Here’s a piece of good news that may prompt hoteliers and hospitality executives to raise their hands and say, “Hallelujah!”: if you renovate your hotel, TripAdvisor will delete your old negative reviews.
This is one of the new review policies being implemented by the popular travel reviews aggregator. According to the TripAdvisor Help Center, your hotel’s old, outdated reviews can be wiped clean in exchange for proof of major renovations. (Check the screenshot below.)
To give your TripAdvisor listing a fresh start, you’ll have to prove that the changes and renovations you made are structural in nature. (Sorry, new carpets and wallpapers don’t qualify.) And to prove that your hotel has, in fact, been renovated, you must submit one of the following to TripAdvisor:
- Online press release with the publication’s letterhead documenting the renovation
- Notarized copies of building/work permits
- Notarized copies of the trades’ invoices for materials and labor
- Notarized letter from city officials or Tourist Board verifying the scope of renovation and duration of the closure
We all know that online reputation and online reviews make a significant impact on booking decisions. So, the ability to remove negative reviews is something that any TripAdvisor-listed business owner will be glad to have – even if it means investing resources in property renovations and major structural changes.
In an interview with travel news site Skift.com, TripAdvisor spokeswoman Alison Croyle said: “We understand that as part of running a successful hospitality business, sometimes significant renovations are made in an effort to modernize or simply remodel an establishment. With this in mind, TripAdvisor will remove a property’s reviews and photos that were posted prior to completion of a major renovation.”
According to Skift, TripAdvisor will also remove old reviews if a property is taken over by a different hotel brand or chain. So if, for example, a Sofitel in Manila suddenly becomes part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, then old TripAdvisor reviews of that hotel may be wiped clean.
The deleted reviews will no longer be factored into TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index, which incorporates user-generated ratings to determine overall traveler satisfaction at a given hotel or property. Obviously, for hotels and properties with bad reviews, the removal and the clean slate can boost their hotel reputation monitoring and management efforts.
What do you think of TripAdvisor’s new review removal policies? Let us know by leaving a comment below.