Expedia overhauls hotel reviews feature
Expedia.com is overhauling its hotel reviews feature, incorporating new improvements that will make its collection of verified hotel reviews, more accessible and relevant to prospective travellers. As part of this overhaul, Expedia will incorporate all the verified reviews from its sister company, Hotels.com®, into its collection which will bring the total number of verified reviews available to Expedia customers to more than 7.5 million.
Expedia reviews are vetted and verified. Expedia takes multiple steps to ensure the validity of customer reviews, including the step of ensuring that the reviews are posted by travelers who have paid for a room in the hotelthey are reviewing.
One of the most important changes to the reviews program is in its relevancy. Travellers can now write reviews for a particular audience of their choosing, such as dog lovers, adrenaline junkies or foodies. When a mother is looking for a kid-friendly hotelin a large city, she will be able to sort through a potentially rich collection of reviews written by other mothers who have stayed with their children in that city. Reviewers have an option to choose their review target audience as families, business travelers, couples, students or “other,” with the final category an open field. About 2 million existing million existing reviews have been categorized as written for families, business travellers and couples.
Also, in addition to the photos provided by the hotels, Expedia now allows reviewers to include their own photos in their review, to make those reviews even more descriptive.
“Travelers will be able to see user photos, and reviews written for travelers that share their interests,” said John Kim, Senior Vice President, Expedia. “When they come to Expedia, we provide them with the best travel decision making experience on the web.”
With such a sizable collection of reviews (some hotels have thousands) Expedia set out to create a rich, interactive way for customers to filter and sort reviews. Travellers can now find relevant content quickly and can share that content with their traveling companions, friends and relatives. Travelers can now sort reviews by rating, date submitted, language, traveler type and photos and share reviews (both their own and others’) via Facebook and Twitter.
Expedia has also implemented a “thank the reviewer” feature so readers can express their appreciation to the reviewer if that review has been helpful. The process of submitting reviews has also been streamlined and simplified.