User-generated content is rapidly gaining traction as an input into the consumer purchase decision making process. After examining the implications of the developing Web 2.0 phenomenon for travel businesses, this article focuses on TripAdvisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com), the largest online network of travel consumers. Using a sample of 100 hotels randomly selected from the London market, it shows that TripAdvisor displays detailed rich data that can be used in travel planning. Content analysis was used to identify common causes of satisfaction and dissatisfaction among reviewers. It was also discovered that few hotels are actively managing their reputation on the TripAdvisor site. Despite a facility to respond to criticism, few hotels used this option, calling into question how seriously hotels are managing user-generated content. Analyses also suggested that the belief that user-generated content sites have been compromised by false reviews is unfounded, with little evidence being found of reviews with characteristics that typify false postings. Link to the article
O'CONNOR, P. (2010). Managing a Hotel's Image on TripAdvisor. Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management, 19(7), pp. 754-772.