Here in Canarias eTourism we´re always alert with the latest news within the tourism industry relative not only to the professional side of the business but also to academics pertaining the topics which are our leitmotiv. In this regard, last November the professor of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, PhD. Chris Andersson, has published a very interesting and innovative research about the impact of Social Media use on the economic performance of hospitality businesses.
In doing this, the Cornell´s University Center for Hospitality Research has had the opportunity to combine the information provided by three companies which are part of its research partners, that means, companies and organizations that maintain an active collaboration with the institution -in this research ReviewPro, STR and Travelocity– with data provided from other industry participants –comScore and TripAdvisor– in an attempt to quantify the ROI of Social Media utilization.
The analysis made shows very clearly that the percentage of consumers who visits TripAdvisor reviews before proceeding to book hotel rooms has grown steadily in recent years. Secondly, and in accordance with the data provided by Travelocity transactions, if a hotel increases the overall score one point -take in mind that at this moment TripAdvisor provides up to 5 points to establishments- the hotel can increase its average rate by 11.2% while maintaining the same Occupation Rate and Market Share.
Finally and with the aim to measure the impact of user´s reviews on the pricing ability by the hotel, consumer demand and the actual profitability a statistical regression was performed with the data provided by ReviewPro –Global Review IndexTM– with those from sales by STR. The results of the analysis have concluded that an increase of 1% in the online reputation of a Hotel results in an increase in the establishment RevPAR up to 1.42%.
A very interesting research and an essential reading for anyone interested in the use of Social Media within the travel industry. Besides the known benefit associated with Social Media use within the sector such as the chance to segmenting marketing messages, the ability to receive feedback from our customers or even to know them better in order to meet their needs… it´s important to recognize the paper´s relevance when it comes to trying to begin to quantify scientifically the phenomena.