, check out these resources.

Top Review Express Tips

  1. Set guests’ expectations: Tell them you’ll be sending a Review Express email to collect their feedback.
  2. Send emails regularly: Ask guests for feedback within a few days of check out, when the experience is still fresh.
  3. Choose your “from” address wisely: Be sure it includes the name of the property or a key employee that is recognizable.

 

Sources: 1. Independent PhoCusWright study prepared for TripAdvisor, December 2013 2. TripAdvisor site data, January 2014

Last Updated: 13 March 2017

Request a Free TripAdvisor Sticker

Request a Free TripAdvisor Sticker

Looking for a great way to show that you value guest feedback and encourage new reviews while still increasing footfall? Get a free TripAdvisor sticker for your front door, window or busiest area of your hotel, restaurant or attraction today by using our sticker request tool: www.tripadvisor.co.uk/StickerRequest.

Show off your TripAdvisor Sticker

  • 67% of travellers check TripAdvisor a few times a month1
  • 75% of travellers prefer businesses with a TripAdvisor endorsement2
  • 89% of global travellers say reviews are influential when choosing where to book3

Please allow up to 6 weeks for the sticker to arrive by mail. Once you get it, we’d love to see it! Tweet a photo to @TripAdvisorB2B using the hashtag #OnTripAdvisor.


  • 1. Source: PhoCusWright study commissioned by TripAdvisor, December 2013
  • 2. Source: TripAdvisor member survey, October 2012
  • 3. Source: TripBarometer April 2014: Global Edition
Last Updated: 7 March 2015

About TripAdvisor Review Express & Email Permissions

About TripAdvisor Review Express & Email Permissions Answers to frequently asked questions about Review Express and email permissions. Review Express is a free and easy way to collect feedback from guests. It allows you to send professional-looking review reminder emails to guests, after their stay. Let’s cover some frequently asked questions regarding email permissions and TripAdvisor Review Express. How do email permissions work? Prior to uploading guests’ email addresses to Review Express, you must have permission to pass their details to TripAdvisor to facilitate review collection — typically this is included in a data collection statement. You must also maintain a record of their consent. What happens if a guest questions the email? In accordance with data privacy laws, if a guest questions the review request email from TripAdvisor, we’ll refer them back to you to confirm their consent. You’ll need to be able to show that the guests consented to receive communications from TripAdvisor. Does TripAdvisor use my guests’ email addresses for other purposes?...

9 Common Review Express Concerns

9 Common Review Express Concerns Answers to the most frequently asked Review Express questions.

1. What’s the cost for Review Express?

Review Express is free for all businesses listed on TripAdvisor. You just need to be a registered owner or manager for your property. 

2. Why is Review Express better than sending my own email?

Review Express is a free and easy way to collect feedback from guests. You’ll benefit from co-branding with TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. You’ll have access to the Review Express dashboard, which provides clear, accurate results for each of your campaigns. There’s also a reminder email that’s automatically sent to guests who don’t respond – making it even easier for you to get more reviews. 

3. How do email permissions work?

Read our article on Review Express and email permissions here.

4. What happens with my guests’ email addresses when I use Review Express?

When the email addresses are received they are run through our Review Express filters. First, addresses of recipients who have elected not to receive emails from Review Express are removed. Then, addresses that have received Review Express emails from you in the last 30 days, and those that have written a review of your business in the last three months, are removed.

Your Review Express email is sent to the remaining addresses and responses are tracked in the dashboard. If there’s no response within 7 days, and you’ve chosen to send a reminder email to guests, TripAdvisor will send a follow up email on your behalf. At that point, the addresses remain stored in a TripAdvisor server, so results of the campaign can continue to be tracked in the dashboard and future email campaign lists can be properly filtered.    

5. How does TripAdvisor protect my guests’ information?

Email addresses provided to TripAdvisor through Review Express are stored separately and securely. Access is limited to specific people on the TripAdvisor team.

6. Does TripAdvisor use these email addresses for other purposes?

No. TripAdvisor recognizes the value and importance in protecting your guests’ information. Email addresses submitted for Review Express are not used for any other purpose. They are not subscribed to general TripAdvisor email campaigns, or tracked for anything other than reporting on your Review Express dashboard.

7. If I provide my guests’ email addresses, will they automatically become TripAdvisor members?

No, we do not automatically create memberships for Review Express email recipients. However, a user will need a TripAdvisor membership to write a review of your property. When users decide to submit reviews, they can choose to register on the site or log in to their existing accounts and then adjust account settings in relation to receiving future emails from TripAdvisor.

8. Can I accidentally over-email my guests with Review Express?

Only one initial Review Express email and one reminder email can be sent to each guest per visit to your property, within a 30-day time period. The reminder email is only sent if you elect to use that feature and your guest hasn’t already written a review about your property.

If you’re using automated Review Express, we’ll also compare any incoming addresses from your hospitality technology provider with your campaign history to ensure your guests aren’t double-emailed. This is important because you should still use manual Review Express to send emails to the people who don’t book through your technology providers.

9. Can I be selective and only send Review Express emails to guests who are likely to write positive reviews?

You should ask all guests for permission to email them, and send Review Express emails to everyone who consents. Selectively emailing guests who are most likely to write positive reviews is considered a fraudulent practice and may result in penalties for your property. For more information, click here. Keep in mind – properties are often surprised by the amount of positive feedback they receive … after all, the average TripAdvisor review rating is 4.12 bubbles out of 5.1


  • 1. TripAdvisor internal data, January 2014
Last Updated: 20 June 2018

Respond to Travellers

How to Add Management Responses to TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews

How to Add Management Responses to TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews

Why is it important to write Management Responses?

Responding to reviews clearly demonstrates — to both former and prospective guests — that you are interested in feedback, and that you take customer service seriously.

Which reviews should I respond to?

Each property should determine its own strategy for responding to reviews. Some businesses respond to every review, while others focus primarily on critical ones.

It’s generally a good idea to respond to reviews that are negative, as well as those where you can correct a factual misstatement or write about an action you’ve taken to correct problems addressed in the review. Another best practice is to always have at least one Management Response amongst the ten most recent reviews you’ve received. That will help ensure travellers don’t have to dig too far into your property’s review history to see a response from you.

How will I know if I’ve received a new review?

You have the option to receive email notifications whenever new reviews are published for your property. This will help you monitor reviews as they come in, and decide which ones you want to respond to. To manage your email notifications, click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the TripAdvisor homepage, then select "Account info." Hover over "Settings" and click "Subscriptions." Under the "Emails for Owners" tab, next to "Reviews & Questions" make sure the “Subscribed” bubble is selected.

Where do I go on TripAdvisor to respond?

In order to reply to a review, you need to be registered with our free Management Centre. Claim your property at www.tripadvisor.com/Owners.

Once you are registered and verified, access the Management Centre by clicking on your profile icon and selecting "My Business” in the top-right corner of any page and follow the steps below. If you receive review notification emails, you can also click on the "Respond" link from the email.

  1. Click on the “Respond to Reviews” card under your primary photo or the “See all reviews” button at the bottom of the page.
  2. Choose the review you would like to respond to by clicking on the review in the left-hand sidebar. Reviews can be filtered by response status, bubble rating, date and language.
  3. Write (or paste) the response into the box provided. There is no character limit but be concise — nobody wants to read an essay!
  4. Enter in your display name and select your business role.
  5. Click submit.

Before drafting your response, read our Management Response guidelines. In order to be published, your response will need to meet these guidelines.

How do I respond to a positive review?

Thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their experience. Avoid using the same standard reply for every response, as that can come across as repetitive and insincere. Refer to the reviewer's positive comments about your business to both personalise your response and reiterate the compliment to your potential visitors.

How should I respond to a negative review?

Responding to negative reviews can be tough, but doing so is important. In fact, 87% of travellers agree that a thoughtful response to a bad review improved their impression of the property.1 Here are five tips to keep in mind when you receive a negative review.

  1. Respond quickly
  2. A prompt response shows prospective guests that you take customer service seriously and adds your perspective on the situation to the original review. This allows future guests to hear your side of the story as soon as possible.

  3. Be courteous and professional
  4. When replying, remember that your Management Response will be seen not just by the reviewer, but also by potential guests who are considering booking or visiting your restaurant or attraction. Therefore, if you don’t agree with the reviewer, or feel they are being unfair, relay your side of the story in a polite and unemotional way. The last thing you want to do is turn off potential visitors with an aggressive or defensive Management Response.

  5. Thank the reviewer
  6. Express your appreciation for the traveller’s business and for writing a review. Demonstrate that all feedback is important to you, be it good or bad. Also, if possible, provide an empathetic apology for any shortfalls.

  7. Address the specific issues
  8. If the review contains a specific complaint, explain what you have done to fix the issue so potential guests are reassured that the problem is resolved.

  9. Highlight the positives
  10. Highlight any positive comments the reviewer has made. You can even take the opportunity to mention related services or planned upgrades that you would like to share with potential visitors.

Need more help responding to negative reviews? Read on here.

Can I edit my Management Response?

Currently it is not possible to edit your response. If you want to change something, the best thing to do is to delete your original response and resubmit the edited version.

How long before my Management Response is posted?

Once you click submit, the status next to the review will become "Response Pending." When the response is approved, the status will change to “Response Published.” The majority of Management Responses will be reviewed and posted within a few working days. If there is a question of whether your response meets all of our guidelines, it will take longer to process. If your response is not approved, the status will become “Response Rejected”. Please review the Management Response Guidelines and submit a new Management Response for that review.

Tips

  • You can open the review you are responding to by clicking on the title of the review on the “Write a Management Response” page. This allows you to have the review fresh in your mind and respond to each of the specific points made.
  • You may want to write your response in a word processor first so you can spell check and edit it until you are pleased with the final product. Then, cut and paste it into the Management Response form.
  • Keep in mind that Management Responses can be found by search engines. If something negative comes up in a review, avoid repeating it in your response.
  • If you need more information from a guest, or would like to encourage them to contact you, it is permissible to include your email address in your response. Just keep in mind that your response is publicly visible to all TripAdvisor users.
  • Your username will appear on your Management Response unless you have put your real name in your profile. If you don’t want your real name to appear, delete it from your profile before posting your response. (Note: you can only change your display name once and it will not change on responses previously posted.)
  • Reviews that may contain safety information about your property will be tagged with a safety notification. If you receive a review of this nature we encourage you to speak with your staff about the situation and respond appropriately. Learn more about safety reviews here.
  • If you’ve reported a review, it’s still a good idea to write a Management Response to it. That allows you to share your side of the story with potential guests while your report is being evaluated. If the review is removed, your Management Response will also be deleted.
1. The 2015 TripAdvisor “Custom Survey Research Engagement" Last Updated: 22 July 2019

3 Things You Can Do After a Bad Review

3 Things You Can Do After a Bad Review Tackle bad reviews and come back stronger than ever with these tips.

Hospitality providers on TripAdvisor are passionate about their businesses and customers. So, a bad review can often be discouraging. But even the highest rated properties on TripAdvisor get bad reviews now and then. Brian Payea, Head of TripAdvisor Industry Relations, says, “What makes those properties great is how they incorporate the feedback to make the experience for the next guest even better.”

Here are three steps you can take after a bad review has come in: 

1. Review what’s happened.

You’ve just finished reading a bad review. Take a deep breath. If needed, walk away for five minutes. Then look at the review impersonally with your team. What was the core problem that your guest experienced? Is this the first time you’ve seen this feedback, or is a trend developing? Getting the background can help you identify the root cause of any problem.

2. Incorporate the feedback.

Once you have some background, strategize with your staff on specific improvements that need to be made. Come up with an action plan for what your property will do and which team member will take the lead. If the issue is something you can’t fix, consider how to better-set expectations for guests, perhaps with updates to your website. Either way, be sure to monitor future reviews to make sure the same problems don’t come up again.

3. Complete a Management Response.

Write Management Responses to bad reviews as soon as possible. Your response explains the review to other potential guests on your property page. Be sure to share details of the action plan you’ve developed in your response. And don’t underestimate the power of a sincere apology. The most important thing your response should do is to answer unknown questions for future guests that the original review implied.

If necessary, submit a concern.

There are three circumstances where a review may be removed from your listing:

If the review doesn’t meet one of the circumstances above, it won’t be removed. Also, TripAdvisor won’t arbitrate or referee factual disputes between parties. Click here for more information.

To submit a concern about a review, go to the “Reviews” tab in the Management Centre. Click the link under “Report a Review” and complete the form on the following page. This process can take up to two working days, and there is no guarantee that the review will be removed. That’s why it’s important to submit a Management Response with your perspective as quickly as possible for other potential guests to read.    

Last Updated: 29 October 2018

Are you writing what you mean?

Are you writing what you mean?

Tips for establishing a Management Response style that makes a good impression on both former and prospective guests.

Your voice plays a major role in how people perceive your message. Research shows it can be twice as influential as the actual content of what you say. When we write, there’s no face-to-face interaction. So word choice, sentence structure and tone convey our voice and meaning to readers.

Consider these statements that each express an apology for a problem and a resolution:

  1. “Sorry you complained about the noise. It wasn’t a big deal. You were lucky we were able to get you a different room at all.”
  2. “So sorry about the noise in your first room. We were happy to help you into a second one that worked for the rest of your stay!”
  3. “Sincerest apologies for the noise issue you encountered during your recent stay at our hotel. We were quite pleased to furnish the second accommodation that you enjoyed for the duration of your visit.” 

Word choice, sentence structure and tone combine to provide a very different sentiment for each: accusatory (1), friendly (2) and formal (3).

Decide what your voice will be

So, how does all of this apply to Management Responses? A Management Response is your chance to show travellers that you care about feedback. Potential guests read reviews and responses to judge if they’d like to stay at your property. A confident, friendly Management Response voice can help you win new business, but an abrasive response (or a templated one) may push customers away.

It’s important to decide what kind of management response voice will attract travellers to your property. Reading responses from other businesses on TripAdvisor is a good place to start. Find responses that feel genuine and effective. Then, identify the elements they share and use them to shape your property’s own style.

Infusing a brand voice into your responses

A common question from hospitality business owners is how to write like a person but stay consistent with a business brand. Try adapting some of the language from your website and marketing materials for your responses. Or include some of the brand’s key values, so that travellers can get a sense of what the brand stands for.

Set simple guidelines

The key to building a voice is consistency. Once you’ve established the voice you’d like to use, set some simple guidelines to rely on when writing. Think about the types of words, length of sentences and tone that you’d like to incorporate in responses to positive and negative reviews. Your guidelines should be flexible enough to allow for a personal response that allows your brand voice come to life.

Now that you’ve established your Management Response voice, read on for tips to optimise it.

Last Updated: 22 December 2014

The One Thing Your Management Response Must Do

The One Thing Your Management Response Must Do A review on your property has come in. You’ve read it, shared the feedback with your team and implemented ways to address any issues. You sit down to write your Management Response, but you don’t know where to start.

Sometimes there’s just too much to say, or maybe you’re struggling to write anything at all. In times like these, it helps to remember that there’s really just one thing your Management Response must do:

Address the unknown

88% of users say reviews have an impact on their accommodation choices1, they often use reviews to narrow their choices. When reviews surface an issue, it can open a line of questions in travellers’ minds. The unknown answers can weigh heavily on their planning and can cause them to lose confidence in your property.

The good news is that you have an easy way to remedy this uncertainty – by writing a Management Response. There’s no better place to address the unknown and rebuild traveller confidence.

Write a confidence-building response

Reply to the original review with a Management Response. Below are four questions to help you craft a confidence-building response:

  • Who am I writing this for? We often see responses directed toward the reviewer and her specific concerns. Keep in mind that your real audience is both the reviewer and the wider TripAdvisor population of 455 million monthly visitors. Don’t forget to consider how the specific details in the review apply to the average traveller, what their concerns might be after reading it and the additional questions that this review might raise
  • Am I addressing their core concerns?Respond to the concerns in the original review in a way that appeals to the larger group and answers as many of their questions as possible. Concentrate on the ones that have the biggest impact for future guests. If you’ve already remedied the problem, or have a plan in place to address it, be sure to include that in your response.
     
  • Am I showing that we care? Every traveller has different preferences, but they all want to know that you care. When potential guests read reviews, they are putting themselves in the shoes of the writer. If you didn’t quite deliver during the original guests’ stay, talk about the specific changes you’re making that will mean you’ll do even better in the future. Readers will see your commitment to service and will build their confidence in you.
  • Are we truly sorry? A well-placed, heartfelt apology is never wrong and shows empathy to past and future guests. The key is to really mean it. There’s nothing worse than the “We’re sorry, but…” That “but” essentially negates everything that comes before it and casts doubt on your entire response.

>>Tip: Travellers are looking for patterns. If the same issue keeps coming up in multiple reviews, it’s more important than ever to tell your full customer service and problem-solving story.

You have the power

Property representatives often tell us that their Management Responses help them win business. Travellers know that it’s possible to have an off day – properties cannot be perfect all of the time. They look to your response to see how you pick yourself back up after falling, and confirm that this isn’t a broader issue. Show them your empathy, your commitment to service and what you can offer them!

Start addressing the unknown – write a Management Response today! Log into the Management Centre and under the "Reviews" menu at the top, select "Respond to Reviews" to get started.


  • 1. TripBarometer 2015
Last Updated: 26 December 2017

Insights from a Questions & Answers early adopter

Insights from a Questions & Answers early adopter

The Venetian in Las Vegas has been an early adopter of the new Questions & Answers functionality on TripAdvisor. Hear their thoughts on the value of engaging with travellers through this new channel.

We spoke with The Venetian’s Sandra Wild, Executive Director of Front Office; Kristal Ramos, Reputations Manager – Guest Relations; and Beverly Borromeo, Hotel Manager – Guest Relations about their experiences with Questions & Answers.

Q: Where does Questions & Answers fit into your overall TripAdvisor strategy?

A: We’re on TripAdvisor anyway monitoring and making sure all reviews are responded to. We also receive alerts when we have a new question and answering them is fairly simple. Questions & Answers is a means in which we are able to connect with the guests on a different level – it’s more intimate.

Q: Are the questions what you expected them to be? Any surprising or challenging ones?

A: They’re all very good questions. A lot of them lead us to believe the guest is going to be staying with us very soon. So this is a great way to connect with the guest before they’re here and extend the same level of service to them that we have on property.

Q: How do you set the tone for your answers?

A: There’s a fine balance between responding in a way that’s in line with our reputation as a luxury resort and the general tone on social media that tends to be more relaxed. So we try to tread that fine line and don’t lean toward one or the other. The tone of the question often helps us format our answers. We also try to keep things as simple as possible while still being true to who we are as a luxury property.

Q: What do you do when the answer to a question is “no”?

A: In this case, we often ask the traveller to contact our Guest Relations Department directly. There are “no’s” to certain questions, but we don’t really just say no without trying to offer an alternative solution.

Q: Do you try to respond in a certain amount of time?

A: We typically like to respond within a maximum of 24 hours.

Q: Do you think Questions & Answers has helped guests get the information they need before booking at The Venetian?

A: Yes, absolutely, because we’ve had guests ask about amenities. We know that when guests stay with us, or any resort on the Las Vegas strip, or in the world for that matter, amenities are important. So, this gives us the ability to really outline what we offer in our suites, the different suites we have, as well as restaurant and shopping options on property.


Many thanks to The Venetian for sharing these insights! You can view The Venetian’s property page – and its Questions & Answers section – hereYou can also learn more about Questions & Answers.

Last Updated: 17 September 2014

Questions & Answers on TripAdvisor

Questions & Answers on TripAdvisor This TripAdvisor feature allows you to provide quick, timely answers to questions visitors want to know before they make their travel planning decisions. You have a unique opportunity to interact with visitors on the world’s largest travel site. TripAdvisor's Questions & Answers feature is a great way to introduce yourself, and to demonstrate your commitment to potential guests. Questions & Answers is a trip-planning tool that’s available on your TripAdvisor page. Visitors enter a question in the box, and then a representative of the business, past reviewers or other members of the travel community provide timely answers. Do you have to pay for a mini-fridge? Is there a gluten free menu? Is an attraction child-friendly? Answer questions like these for potential guests. Set their expectations and give them all of the information they need to choose your business for their upcoming trip.

Getting started

When a new question from a visitor comes in, you’ll receive an e-mail. Go to your Management Centre, and on the right-hand side, under "Your property overview", select your property's TripAdvisor page, then scroll down to the Questions & Answers section. You can also click the Questions & Answers tab, which appears as you scroll. Address the visitor’s question as directly, objectively and concisely as possible. Keep in mind, your response must be family-friendly, original and cannot include links or contact information. As a business representative, your answer will automatically go to the top of the responses list. If needed, you can answer multiple times per question. For example, if something changes, you can go back and clarify an old answer. Answers from other community members will fall after yours. Typically, answers are sorted by upward and downward votes from the community, or chronologically by newest response first.

Tips for answering questions

  • Register your business: Your answers will only be given priority if you’re a registered representative. Make sure you’ve registered at www.tripadvisor.co.uk/owners.
  • Answer quickly: Visitors  are using Questions & Answers to plan trips right now, so it’s important to respond as soon as you can. 
  • Be brief: Popular answers balance brevity and helpfulness. It’s perfectly acceptable to have an answer that’s a sentence or two – as long as it addresses the question.
  • Get involved: As a business  representative, your response is automatically raised to the top of the answers. Be sure to take advantage of this high profile placement.
  • Emphasise the positive: If the answer is “no” – provide help some other way. For example, a visitor  asked if a property had a special gluten-free menu – which it did not. Instead of saying no, the owner explained that the menu has many options, and directed the visitor  to the business’s website for more details.
  • Track your questions: If the same queries come through again and again, consider what you can do to make the answer clearer on your website, social media channels, TripAdvisor property description, etc.
  • Monitor your answers: Community members can also vote on your answers, though it won’t impact their order. Watch how your responses are doing in the voting – if they’re not doing well, consider changing the way you respond slightly. 

Additional details

I’m not receiving alerts when my business  gets new questions. What should I do?

If you’re not receiving Questions & Answers alerts, select “Subscriptions” from the drop-down menu under your username on any TripAdvisor page. Then, select the “Subscribed” radio button on the “Questions & Answers” line. 

Can my competitors ask questions about my business?

Business representatives in a destination are not permitted to ask or answer questions on each other’s listings.

What if there’s a problem with a question or an answer?

If there’s an issue with a question or answer, click the flag under it. Add details on the problem and then submit it. Keep in mind that questions and answers are acceptable as long as they are accurate and meet these guidelines.

How is this different from management responses?

Management responses are written in response to a  review of your property, based on the visitor’s experience with you. Questions & Answers give you a similar opportunity to engage with visitors, but before they have visited your business and are still in the process of planning. Management responses are often longer and more detailed, whereas Questions & Answers will likely focus on tactical elements of your business, and should be easily answered in a few sentences.

Ready to start engaging with travellers as they’re planning their trips? Visit your business’ TripAdvisor page today – a question may be waiting for you!

Last Updated: 16 June 2014

Report Issues or Fraud

3 Things You Can Do After a Bad Review

3 Things You Can Do After a Bad Review Tackle bad reviews and come back stronger than ever with these tips.

Hospitality providers on TripAdvisor are passionate about their businesses and customers. So, a bad review can often be discouraging. But even the highest rated properties on TripAdvisor get bad reviews now and then. Brian Payea, Head of TripAdvisor Industry Relations, says, “What makes those properties great is how they incorporate the feedback to make the experience for the next guest even better.”

Here are three steps you can take after a bad review has come in: 

1. Review what’s happened.

You’ve just finished reading a bad review. Take a deep breath. If needed, walk away for five minutes. Then look at the review impersonally with your team. What was the core problem that your guest experienced? Is this the first time you’ve seen this feedback, or is a trend developing? Getting the background can help you identify the root cause of any problem.

2. Incorporate the feedback.

Once you have some background, strategize with your staff on specific improvements that need to be made. Come up with an action plan for what your property will do and which team member will take the lead. If the issue is something you can’t fix, consider how to better-set expectations for guests, perhaps with updates to your website. Either way, be sure to monitor future reviews to make sure the same problems don’t come up again.

3. Complete a Management Response.

Write Management Responses to bad reviews as soon as possible. Your response explains the review to other potential guests on your property page. Be sure to share details of the action plan you’ve developed in your response. And don’t underestimate the power of a sincere apology. The most important thing your response should do is to answer unknown questions for future guests that the original review implied.

If necessary, submit a concern.

There are three circumstances where a review may be removed from your listing:

If the review doesn’t meet one of the circumstances above, it won’t be removed. Also, TripAdvisor won’t arbitrate or referee factual disputes between parties. Click here for more information.

To submit a concern about a review, go to the “Reviews” tab in the Management Centre. Click the link under “Report a Review” and complete the form on the following page. This process can take up to two working days, and there is no guarantee that the review will be removed. That’s why it’s important to submit a Management Response with your perspective as quickly as possible for other potential guests to read.    

Last Updated: 29 October 2018

Taking a Stand Against Optimisation Fraud

Taking a Stand Against Optimisation Fraud “Optimisation” or "Organised Boosting" fraud occurs when businesses pay others to post fake reviews.

Optimisation companies contact business owners and falsely promise that they can manipulate TripAdvisor rankings – through the submission of positive reviews or the removal of negatives ones – in exchange for money. Some go so far as to falsely claim to have an official relationship with TripAdvisor.

These optimization practices are strictly against TripAdvisor policies, are unethical and are often illegal. Also, many businesses report that once they signed up for the optimisation company’s services, they’ve been subjected to blackmail, extortion and financial fraud when they try to cancel.

In a recent letter to hospitality businesses, TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer writes, “To be clear, no optimisation company is or will ever be affiliated with TripAdvisor, and the practice of submitting any content that is not genuine and from travellers goes against everything we stand for as a company”. 

How TripAdvisor fights optimisation fraud 

TripAdvisor has a zero-tolerance fraud policy. We believe optimisation companies pose a risk to millions of legitimate, honest hospitality businesses around the world. We will take the strongest action possible against these firms, as well as any property attempting to engage with these companies to distort content available on TripAdvisor.

Our investigations team uses advanced technology and techniques similar to those used in the financial industries to track optimisation companies across the globe. In 2015 alone, we’ve identified, investigated and shut down more than 30 optimization sites, and will continue to pursue these companies until they are no longer a risk to our community.

Here are four tactics we're using to stamp out optimization companies and others who commit fraud:

1. Analyse Incoming Reviews: TripAdvisor employs a large, international team dedicated to preventing fraud. Fraud detection systems, including sophisticated filtering and behaviour modelling tools, help the team identify widespread attempts to manipulate the system. All reviews are analysed and suspicious patterns that emerge are flagged for additional investigation.

2. Listen to the Community: Our business partners are a key resource when it comes to stamping out fraud. We want your help! If a company has offered to boost your ranking, provide content for your listing or perform any other activity that violates TripAdvisor policies, we want to hear from you. Any information you provide can assist in our investigations. All reports made will be investigated by our Content Integrity team and kept confidential. To report an optimisation company, log in to the Management Centre. Under the “Manage Your Reviews” menu, select “Report Organised Boosting”. Please provide as much detail in the form as possible to help the investigation team.

3. Identify Unscrupulous Businesses: The TripAdvisor fraud investigation team also regularly sets up dummy optimisation firms and accounts on known optimisation-hiring sites where users are paid to write reviews. The goal is to identify and penalise property owners who try to purchase these fraudulent services.

4. Take Action: When a business engages in fraudulent activity, TripAdvisor not only removes the fraudulent reviews but also imposes a variety of penalties, including dropping the offending business in the popularity ranking and adding a notification to the business’s profile (see right). TripAdvisor may also pursue legal action. 

What you can do to help

We are tireless in our efforts to fight fraud because we know that, like us, most hospitality businesses want a fair system that allows every business to compete fairly. If an optimisation company has contacted your business, please report them to our Content Integrity team in the Management Centre by selecting “Report a Review” under the “Reviews” menu at the top of the page. Then, under "Tell us what the issue is" select "Report Fraud". Choose "Report organised boosting" from the next section, and finally, fill out the remaining questions, giving as much detail as possible about the issue. 

Last Updated: 16 November 2015

The TripAdvisor Incentives Policy: Why Rewarding Traveller Reviews Is Against The Rules

The TripAdvisor Incentives Policy: Why Rewarding Traveller Reviews Is Against The Rules If you have a business listed on TripAdvisor, it is important to understand our incentives policy, including how we define incentives, the consequences we impose against businesses that use them and appropriate ways to encourage guests to write reviews.

What are incentives?

Incentives are any rewards or preferential treatment a property offers to guests in exchange for writing reviews of that business. Examples include:

  • Drawings or raffles: Guests are told they will be entered into a drawing or lottery after they have posted a review on TripAdvisor.
  • Discounts: Guests are offered reduced rates on current or future stays in return for writing a review.
  • Special treatment: Guests are promised upgrades, vouchers, free amenities, etc. in exchange for posting a review.

Why are incentives not okay?

TripAdvisor encourages businesses to ask their guests to write reviews. Recent reviews count more in your popularity ranking and satisfy the traveller’s desire to see fresh feedback before they make a booking decision. However, we prohibit properties from offering incentives because they can hinder the validity and accuracy of reviews. If travellers have been promised a reward in return for a review of a specific property, they are more likely to write a review that doesn’t reflect their true experience.

How does TripAdvisor know when a review was incentivised?

  • Our TripAdvisor community: Our loyal travellers or businesses listed on our site often spot incentives and contact us.
  • Our team: We have a team solely dedicated to spotting fraudulent reviews. If we find reviews to be suspicious, we will flag that property and monitor it. We also monitor social and mainstream media for mentions of incentives or rewards programmes.
  • Our technology: Reviews are screened with our site tools that are frequently updated.

What happens to owners who offer incentives for reviews?

Penalties will be given to properties that offer incentives to their guests for writing reviews of their businesses. In all cases, reviews in question will be removed and properties will no longer be eligible for TripAdvisor awards. Further penalties are given on a case-by-case basis and range from a warning to a red badge added to your property listing. The red badge warns prospective guests that a property has not adhered to TripAdvisor policy. It also significantly impacts the property’s popularity ranking. 

Can TripAdvisor offer incentives for reviews?

Occasionally, TripAdvisor runs promotions in which reviewers are rewarded for submitting eligible content in a given time period, language or country; or in connection with using new TripAdvisor products or services. These programmes have never been, and will never be, focused on driving reviews of a specific property or business. 

To ensure users are submitting content that's true to their actual experiences, feedback submitted through these promotions is eligible regardless of whether it's positive, neutral or negative. It is also subject to the same traveller review guidelines, filters and processes as every other review and opinion submitted to TripAdvisor. 

What are acceptable ways to ask guests for reviews?

There are many ways to encourage your guests to write reviews without offering incentives. One of the easiest ways is to just ask! We’ve found that giving your guests a small reminder can make all the difference. Log in to the TripAdvisor Management Centre for many marketing tools that you can use to remind your guests that you value their feedback on their recent stay.


What types of tools are available?

Widgets

Add the “write-a-review” widget to your website or Facebook page. This widget allows your guests to write a review about their stay without having to go to your TripAdvisor property page. For more information on our different kinds of widgets, see the “Displaying your TripAdvisor rating and latest reviews on your site” guide.

Reminder flyers and reminder cards

You can print downloadable flyers to display at your check out desk or order business cards to give to your guests when they check out. Both are great reminders to guests while they are still on your property.

Review Express

Review Express allows you to create and send free professional-looking emails to encourage your guests to write reviews. There’s even a dashboard that provides an in-depth analysis and tracking to optimise your campaigns. To learn more about how you can use Review Express to get valuable traveller reviews as well as confidential feedback, head to the Review Express Resource Center.

Have more questions?

Contact TripAdvisor Customer Support via the “Email us” link on the Management Centre homepage. It’s better to contact us before (rather than after) you offer incentives for reviews.

Last Updated: 17 January 2018

Reporting Potential Blackmail to TripAdvisor: Report Threats Immediately

Reporting Potential Blackmail to TripAdvisor: Report Threats Immediately We hear from owners that potential "blackmail" — when a guest threatens to write a negative review unless a demand for a refund, upgrade, or other request is met — is an occasional concern. We have a way for you to proactively report these threats before a corresponding review is potentially submitted.

Why is this important?

We take allegations of blackmail or threatening behavior by guests against property owners very seriously. This activity is strictly against our guidelines and may also be illegal in many locations. Immediate reporting of blackmail threats can supplement our investigative procedure and help us keep blackmail reviews from ever reaching the site.

How do I report potential blackmail reviews?

Follow this process to report blackmail from the Management Centre:

  1. First, log into your TripAdvisor Management Centre.
  2. In the top menu under "Reviews," click "Report a Review."
  3. In the "Please tell us what the issue is" section, select "Report fraud."
  4. "What do you want to do?" menu, select "Report blackmail threat."
  5. If the review hasn't been posted, choose "No." (Read on for what to do if the review has already been posted).
  6. Then, if this is your first report of this incident, choose "No."
  7. At this point, you’ll need to provide some additional information, including the month and year of stay as well as the email address and/or the name of the potential reviewer. Please also describe the event at issue in the free form space provided. Try to provide as many details as possible — this information will help us identify the review if it’s submitted at a later date.

When should I report a case of blackmail?

Immediately — it’s important to submit this report via the Management Centre as soon as possible after the incident occurs, ideally the same day.

While most guests do not follow through with such threats, it’s important to submit your report as soon as possible to ensure that it is on record before a potential blackmail review is submitted.

What should I do if a suspected blackmail review has already been posted?

It’s important to note that our owner support form only works for reviews that have not yet been submitted. It will also only be effective if the information in the review matches what you’ve included in your blackmail report.

You can follow the current process if a review is posted that you believe is blackmail-related:

  1. In your Management Centre, under the "Reviews" menu at the top, select "Report a Review."
  2. Select "Review Concerns" as the issue.
  3. Select"Review is suspicious" as the problem.
  4. For reason, select "I want to report something else."
  5. Then, choose the review in question from the drop down menu.
  6. In the space provided, you can present the facts or documents that show the review is a result of blackmail.

What happens after my blackmail report is submitted?

If a low-rated review matching the details of your report is submitted on your business, our support team will be alerted. We handle each blackmail report on a case-by-case basis, and review the direct evidence and peripheral information available to us before making a decision. You may be contacted for additional information that proves blackmail was involved. We recommend retaining any relevant documentation that might be useful in this process. 

Whether the review is submitted before or after you notify us of the blackmail threat, we cannot guarantee that it will be removed.

Please note: Property managers who abuse this new tool will be penalized.

What other actions can I take?

While the review is being investigated, we recommend you post a Management Response so other travellers can read what you have to say. Check out our tips on how to write a Management Response. It’s also a good idea to regularly review our most up to date Management Response Guidelines.

Best practices for submitting potential blackmail reports to TripAdvisor:

Instruct employees to share any guest blackmail threats immediately.

Submit a potential blackmail review report as soon as possible.

Include as many details as you can about the incident.

Last Updated: 17 January 2018

About TripAdvisor Reviews

Avoid This New Bitcoin Internet Scam - What You Need to Know

Avoid This New Bitcoin Internet Scam - What You Need to Know

A small number of hospitality businesses are being targeted by a new Bitcoin internet scam. Here we explain what this scam involves, how TripAdvisor protects businesses against it, and what a business can do if they have been targeted.

What does the Bitcoin scam involve?

This is a type of internet extortion scam where fraudsters reach out to businesses, usually by email, demanding a small sum of money be paid into a Bitcoin account. The scammers threaten that if the Bitcoin payment is not made they will write false negative reviews about the business online.

Receiving an email like this can be upsetting, but the good news is that they usually turn out to be empty threats. They are unsophisticated and opportunist attempts by fraudsters to target multiple properties en masse in the hope that a small number will pay up.

We have seen no evidence of these Bitcoin scams working — because Bitcoin accounts are publicly visible, we have been monitoring them to see if anyone has paid up. Based on our investigations to date, we have not seen any evidence of people paying into the accounts of Bitcoin scammers.

TripAdvisor already has safeguards in place to protect businesses

While most of these scams are empty threats, TripAdvisor takes any attempt to extort business owners seriously. TripAdvisor’s advanced fraud detection system already has safeguards in place to protect against this type of fraud, and our dedicated team of investigators actively investigate any reports of extortion attempts we receive.

What should businesses do if they are targeted?

Any business that is the target of an extortion attempt should:

We have not seen evidence of negative reviews submitted to our platform as a result of this scam, but if your property is targeted and subsequently receives a review you believe is connected to the scam, please report that to us so we can investigate further.

...

Traveller Safety on TripAdvisor: What Business Owners Need to Know

Traveller Safety on TripAdvisor: What Business Owners Need to Know TripAdvisor is committed to integrating traveller safety into the essence of the inspiration, research and booking experience. Here’s what owners need to know about our commitment to safety and how it impacts their TripAdvisor listing pages.

As all travel businesses already know, safety is an incredibly important issue in the tourism industry. Providing travellers with valuable, timely safety information gives them more confidence to explore the world, which is in the long-term benefit of businesses.

Like many of you, TripAdvisor has been working on this issue for years, but we know we can do more. So, we’re doubling down on our efforts to help travellers find and share safety information during every step of their journey by taking a phased approach to introducing new safety-focused features and policies to the site.

The first of these changes is a new “safety review filter,” which will allow travellers to filter for reviews posted about safety incidents on a property’s listing. The second is a notification that will be placed on the safety reviews themselves to make it easier for travellers to distinguish these from other reviews.

The majority of businesses will not see a safety review on their page for someone to filter, as these cases of reviews with extreme safety issues are rarer. For example, in the last year alone, of the tens of millions of reviews and opinions posted on TripAdvisor, there were approximately 1,000 reviews posted about sexual assault or egregious sexual misconduct. While a relatively small number, this is critical information for travellers who want to be safe while travelling.

Businesses around the world know their local regions, neighbourhoods, and properties better than anyone and are in a unique position to help travellers have a positive and safe experience. It’s our hope that businesses like yours, along with the larger tourism industry, will continue to work with us at TripAdvisor as we join efforts to make this vital traveller safety initiative a larger priority across tourism.

Here’s what you need to know as a business owner about how TripAdvisor informs and highlights critical health and safety information on the site.

The safety review filter

The safety review filter allows travellers to easily find reviews mentioning safety at any business where reviews about safety are posted. The safety filter appears in the “Reviews” section for all applicable accommodations, restaurants and experiences listings on TripAdvisor — with airlines, rentals and cruises rolling out later this year. These reviews will be surfaced globally, across all TripAdvisor sites worldwide and in all 28 languages.

As of launch, we have looked at all the reviews currently on our site going back one year (2018), and have tagged any that include incidents of sexual assault, or egregious sexual misconduct by a staff member.

We will tag any new reviews posted to the site that describes sexual assault, physical assault, drugging and death, and over the next few months are also going back and tagging reviews in those categories from the previous year.

Reviews about safety incidents will also include an “in-review safety notice.” The notice will appear at the top of each review that contains safety information to make it easier for travellers to distinguish these from other reviews. The safety notice will appear on these reviews for as long as the review is posted on the site.

The safety filter will only appear if a business has any reviews containing safety information on their listing. Those without such reviews will not have this filter since there are no reviews to surface.

Criteria for a safety review...

What Does TripAdvisor Do About Unfair Reviews?

What Does TripAdvisor Do About Unfair Reviews? Business owners and their customers often ask what we do about unfair or malicious reviews. Here we explain our approach...

When reviews are unbiased and honest, they are incredibly useful. For customers, they shine a light on businesses that offer great experiences, service and value; for owners, they help attract new customers to the business and provide valuable feedback on what it does well and where it can improve.

Unfair or malicious reviews have the opposite effect — they are misleading to potential customers and can do unwarranted damage to the reputation of a business.

Broadly speaking, there are two different scenarios in which an unfair review can occur:

  • Scenario #1: A review is submitted by someone who is either biased (you can learn more about how we determine bias here) or did not have a personal experience with the business they are reviewing.  We call these  Fake Reviews.
  • Scenario #2: A review is submitted by someone who did have a personal experience with the business (and is not biased by having a connection with the business), but what their review describes is disputed by the business.  We call these  Contested Reviews.

This distinction is an important one because it guides the way we handle review disputes. Review disputes occur when a business reports a review that they believe to be breach of our guidelines. Once a business reports a review, we then determine whether it is alleged to be a Fake Review or a Contested Review, and take action from there.

So how does TripAdvisor prevent Fake Reviews from being posted to the site?

Fake Reviews have no place on TripAdvisor. We work extremely hard to block them from being posted to the site.

First, we have a set of posting guidelines that all reviews must adhere to. These guidelines are designed to ensure reviews are as relevant and useful as possible. You can read more about our review guidelines here.

To enforce these guidelines, we use a combination of smart technology and a dedicated team of expert moderators.

The technology kicks in every time someone submits a review on TripAdvisor. Before the review is posted to the site, it has to go through hundreds of automatic checks which evaluate every aspect of that review. We call these checks our tracking system.

The system will either allow a review to be posted, block a review from being posted, or will send it to our moderation team for human analysis if it suspects the review may be fake.

Even after a review is posted, anyone can still use our reporting tools to request an investigation by our moderation team if they are concerned a review does not meet our guidelines. While the volume of requests we receive to investigate a review is low — less than 1% of reviews are ever reported to us — these reports are incredibly useful and help us enforce the guidelines consistently for all. Business owners can report reviews via the Management Centre (which they can access for free), while travellers can report reviews simply by clicking on the flag icon displayed beneath each review.

To read more about the different types of fake reviews and how we catch them, go here.

To read more about how our tracking system works, go here.

How does TripAdvisor handle Contested Reviews?

While more than 99% of TripAdvisor reviews are uncontested, we know that when a review dispute does occur, it can be a serious matter for those involved. Deciding whether a Contested Review represents fair commentary about a business is a very important task, and one we try to handle as sensitively and as fairly as possible.

This is because a customer’s opinion is subjective — whether service is fast or slow, whether food is tasty or bland, whether the cost offers great value for money or is expensive — all of these things depend on a customer’s expectations.

We strongly believe that every traveller has a right to express their opinion, good or bad, based on their own expectations of what the experience should deliver.

We also know that if you are a business owner or member of staff it can be incredibly frustrating when you feel a criticism you’ve received in a review is unfair.

Any business can contest a review by using our reporting tools. Contested Reviews are then assessed by our moderation team, who determine if the review breaches our guidelines and therefore whether it should be removed or not.

If our moderation team concludes that a review meets our guidelines, it will remain posted. In these circumstances, there are still a number of steps a business can take to lessen the impact of a Contested Review, including posting a response that gives their side of the story. Indeed, we strongly believe not only in the customer’s right to express their opinion, but also in the business’ right to reply. We call this feature a Management Response.

You can learn more about the ways in which a business can respond to a Contested Review here.

To learn more about how our tracking system catches fake reviews, watch this video.

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How Does TripAdvisor Catch Fake Reviews?

How Does TripAdvisor Catch Fake Reviews? Here we explain the three different types of fake reviews and how TripAdvisor uses a combination of technology and detective work to stop fake reviews reaching the site…

Review sites have a responsibility to identify and take action against those who try to submit fake reviews. It is a responsibility we take very seriously, and so for more than a decade TripAdvisor has invested in new technology and a team of expert investigators to catch fake reviews.

A Fake Review is defined as any review submitted by someone who is either biased or did not have a personal experience with the business they are reviewing. Note that Fake Reviews are not the same as Contested Reviews (where a customer who is unconnected to the business has shared a personal experience that is disputed by that business). You can learn more about how we approach Contested Reviews here.

Fake reviews usually fall into one of three categories: Biased Positive Reviews, Biased Negative Reviews or Paid Reviews.

Biased Positive Reviews

A biased positive review is when someone connected with a business — such as an owner, employee, or even a friend or relative — attempts to post a positive review of that business. We also call this Review Boosting.

Reviews of this nature are unlikely to provide an objective account of what the customer experience is really like given the reviewer’s personal association or stake with that business.

Biased positive reviews can also occur when a business offers its customers incentives, such as a free meal or a discount, to post reviews. You can find out more about why we don’t allow review incentives here.

We catch biased positive reviews with our tracking system, which spots patterns and online markers that might indicate whether friends, family or members of staff are attempting to submit reviews about a business. On top of this, we encourage the community to let us know when they see a business offering incentives in exchange for reviews. Our team then investigates these reports and takes action against any business caught trying to collect positive reviews in this way.

Biased Negative Reviews

A biased negative review is when someone submits a deliberately malicious review about a property in an effort to unfairly lower its ranking position or improperly discredit the property in some way. We also call this Review Vandalism.

Most biased negative reviews come from one of two sources — either from someone connected to a rival establishment, or from someone who is trying to blackmail a business by threatening to submit a false negative review.

There are a number of ways we catch these types of reviews.

Similar to biased positive reviews, our tracking system can spot reviewer characteristics that might indicate whether a reviewer has a connection to a rival establishment. Even if they try to cover their tracks, their reviews won’t conform to the patterns we’d expect to find from a sample of genuine customer reviews. Our system can spot this and trigger an investigation.

On top of this, we have a tool that business owners can use to report instances where someone has threatened them with a bad review in an attempt to obtain a discount or freebie. Reporting threats immediately helps our team block the person who made the threat from posting a review. You can find out how to do so here.

Paid Reviews

This is when a business, either knowingly or unwittingly, employs the services of an individual or a company to boost its ranking position on TripAdvisor with positive reviews. We also call this Review Optimisation.

We catch paid reviews using a combination of our tracking system, which identifies suspicious review activity, and a dedicated team of investigators who pursue the companies and individuals that attempt to sell them.

In fact, as a result of the team’s efforts, TripAdvisor has put a stop to the activity of over 60 different paid review companies around the world.

You can read more about the different ways we are able to catch paid review companies here.

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How Does TripAdvisor Determine Whether a Review Is Biased?

How Does TripAdvisor Determine Whether a Review Is Biased?

Even when a person has visited a hotel or restaurant, their review could still breach our guidelines if it is biased. Here we describe some of the scenarios in which a review could be considered biased...

In order for reviews to be useful and accurate, they should be based on real and impartial customer experiences. By this we mean that there should not be any ulterior motive for someone to leave a review other than to share an honest account of their own personal experience. We consider any review that is predisposed to be either positive or negative to be biased and therefore against TripAdvisor guidelines.

Here are a few scenarios which might lead to biased reviews:

Paid Reviews

Reviews that a business has attempted to purchase are biased and do not provide travellers with the impartial advice they are looking for. They are also unfair to hard-working businesses that play by the rules. Fortunately, our team of investigators is very effective at catching those who claim to offer reviews for hire, and we take firm action against businesses that try to use such services. You can learn more about how we catch reviews like this here.

Incentivized Reviews

Incentives are rewards or preferential treatment offered by a business in return for a review. Examples include offering discounts or reduced prices on a current or future experience in exchange for a review, or even promising upgrades, vouchers or any special treatment in return for reviews.

TripAdvisor encourages businesses to ask all customers to write reviews and share their feedback. However, we do not allow offering any kind of incentive for a review because this can impact the impartiality of that review. Under our incentives policy, we penalize any businesses that are found to be offering incentives to customers.

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How Does the TripAdvisor Review Tracking System Work?

How Does the TripAdvisor Review Tracking System Work? Here we explain how the technology behind our review tracking system works, and how we use it to catch fake reviews and prevent them from reaching the site...

When someone submits a review on TripAdvisor, it goes through a series of checks before it is posted to the site. These checks are done automatically by our review tracking system, which analyzes hundreds of pieces of information.

The tracking system is our first line of defense against fake reviews, and it means we can analyse every review prior to it being posted on the site. Such a task would be impossible if we relied only on human moderation, because the volume of review submissions from the global travel community is so high — TripAdvisor receives hundreds of contributions every minute.

What pieces of information does the tracking system check?

Because reviews are submitted online, there are hundreds of pieces of electronic information we can analyse to help us understand more about every review’s origin and circumstance. For example, we can see the location of the device that was used to submit a review, as well as some details about the specifications of that device. Even if someone is trying to hide information about their device location, which fraudsters often do, we can spot that too.

That is just one example — there are lots of other pieces of information that we look out for. They act like pieces of a puzzle that our tracking system is designed to join together, creating a complete picture of each review.

Can TripAdvisor give other examples of what the tracking system checks?

In the same way a bank cannot share too much information about the security systems it uses, unfortunately we cannot share a full list of everything our system tracks. We would love to show off all of the things our technology can do, but we also have to be cautious not to provide any information that fraudsters might try to use to get around our systems.

What is the tracking system looking for?

Our tracking system is designed to do two things — block reviews that are clearly in breach of our guidelines, such as those that include offensive language or plagiarized content, and also spot unusual patterns that might indicate a review is biased or fake.

When our tracking system identifies a review that is clearly in breach of our guidelines, it rejects that review and blocks it from being posted to the site in the first place.

When our tracking system identifies an unusual pattern of review activity, it triggers an investigation by our team of moderators. While the investigation takes place, the reviews associated with the unusual activity are blocked from being posted to the site. You can learn more about the types of reviews that might be flagged for investigation here.

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