Online reputations: Why hotel reviews matter and how hotels respond

We have analysed the online reputations of more than 11,000 hotels in 48 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India. The results show that there are large differences between the cities in how guests have rated their overall performance. There are also large differences within the cities, between the 3-, 4-, and 5-star properties.

Eastern Europe has the highest GRI across the board and in each category. This shows that Eastern European hotels seem to be meeting or exceeding guests’ expectations most often. The city reports show that there are large differences between the top and lowest performers in each region, suggesting that the analysis for destination management purposes needs to be more granular than regional or even city level

Cleanliness and location tend to be rated most highly in the cities, whereas rooms and value are most often the most negative attributes. Five star hotels are rated low on value most often.

There were also large discrepancies between the management response rates to reviews. Five star hotels tend to be better at responding than 3- and 4-star hotels, but there is still room for improvement in all categories. The trend is for higher response rates as hotels are seeing the importance of proper review responses for their business.

The city rankings revealed that Cape Town and Johannesburg are leading in overall online reputation. Traditional destinations do not seem to be satisfying their guests’ expectation as well and are not well represented in the top 5.

Our experts’ articles give hotel and destination managers food for thought on how they can better utilise online reviews in their daily business. The first article, showed how hotels can properly respond to reviews, not only with comments on the review sites, but more importantly by taking corrective action to ensure that the service is delivered correctly the next time. If it is not, the second article described how service recovery works and how hotel managers can empower employees to provide better service. The third article specified how KPIs based on online reputations could make their way into hotel management contracts in the near future, to ensure that operators keep a customer focus. Finally, we described the implications (and opportunities) of online reviews for destination managers and made some suggestions as to how these can be integrated into research and support programs.

GRI™ for each region and hotel category

Western & Central Europe

All
79.4%
3*
76.8%
4*
81.2%
5*
87.6%

Eastern Europe

All
81.5%
3*
79.3%
4*
83.2%
5*
86.3%

Middle East & Africa

All
80.0%
3*
73.1%
4*
80.0%
5*
85.8%

India

All
76.1%
3*
73.5%
4*
78.8%
5*
84.4%

Contact us

Nikki Forster
Partner
Tel: +27 (0)11 797 5362
Email

Dr. Martin Berlin
Partner, Real Estate, Hospitality & Leisure Leader
Tel: 971 4 304 3182
Email

Vikram Loomba
Director, Real Estate, Hospitality & Leisure
Tel: +971 4 304 3453
Email

Follow us