“Just a day before CEO Steve Kaufer fronted TripAdvisor’s first public listing on the NASDAQ, Expedia started telling a number of its global markets about the launch of its new hotel review system. Known now as Expedia Verified Reviews, only guests that stayed at a property can submit a review, by way of a form emailed to the customer after a trip. Expedia says the Verified Reviews platform has yet to be officially launched in the US and most of its other large markets, but consumers in Australia and New Zealand are already using a new feedback system and site visitors are being reassured about the authenticity of the reviews.
The review form is said to have been streamlined but allows guests to submit information which, when included in new filters on the site, will let visitors browse reviews based on proximity to amenities and attractions. Users will also be able to submit photos of the property. Expedia’s tie-in with TripAdvisor isn’t completely over – each hotel page on Expedia has an icon displaying the aggregated score on TripAdvisor of a property. A user will still be able to click on the TripAdvisor logo and be directed to the corresponding hotel page on TripAdvisor.
The relationship between Expedia and TripAdvisor at this level has often been slightly curious given that the former was once the parent company of the user review giant. TripAdvisor waited for many years in the UK, for example, before seeing its reviews appear on the Expedia site, whereas visitors to the Australia and Canadian versions saw content appear very early on in the review site’s rapid expansion around the global.
While the idea of having verified reviews is nothing new elsewhere, or indeed on Expedia, some will note the remarkable timing of the announcement and relaunch of the guest feedback platform, especially as TripAdvisor is currently embroiled in one of the regular periods when it appears to take a beating from many in the industry.”
So we’ll see what we see with guest reviews on the internet.