Top 7 Travel Review Sites for Tour Operators in 2024

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February 27, 2024

8 min read
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Top 7 Travel Review Sites for Tour Operators in 2024

Your customers are the initial guides for your tour and activity business. The happier and more vocal they are about your business, the greater your business will shine. People consistently interact with online content, drawing inspiration from stunning destinations and tours, marking the beginning of their journey. Subsequently, they seek recommendations and reviews on various websites. Therefore, when your guests leave positive reviews on these platforms, they illuminate your adventures in the digital world. So, what steps can you take to encourage this?

In this blog, we will highlight the significance of reviews in tours and activities, identify which travel review sites to prioritize, and provide guidance on obtaining and leveraging reviews for your business. Additionally, we will address questions such as how to create persuasive messages to encourage reviews from customers.

Why reviews are important for travel businesses?

It is essential to understand the significance of reviews on travel websites and the value they bring to your business. Reviews serve as a form of social proof, offering potential customers insights into the quality of your services or products from the perspective of previous patrons. Positive reviews can enhance your reputation, build trust with prospective customers, and ultimately drive bookings or sales. Here are some insights from an Online Review statistics report in 2024, that highlight the importance of reviews in 2024: 

Top 5 Review sites for Tour Operators in 2024. Source: https://www.luisazhou.com/blog/online-review-statistics/
Source:https://www.luisazhou.com/blog/online-review-statistics/

 

What are the tasks involved in collecting and managing reviews for your tour business?

There is a lot that goes into encouraging and managing reviews, especially since multiple platforms are involved. While we might hope for organic growth, it’s only to some extent! Given the competitiveness of the travel industry and the increasing influence of reviews, having a proper review management strategy is crucial. In terms of tasks needed to complete the review solicitation process, it’s important to group them together logically. These tasks may include:

  • Identifying the right travel review sites, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews, or any other specific booking platforms.
  • Developing messaging strategies to effectively attract reviews from satisfied customers, highlighting the importance of their feedback and providing easy instructions for leaving a review.
  • Implementing review request methods, such as automating your email campaigns, in-person requests, or utilizing your booking software to automate the communication process.
  • Finally, monitoring and responding to reviews.

Top travel review websites you should consider for your tour business

Here are the top travel review sites that tour operators must have a presence on:

1. Google Reviews

stands out as the leading platform for reviews across all categories. A 2024 study revealed that a significant 81% of consumers worldwide prioritize checking Google reviews first. Additionally, consumers tend to distrust 5-star ratings when the review count is low. This highlights the importance of maintaining a fully optimized business profile on Google. Travelers can access reviews directly on Google Maps, gaining insights into specific locations. Due to the visibility of these search results, it is essential for your business to be on Google and have positive reviews. Google reviews, left by customers on your Google Business Profile, provide valuable feedback about their experiences. These reviews are visible on Google’s knowledge panel, Google 3-Pack results for local searches, and Google Maps search. Google reviews can enhance trust and improve organic ranking for your website.Google reviews can help build trust since the search results are optimized to bring the most useful information to the user. Another important fact is that having a higher number of reviews on Google helps your organic ranking on your website. According to the latest research, over 88% of the reviews are controlled by four websites, among which Google accounts for 73% of them.

Google Reviews for Travel

 

2. Tripadvisor

In 2023, more than 30.2 million reviews were posted by 17.4 million tripadvisor members. As a travel or tour operator, it is vital to have visibility and positive reviews on the world’s largest travel site. One of the reasons this platform shines is because it is the most prominent travel platform. If your business is related to travel, be it airline, hotel, or tours, you should definitely have a presence on Tripadvisor. It displays your business’s website, address, phone number, email, and a short description of what you do. With a star rating system and a percentage of guests recommending the tour, Tripadvisor helps its visitors search better. It’s definitely a smart way to build brand loyalty and engage users.

When was the last time you reviewed your listing on TripAdvisor? If you haven’t created a page on TripAdvisor, there is a possibility that it might still exist. You can check it by simply typing your company name to find out if you already exist or claim your free listing.

Tripadvisor Reviews
Tripadvisor Reviews

3. Facebook

Facebook isn’t particularly a travel platform, but just like Google, it stands tall as one of the most prominent spots where your target audience hangs out. If your business is nowhere to be found on Facebook, it’s almost like being a digital ghost – not the vibe you want if you’re aiming for trustworthiness with users. Facebook’s vast and interconnected community makes it an important  review space for your audience.

The Facebook algorithm works like your personalized genie, suggesting stuff when you’re on the lookout. That’s why it’s one of the go-to places for recommendations. A few simple clicks and users can dive into reviews. We all know how those suggestions from friends and acquaintances on Facebook can be such a huge influence in our decision making. Even though Facebook doesn’t go for the traditional travel ratings, users can “Recommend” or ‘not recommend’ based on their experience.

Facebook Reviews for Travel Businesses

Facebook isn’t just a space for your business; it’s also a hub for communities. You can join travel related groups where your target audience exists. Join discussions, spread the good word about your business, and land right in their notifications. Here’s a bonus: Some travel platforms might not enable video reviews, but not Facebook. Leverage your page for some eye-catching video content. In the world of travel, especially tours, seeing is believing, and you can snag your users’ attention with some top-notch videos by encouraging your guests to share video reviews. And if you’re still on the fence about creating your Facebook page, Check out how to get started: How to Sign Up: Set up your business page here.

 

4. Expedia Local Expert

There are currently 57+ million verified reviews and 82+ million traveler ratings on the Expedia website. With Expedia, you can market your products on over 60 travel booking sites and in more than 30 countries. If you are working with other Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), it doesn’t mean you cannot work with Expedia; you can still do so, and Expedia can help you reach travelers that other OTAs don’t reach, such as international travelers or those making last-minute bookings. What sets Expedia apart from other review sites is the authenticity of the reviews; all reviews are verified on Expedia. The primary market for Expedia is hotels and flights; however, users can find local tours on the “Things to Do” tab.

Expedia Things to do

It offers a diverse array of local tours and activities for guests to explore during their booking phase. Listing your tour company on Expedia can be a great way to drive more bookings, as long as your company can rank high enough in search results for customers to find it. Tours and activities are ranked based on price, location, distance from accommodation options, and traveler reviews. Positive reviews help prove to Expedia that guests are enjoying your tours, and therefore, your brand should be ranked higher than your competitors.

5. Yelp

Yelp has long maintained the reputation of being a trustworthy review site. The founders of Yelp recognized the value of reviews and worked to make it a powerful platform with credible reviews. Yelp reviews stand out from other sites due to their long-form nature, providing in-depth analysis and ensuring user satisfaction with comprehensive information, rather than brief one-liners.

Another distinctive feature of Yelp that sets it apart from other review sites is the uniqueness of its customer profile. Yelpers statistically differ from regular social media users, being more opinionated and vocal on various topics. Additionally, Yelpers are more likely to belong to the high-income bracket and be aged between 29 and 54 years.

In terms of travel-related reviews, recent research indicates that travel and vacation rank among the top 5 topics discussed on Yelp. Vacation and travel discussions makeup 43% of Yelp users’ conversations, in contrast to the 24% observed among regular social media users (Statista, 2021).

Source: https://financesonline.com/yelp-statistics/
Source: https://financesonline.com/yelp-statistics/

 

6. FOURSQUARE

Foursquare has over 1 billion check ins per year. The app offers personalized recommendations for nearby places based on the user’s location, making it a valuable platform for attraction reviews. Customers can “check-in” when they visit a local business or attraction and share their experience with others on the app. To gather more reviews on Foursquare, operators should prompt customers to check in upon arrival and politely remind them to leave a review after their visit.

 

Foursquare

7. Trustpilot

Tour operators can categorize their business under “Activities and Tours” in the “Travel and Vacation” category.

Trustpilot for Tours and Activities

Trustpilot attracts approximately 63.4 million visitors per month and utilizes a five-star rating system for businesses. Additionally, it offers a verified badge to both businesses and travellers, enhancing the credibility of reviews. If you haven’t created an account yet, it only takes a few minutes. Once the account is created, businesses can send up to 50 free review invitations per month.

Actionable insights and best practices to drive better reviews for your Tour Operators

Here are some tips to improve your reviews for your tour business:

  • Use a booking platform like Zaui to automatically remind guests to leave a review. This automates the process, leading to a significant increase in the number of reviews.
  • Capture the email addresses of all guests in a group booking, not just the person who booked, when they sign digital waivers at check-in. Easily integrate with digital waivers such as Smartwaiver and Wherewolf.
  • Ensure you have a system in place to address negative reviews. Customers these days expect to hear back from businesses when they leave a bad review, and many times, negative reviews can turn into brand advocates when dealt with properly.
  • Implement a reward system for your employees when they are mentioned in a five-star review. This will motivate them to encourage guests to leave reviews and be rewarded for it.
  • If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, you can utilize a photo marketing platform. For instance, Fotaflo lets you share free photos with your guests. These shared photos can help you get great reviews from your guests, as photos add credibility to your reviews and usually attract a lot of attention from potential guests.

Final Word

When deciding which online travel site with guest reviews to focus on, consider factors like traffic, credibility, relevance, and search rankings. Google Reviews, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp cover different categories, presenting various opportunities. By utilizing a mix of 4 to 5 review sites with both quality and quantity, you can genuinely build a strong reputation and enhance visibility for your business.

If you haven’t been paying attention to your guest reviews and management, now might be the time to start! If you’re looking for tips on automating your review process without spending money and want your booking solution to handle the workload, reach out to Zaui. The platform offers valuable capabilities to help you achieve what you are looking for.

 

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