Archive for June, 2011

Don’t be afraid of on-line travel reviews

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Many hotel owners fail to understand the impact on-line reviews can have on their business. Like it or not, the majority of gay and lesbian travelers research destinations and lodging options before they make their vacation plans. On-line travel reviews are here to stay, and savvy hotel owners can use this to their advantage to generate reservations with little or no advertising expense.

Pink Choice is a highly visited site for members of the LGBT community looking for accommodation options worldwide. Guest reviews are what Pink Choice is all about, but surprisingly some hotels that have signed up to be listed on the site do not follow up by encouraging their guests to post reviews. Pink Choice members coming to the site are unlikely to spend time looking at listings lacking reviews but instead will browse those hotel listings that offer guest feedback.

So why are some hotel owners reluctant to encourage guest opinions? Many just haven’t got themselves organized to mention sites like Pink Choice to their guests, or haven’t set up systems to send thank you emails to guests after they have stayed, including with them a link to the review site. Some are afraid of what their guests might say, but the fear of receiving a negative review should not be a barrier to the solicitation of guest feedback. If a guest has a bad hotel experience, he or she will almost certainly tell friends about it, and the damage is done. Far better that they post a review, and the hotel owner is made aware of the aspects of their stay that were not satisfactory. That way, valid criticisms  can be addressed, and a previously unseen problem can be corrected. Pink Choice, like a number of other review sites also allows property owners to respond to individual guest reviews, be they good or bad.

Pink Choice offers yet a further reason why property owners should encourage their gay and lesbian guests to post reviews on the site, namely the Pink Choice Awards. These awards are presented annually to those properties providing the very best in guest services based on the reviews and ratings of their guests. Every time a review is posted the property is featured on the Pink Choice home page, and as reviews accumulate the property can become eligible to receive one of the awards. Pink Choice Awards are now widely recognized as a benchmark for the best in gay and lesbian lodging options worldwide, and the award winners receive a huge amount of free publicity.