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The Impact of Social Media on Hotel Performance.
By Chris Anderson Ph.D.
Thursday, 22nd November 2012
 
Social media has been touted as having an increasingly important role in many aspects of the hospitality industry, including guest satisfaction and process improvement.

However, one of the more intriguing aspects of social media is their potential to move markets by driving consumers' purchasing patterns and influencing lodging performance.

In the absence of a comprehensive attempt to quantify the impact of social media upon lodging performance as measured by bookings, occupancy, and revenue, this report uses the unique position of Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research to combine data from three CHR research partners (ReviewPro, STR, and Travelocity), and two other data providers (comScore and TripAdvisor) in a first attempt at determining ROI for social-media efforts.

The analysis finds the following. First, the percentage of consumers consulting reviews at TripAdvisor prior to booking a hotel room has steadily increased over time, as has the number of reviews they are reading prior to making their hotel choice.

Second, transactional data from Travelocity illustrate that if a hotel increases its review scores by 1 point on a 5-point scale (e.g., from 3.3 to 4.3), the hotel can increase its price by 11.2 percent and still maintain the same occupancy or market share.

Third, to measure the impact of user reviews on hotel pricing power, consumer demand, and revenue performance the study uses matched-sample data from ReviewPRO and STR.

By matching ReviewPRO's Global Review IndexTM with STR's hotel sales and revenue data, a regression analysis finds that a 1-percent increase in a hotel's online reputation score leads up to a 0.89-percent increase in price as measured by the hotel's average daily rate (ADR). Similarly this 1-percent increase in reputation also leads to an occupancy increase of up to 0.54 percent.

Finally, this 1-percent reputation improvement leads up to a 1.42-percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR).

To view the documents, please click on the link below:

www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/abstract-16421.html

Chris Anderson is an associate professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Prior to his appointment in 2006, he was on faculty at the Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario Canada. His main research focus is on revenue management and service pricing. He actively works with industry, across numerous industry types, in the application and development of RM, having worked with a variety of hotels, airlines, rental car and tour companies as well as numerous consumer packaged goods and financial services firms. Anderson's research has been funded by numerous governmental agencies and industrial partners and he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management and is the regional editor for the International Journal of Revenue Management. At the School of Hotel Administration, he teaches courses in revenue management and service operations management.

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