Using TripAdvisor Reviews To Amplify Your Tour Business Sales
Today’s new age travellers rely a lot on peer reviews and user suggestions when they plan their trips. Most of the millennials check out reviews, images and ratings on the internet before booking a hotel or tour package or even a bus. It’s not only about having one of the best travel sites. Among available resources on the web, TripAdvisor is one of the most trusted, influential and renowned brand in the travel planning domain. Just to give an idea, there are over 125 million reviews on TripAdvisor, with 260 million unique visitors per month on the site.
Why is this significant?
That’s because travellers love reading TripAdvisor reviews and 65% of them are more likely to book a hotel that has won a TripAdvisor award. In other words, TripAdvisor is a channel you as a travel and tour operator just can’t afford to ignore. Getting the most out of TripAdvisor is a critical topic. Read on to learn how can still join the platform and boost your business through your listing there.
How To Get Your Tour Business Listed On TripAdvisor
Becoming tour operators on TripAdvisor is a simple process. We’ve explained the step-by-step process below. But, before that, note “Travel Agency” and “Tour Operator” are not listed as options. However, you can get listed on TripAdvisor as an “Attraction”. For this, you need to submit your travel agency as an ‘attraction’ if it meets following criteria –
– Offers day tours (not overnight or multi-day)
– Is licensed by local city or tourism officials
– Has a functional website
– The word “Private” appears in the listing name
To begin listing your tour business on TripAdvisor, you can visit https://www.tripadvisor.in/GetListedNew.
STEP 1: Once on the “List an attraction” page, fill in your details like – name, email and your role at the business from the drop-down menu.
STEP 2: Next, you’ll need to offer basic information about your tour operator business such as name, city/state, zip code, street address and country. In case you operate out of a small town you can check the option which says your city is not listed. This will require you to complete a few extra steps. You can also mark on the map provided, the location closest to your business.
STEP 3: Now, fill in your business contact details like phone number, e-mail, website address and Facebook page, which will be displayed on your TripAdvisor page.
STEP 4: For this step choose a category. Make sure you choose the correct category, otherwise, it will be really difficult for people to find you as tour operators on TripAdvisor. You can choose from categories such as ‘Outdoor activities’, ‘Sightseeing tours’ and so on.
STEP 5: Fill the recommended length of visit (in terms of hours), price of entry and description of your attraction. Make sure you give a compelling reason to attract customers. The description is really important so that people understand what you have to offer. Remember when you were building you tour website to be the best travel sites? What kind of content did you include? Try and use the same principles here.
STEP 6: Next, is the additional information section, which is optional, but should be filled to further attract travellers.
STEP 7: Finally, pick the best picture that represents your business, check the box to certify yourself and hit submit to get your tour business listed on TripAdvisor.
How Can Tour Operators Boost Their TripAdvisor Ranking?
TripAdvisor has its own ranking algorithm, or popularity index, which determines how your business ranks in comparison to other brands in the same domain. Higher your ratings, better are the chances of people finding your tour business online. TripAdvisor’s goal is to get the best entries to rank higher to ensure travellers are happy and keep on using TripAdvisor. That’s why the TripAdvisor algorithm prioritizes consistency to give higher ranks to good performance over a period of time.
Based on a tour operator’s TripAdvisor reviews, there are three factors related to the TripAdvisor ranking mechanism. They are:
- Quality: This means positive reviews.
- Quantity: The more reviews you have, the higher you rank.
- Freshness: Recent reviews are prioritized, and older reviews have less impact with time.
Keeping these key factors in mind, there are certain practices you must adopt to improve your tour business’ TripAdvisor reviews:
- Step into the customer’s shoes – Read all the reviews of a customer, understand their pain points and take action effectively.
- Failing to plan is planning to fail – List down clear goals and deadlines for your business such as – targeting at least 2 reviews a week, doubling the number of 5-star ratings and so on.
- Intrigue with creativity – Be creative while writing your description or use unique ways to promote your business so that it catches the eye of potential customers.
- Get guests to review your tours – As mentioned above, ensure the reviews are regular and plenty to score high in quantity and freshness. This could be done by sending a personalized email to your valuable customers. Or, you could follow these effective tour review collection methods.
- Know the rules – Understand the underlying rules and regulations of TripAdvisor. One of their top rules is to refrain from offering incentives for reviews. Instead, try providing a great user experience during your tours.
- Be responsible – Respond and take action towards negative reviews. Do not hide them, rather respond to them humbly. Then learn and improve through those reviews. Being active on the platform by responding to reviews can help boost rankings too.
A study by TripAdvisor claims that 53% of its users do not book if they do not find TripAdvisor reviews for that given business. The more reviews you have, the better it is, especially if you are catering to a wide variety of TripAdvisor categories like couples, single people, families or business people. You cannot prevent unhappy customers from venting out their frustrations. So, you have to work harder to get all your satisfied and happy customers to share their experience online as well, to counter negatives reviews.
How to Maximise impact on TripAdvisor
- Add genuine contact details: Sign into TripAdvisor, go to edit/add contact links and follow the instructions mentioned there. Using this you can link your email address, website to TripAdvisor and make it easy for travellers to book with you/contact you directly at a single click.
- Post a Special offer: Sign into TripAdvisor, go to products section and click “post a special offer” to create an offer on the platform. These special offers can help capture the eye of tourists and travellers. This can improve your chances of being contacted for tour booking. The same goes with posting an announcement. This will enhance your search results and help you win against other tour operators like you.
- Create a slideshow: Once you sign in you can add photos to create an engaging slideshow for your product on TripAdvisor. Include tour images of guests having a great time. But, avoid staged photographs. This will offer a real-time look and feel to tourists and also increase the probability of them connecting with your business. For tips on capturing excellent images click here!
- Ask for Reviews: Like we said earlier, it’s important to collect as many reviews as possible. You can automate emails to be sent out in 24 to 48 hours after a guest departure. You can do this directly via TripAdvisor, it a good way to obtain more TripAdvisor reviews. TripAdvisor has its own free review express tool which allows tour operators/agencies to send personalized email to their guests requesting them to write a review. It is possible to send the email to almost 1000 guests at one shot.
- Respond to Suggestions: Take user reviews and feedback seriously. Think of ways to respond to the feedback and implement their ideas to provide a much better experience to all future guests, which can have a significant influence on your TripAdvisor ranking.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution when it comes to making the most of your TripAdvisor listing. You know your business well, to promote it in the best possible way on the TripAdvisor review platform. At the same time, when you are listed on TripAdvisor, you must fulfill these basics to reap the best possible benefits. How you implement the can be tweaked according to your tour business requirements.