Do social media display correct conventional hotel ratings?

Published in: Research in Hospitality Management
Volume 1, issue 1, 2011 , pages: 9–17
DOI: 10.1080/22243534.2011.11828270
Author(s): Wouter HensensStenden University (South African campus), South Africa, Miemie StruwigSchool of Management Sciences, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, Oren DayanDepartment of Business Management, South Africa


This study investigates conventional ratings as they are presented on TripAdvisor. Conventional ratings are ratings, commonly using stars as a symbol, allocated by government or private bodies that work with hotel inspectors. The data from guest ratings on TripAdvisor was explored through two samples of hotels that were purposively selected based on the TripAdvisor rankings covering 11 international destinations. These data were compared to the ratings of the same hotels as they were retrieved from the databases of the conventional rating system bodies that were active in the respective destinations. Findings indicate that it is difficult to retrieve conventional rating system databases and that almost half of the conventional ratings displayed on TripAdvisor are incorrect. These findings suggest that contemporary marketing and tourism opportunities on TripAdvisor outweigh those presented by conventional hotel-rating systems.

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