Providing the most up-to-the-minute information for your destination will be key as the world begins making travel plans again. Just look around. Some longtime favorite restaurants and bars have been shuttered as a result of the pandemic. Schedules for many of the attractors to your destination are ever-changing. In addition, safety will be a top priority for visitors. Those planning to travel will be looking for the latest health protocols and information that will restore their confidence in your destination and make their trip seamless. So it’s more important than ever to keep information updated on leading travel platforms.
As the largest travel advisor online, TripAdvisor continues to rank as the #1 travel and tourism platform in the U.S. So keeping information updated in real-time on TripAdvisor (and we cannot emphasize this enough: encouraging your stakeholders to do the same) will be crucial to educating and giving travelers the confidence they need to return to your destination.
More than 72% of consumers frequently or always consult reviews before deciding where to visit, eat or stay. And that was the statistic BEFORE the pandemic!
The importance of TripAdvisor in the travel industry can’t be underestimated:
- TripAdvisor has more than 490 million monthly active users.
- 7,000 new contributions appear on TripAdvisor every hour.
- 96.13% of traffic comes from customers searching directly for “tripadvisor.”
- TripAdvisor has acquired more than 30 travel platforms – so far.
Also, in June of 2020, TripAdvisor launched “Travel Safe” tools, making it easy for travelers to find important health and safety information about hotels and restaurants reopening during COVID-19. Businesses can display safety measures they have in place by accessing the checklist in their TripAdvisor management center, for free. The checklist enables businesses to submit a text description of the steps they are taking to protect customers, including links back to safety information on their own websites.
In addition to their “Travel Safe” tools, TripAdvisor shared their top tips to help your destination and your stakeholders market themselves and capture the interest of highly valuable TripAdvisor users that are even more crucial during these times:
1. Update your amenities. A great way to update travelers on what’s important now and differentiate your offerings from competing destinations is to ensure the amenities and features you offer are up-to-date.
2. Refresh descriptions. Memorable descriptions should highlight any useful and relevant traveler information for the person in your destination right now, as well as the one that is planning a trip in the future—the content here should apply to both.
3. Add fresh photos. Select and post images that inspire and motivate potential travelers. Showcase activities that will make them feel safe and confident in choosing your destination. Travelers are looking for real and updated images.
4. Respond to reviews. Reviews are one of the top factors for travelers when choosing a place to go. When personalized responses are made to reviews, over three-quarters of TripAdvisor users said they are more likely to visit as a result. Designate who is responsible for replying on behalf of the organization and an ideal response time to each review.
5. Manage user access. Revisit the list of users who have access to TripAdvisor listings to ensure they are up to date. Add new users who can help respond to reviews and remove any previous users who have moved on.
6. Add contact details with Business Advantage. This feature is designed to better market stakeholder’s businesses and drive guests to direct booking channels. Anything to make the booking process simpler will benefit the visitor and help to increase sales.
If you want to do your part to get the world traveling again (and drive them to your destination), keeping travelers updated with up-to-the-minute information could be one of the biggest hurdles to closing the confidence gap created by the pandemic. Ensuring that the latest information and guidelines about your destination are showcased on TripAdvisor should be high on your DMO’s to-do list.
Sources: TripAdvisor, DMR, Statista, Similar Web, The Motley Fool, The Telegraph, PhocusWire