‘Our 100 spe­cial­ists spend 24 hours a day mak­ing sure our re­views are real’

Business Traveler (USA) - - TECH SAVVY -

peo­ple that you may not get if their name was tied to a book­ing.”

Trip Ad­vi­sor’s Shaw says:“Re­quir­ing a proof of stay would dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the num­ber of re­views on the site. The av­er­age trav­eler reads dozens of re­views be­fore book­ing to get the com­plete pic­ture and make an ed­u­cated de­ci­sion based on the opin­ions of many. We stand by our proven model, which al­lows hote­liers to re­spond.”

Last year, it launched its“Friend of a Friend”fea­ture, al­low­ing users to see re­views from their Face­book con­nec­tions. En­gag­ing with so­cial me­dia is a grow­ing trend among sites – clut­ter-free home­pages with white back­grounds, large im­ages and pho­tos of re­view­ers with per­sonal pro­files are com­mon, while many use peo­ple’s Face­book in­for­ma­tion, of­fer­ing the chance to see friends’rec­om­men­da­tions as well as those of an anony­mous on­line com­mu­nity.

Go­gobot (go­gobot.com), which was launched in 2010, is led by Travis Katz, for­mer head of in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions at Mys­pace. As well as read­ing and post­ing re­views, users can pe­ruse rec­om­men­da­tions from their Face­book friends and Twit­ter fol­low­ers, post ques­tions, so­licit com­ments and use the ad­vice to plan an itin­er­ary. It’s an en­gag­ing site with a com­mu­nity feel and an em­pha­sis on im­ages.

UK-based travel re­view site Triptease was launched in 2012. It ac­cu­mu­lated more than 35,000 unique users in its first month, and claims to“re-imagine travel re­views.” Ac­cord­ing to founder Char­lie Os­mond, “The grand vi­sion is to dis­rupt Trip Ad­vi­sor, but not in terms of num­bers – in terms of qual­ity, rel­e­vance and en­gage­ment.”

The site’s for­mat – with re­views pre­sented like glossy magazine spreads,

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