HotelMe vs TripAdvisor: A Comparison
HotelMe is a new online travel review site that has developed a business model to address the most serious issue that faces all travel review sites. Fake and false reviews can drag down the image of a hotel. When travelers believe that a large portion of the reviews they read are made-up, they question the validity of all of the reviews.
Together, with partner USA Today, HotelMe is enlisting the help of hotels, all around the world, to help verify that the reviews posted on the site are from guests who actually stayed at the hotels they are reviewing. Verified hotels are listed on the site and have the RealStay label next to their name. Currently, more than 10,000 hotels have signed up to participate on the new review site.
As of this moment, no other online travel sites have taken this added step to authenticate that the reviews posted on their site are from guests who actually stayed at the hotel. It goes beyond the relatively weak verification policy of the world’s largest travel review site that essentially takes the word of its reviewers that they are telling the truth. According to TripAdvisor, to submit a review, you must first check a small box that says:
“I certify that this review is based on my own experience and is my genuine opinion of this hotel, and that I have no personal or business relationship with this establishment, and have not been offered any incentive or payment originating from the establishment to write this review. I understand that TripAdvisor has a zero-tolerance policy on fake reviews.”
After you do so, you can then press the submit your review button, and your review will be published and available for the general public to read.
While TripAdvisor is obviously very well established and dwarfs the newly established HotelMe presence in the online hotel review space, HotelMe has an appealing model that has the potential to grow very fast. Presently, there are many differences in the way the two sites operate.
Whether it is because they are brand new, or for some other reason, HotelMe has far fewer reviews for each individual hotel than TripAdvisor. Their reviews are also based on far less current trips and hotel stays than those reviews posted on TripAdvisor. It also is quite noticeable when you look at reviews on both sites that TripAdvisor reviews are lengthier and contain more detailed information.
Both sites use a rating system based on a one to five scale. TripAdvisor tends to have a better balance of both positive and negative reviews, while the reviews on HotelMe seem to lean more to the positive. Those who like to believe that people are honest and do not have ulterior motives may account for the abundance of positive reviews because of the small sample size. Others, who are always suspicious of the motives behind every action, may think that the reviews are purposely positive to attract more hotels to join the new site.
Besides providing a better way of authenticating RealStays, HotelMe provides more opportunity for reviewers to expand on their vacation and travel experiences through the creation of Guides. Reviewers can create a Guide where they can offer their personal opinions on the best attractions, their favorite restaurants and any other information they want to share. It is sort of like having a Facebook page that focuses on travel.
If the model works well for HotelMe, it will not be long before TripAdvisor comes up with a similar verification plan. Obviously, HotelMe has incorporated some of the things that work best on TripAdvisor. All is fair in love and war, and that holds true in the highly competitive online travel review space.
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- How Can I Improve My Ranking On TripAdvisor (hmghotelsblog.com)