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Do you look forward to reading your reviews, or does the very idea that someone has felt compelled to post a review fill you with dread? Getting feedback from your customers is essential to gauge whether what you’re offering is right for your target audience. Whether it’s positive or negative and whether you agree with it or not, customer reviews are a key to the success of any business.

So how do you address this? Unless we get people’s feedback, we can’t do anything about it.

What questions to ask …
Find out what your customers like, so you can keep doing it. Also, find out what things disappoint, irritate or annoy them, so you can correct them. What are the things that make them choose to come to you rather than your competitors? Use this as a selling point to differentiate yourself. What is your guest’s biggest priority, and what do they value the most? Find this out and then promote them. Ask how they think you could improve, and then make those improvements. What factors would encourage them to come to you again?

Read the entire article from here.


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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member properties on their recent awards & recognition!

BEST WESTERN PLUS Milwaukee Airport Hotel & Conference Center; Coachlite Inn of Sister Bay; and Brookfield Suites Hotel & Conference Center were awarded TripAdvisor’s 2012 Certificate of Excellence, in recognition of consistent commendation from travelers.

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee received the inaugural 2012 Religious Conference Manager Praise Award for superior service.

The following properties were named one of “44 Midwest Resorts We Love” by

  • The Abbey Resort, Fontana
  • The American Club, Kohler
  • Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells
  • Garmisch USA Resort, Cable
  • Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells
  • Heidel House Resort & Spa, Green Lake
  • Holiday Acres Resort, Rhinelander
  • Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells
  • The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake
  • Treeland Resorts, Hayward
  • Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, Wisconsin Dells

The following properties were named one of “15 Favorite B&Bs, Hotels & Resorts” by

  • The American Club, Kohler
  • Canoe Bay/Relais & Chateaux, Chetek
  • The Delafield Hotel, Delafield
  • Intercontinental Milwaukee
  • Old Rittenhouse Inn, Bayfield
  • Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells
  • White Gull Inn, Fish Creek
  • Wild Eagle Lodge, Eagle River

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Congratulations to the following WH&LA member properties for their recent awards and recognition!

U.S. News Travel section has announced their top 10 “Best Hotels in Wisconsin,” based on an analysis of awards, expert recommendations and user ratings. Each of the 10 properties are WH&LA members, and they include: The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee; Canoe Bay, Chetek; The American Club, Kohler; The Delafield Hotel, Delafield; The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee; Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva; InterContinental Milwaukee; Ambassador Hotel, Milwaukee; BEST WESTERN PREMIER Bridgewood Resort Hotel, Neenah; and Heidel House Resort & Spa, Green Lake.

The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee was also named as one of the top 25 luxury hotels in the US by TripAdvisor in the company’s 10th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards.



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The reviews are in, and TripAdvisor is a bigger hit than ever with travelers. The world’s largest travel site attracted 40 million visitors worldwide in July, up 60% from the beginning of the year, according to comScore, and carries more than 35 million reviews of 450,000 hotels in 23 countries.

But, do lodging property reviews, especially anonymous reviews, help or hurt an individual property or the lodging industry as a whole? writer Daniel Edward Craig goes directly to the source – TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO Stephen Kaufer, for his perspective. He talks candidly about why TripAdvisor will continue to allow anonymous reviews and why hoteliers always get the last word.

Read the complete Q&A interview here. (This article is password protected for WH&LA lodging members only. If you need help logging in, contact Michelle in the WH&LA office for your user ID and password).


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UPDATE: From, May 6th: Best Practices for Responding to Online Hotel Reviews, Part I.
and the second part, posted May 20th: Best Practices for Responding to Online Hotel Reviews, Part 2.

UPDATE: From, March 29th: Tips for Managing Online Hotel Reviews: An Interview With TripAdvisor
UPDATE, March 23rd: USA Today’s HOTEL CHECK-IN section just posted this as well: Hotel managers monitor online critiques to improve service
Back in July of 2009 we did a post called “Good Tips for Bad Reviews“. One of our most popular topics, we still often take inquiries from members suddenly facing negative guest reviews online. We already know that, no matter how hard we try, we can’t please all the people all the time & bad days happen…

So, here’s my question:
Do you have a strategy for handling guest feedback in person, over the phone, or in writing to your establishment AND do you have a plan for dealing with these same type of comments when made online?

If you answered no, why not?

Conversations about your place are happening, whether you’re part of them or not.  So, in the spirit of encouraging you to be an active participant in those discussions, we’ve pulled together three more articles worth checking out:

  1. Join the conversation about your business (from May, 09)
  2. Responding to the good, the bad and the ugly (February, 2010)
  3. SmartBrief on: How to handle customer comments (March, 2010)

Finally, this article was originally included in our first post, but I wanted to highlight it one more time because it details a PROACTIVE approach to online guest feedback: Beating negative hotel reviews: An action plan for proactive reputation management.

It’s your turn for feedback – let us have it in the comments section below!


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The number of families planning to travel with children in 2010 is 92%, up 4% from last year, according to TripAdvisor’s annual family survey. Of the 1,100 travelers surveyed, 28% expect to spend more on family trips in the coming year than they did in the past 12 months – which can mean increased occupancy and revenue for lodging properties.

The survey also covered topics like international and expanded domestic travel, popular destinations, common problems when travelling with children and how to entertain kids while in the air/on the road.

To view all the survey results, click here.


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Everyone has had to face criticism in their professional lives, but not many of us are subject to nasty, negative and sometimes completely untrue remarks on our performance posted for millions of others to read on the web. For years now sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp have enabled consumers to post feedback from their experiences, both positive and negative, online for others to read. And read they do, consumers overwhelmingly trust these user-generated review sites more than information from a property or company’s own site.UserReviewChart1_2009

Yet, what do you do if your business/ property is the victim of negative online reviews? Check out the following articles:

Finally, just last week, this interview with TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer was posted by Can TripAdvisor reviews be trusted? Find out who’s gaming the system. TripAdvisorLogoMakes you wonder how wise the owl really is…


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