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Trip Advisor and Ski Resorts: Worth the Time to Keep Ratings High?

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I’ve been thinking about a post on TripAdvisor for a while. About 390 days, give or take. Because it was on April 28, 2012 that I saw this sign while waiting for a table at a restaurant in Moab, UT.

Widgets for websites exist, but on a company sign? On Main Street? Is that even legal?

Control vs No Control
There’s something to be said about getting feedback on a product, service, or even a resort in a place where the brand has little or no control over what is spoken. In other words, when the words about your brand are less biased and more honest.

Honesty has immense value in marketing. In fact, being honest about shortcomings and downsides on a website can actually boost conversions.

On one side of the control spectrum are testimonials, hard-coded into your site. You have control over what shows up and what doesn’t. On the other are sites like TripAdvisor, where you can’t control what people write. Or can you?

The Possibilities
This week’s Stash hammered out an interesting set of data about ski resorts’ presence on TripAdvisor. The key takeaways were:

  • One resort review exists for every 3,500 skier visits on average.
  • The average rating for a ski resort is 4.0 out of 5.0.

This tells me two things. First, a very small number of skiers that are having a great time on your mountain are saying so on TripAdvisor (or other sites). Second, 4.0 is good, but it can go much, much higher and if you can get a 4.5 or 5.0 out of 5.0, your resort will be above average.

So, what I’d do is the same advice on the Stash: find the loyal guests who love your mountain and encourage them to spread the word on sites like this. You may not have control over what people write, but you do have some control over who lands on the page ready to do so.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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