A slab of Power to the People from¬†InterContinental Hotels Group after it announced a new system to allow guests to leave online reviews against hotel properties.
The company has launched Guest Reviews and Ratings across its portfolio of brands this week, available in all properties across the globe in English, German, Spanish and Chinese languages.
Central to the new system is the fact that IHG will only allow reviews to be posted after verification with its database of actual previous guests.
This, the company says, will ensure readers can read an “unbiased review of a recent guest’s experience”.
Reviews are already starting to feature against some of its properties, with 24 posted against its New York Times Square hotel – although many review sections for its hotels are currently empty.
IHG’s vice president of web and interactive marketing, Michael Menis, says the company has recognised the reality that 70% of its guests crawl around the web reading reviews before making a booking.
“We think it is extremely important that these reviews are authentic from verified guests of the hotel so that our customers can make an accurate and informed decision.”
Unfortunately the company has a long way to go if it wants to unseat TripAdvisor as the home of reviews for its properties, at least in terms of what consumers come across in search.
A check for “intercontinental hotel reviews” on Google shows that all but one of the ten organic search results come from the user review giant (the other is Yelp).
For the property noted above, searching for “intercontinental new york times square hotel reviews” brings back results from TripAdvisor, Ebookers, Yelp, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Fodors, Expedia, Oyster and the Daily Mail.