Review Volume is Increasing – But What Does That Mean for Europe?
We recently published a global hotel review data report where we analyzed over 1 million reviews from 7,500 hotels worldwide. However, when we look closer at the region of Europe, what do these reviews tell us? How is review volume increasing in Europe?
Read the full Global Hotel Review Benchmarking report for Q1 here.
Europe Has Shown the Biggest Growth in Review Volume in Q1 2022
Review volume is coming back, and globally we have seen an increase of 46.5%. However, results have been very different across the various regions of Europe, North America, South America, APAC, and MEA. When looking specifically at the results of Europe, we can see that review volume roared back with a growth of 512.2%, making it the top of the class region of Q1 2022 in terms of volume increase.
The biggest driver of this review increase was Booking.com, where volume grew by 744.2%, crowning it the market share leader in terms of the source distribution for Europe. Surprisingly, much of that growth comes from Google, which decreased volume by 10.9%. This is not necessarily good news, because we have also seen that review scores on Booking.com are much lower than on other scores, pulling down the GRI™ results.
How Can Hoteliers Ensure an Even Distribution Mix?
When you notice a big difference in your score for a specific source, take a look at your profile and ensure it is up-to-date, and that you are not promoting services that are no longer available. To drive traffic to other sources, a review collection program can be of great help. For example, after your guests have filled out your post-stay survey, ask them to drop a review on Tripadvisor, Google, or HolidayCheck.
As source distribution is shifting post-pandemic, it poses a good opportunity for brands to leverage their own website as a source of truth and boost direct bookings. Ensure that your website is optimized with up-to-date information, and by offering booking assistance via an automated web chat, including a hotel chatbot.
What About Guest Satisfaction?
As travel is rebounding and review volume is increasing in Europe, guest satisfaction is slightly decreasing. The Global Review Index ™ went down by –0.3 points and landed at an average of 84.6% at the end of Q1, 2022. Surprisingly, we can see that three-star properties were able to contain the decrease to only –0.1%, while luxury segments of four and five-stars showed a decrease of –0.4 points. This shows that traveler ratings are largely based on how well a hotel meets guest expectations; a hotel in any star segment can earn a five-star rating by exceeding expectations.
The main five departmental scores for Q1 2022 were Service, Location, Room, Cleanliness, and Value. Just like with overall satisfaction, we can see a decline for all five scores. Especially Room and Value, which respectively lost 1.3 and 3.0 points. This drop could be due to guests’ greater need for a relaxing moment away, an increase in room rates, and a persisting staffing issue.
How Can Hoteliers Safeguard Guest Satisfaction?
Luckily, the decline is still very modest. However, before the decrease escalates, it is key to start monitoring closely your score, score evolution, and look deeper into what guests are saying about their experience at your property.
How Are Hoteliers in Europe Responding to Hotel Guest Reviews?
Despite the increase in review volume and dealing with ongoing staffing shortages, hotels in Europe managed to increase their response rate by 5.9% in Q1 2022, compared to the same period last year. With about 58.6% of all reviews responded, Europe performs slightly lower than the global average of 60.2%. As well as slightly slower, with an average response time of 4.0 days compared to the global average of 3.8 days.
How Can Hoteliers Optimize their Management Response Strategy?
Responding to reviews should still be a key task for hoteliers, as they can greatly influence the booking decisions of prospective guests. Tools like direct response integrations between your key sources and your hotel reputation platform will allow your staff to respond more efficiently to different sources from one place. Response templates will help your staff to respond faster as well, although it is important to keep in mind that these should be used as guidelines. Every review response should be personalized since they are publicly available for all to see.
Read more about global hotel review trends, and about the trends of other regions in our latest data report where we compare the results of Q1 2022 to the results of Q1 2021.