With cleanliness becoming the most important consideration in travel planning, TripAdvisor has enhanced its existing ratings and review system through its new Travel Safe features, which include user reviews on safety measures, health and hygiene checklists for hotel and restaurant owners, as well as a safety precautions search filter.
David Vu, associate director, APAC commercial strategy & operations, told TTG Asia that Travel Safe was created in response to a recent study by TripAdvisor, which found that of the consumers thinking about future travel, 92 per cent said cleanliness is the most important factor in selecting accommodations; 84 per cent said sanitisation certificates are important when booking a travel experience; and 79 per cent said it is important to publicly display compliance to government safety standards.
Nearly three-quarters regarded a checklist of safety measures on TripAdvisor listings as being very or extremely helpful.
Vu said: “Consumer expectations are changing and there is now a clear demand for more detailed information about the cleanliness and sanitation practices at individual businesses. Sixty-five per cent of travellers will not travel until they see physical changes at businesses that make them feel safer.”
To produce the hygiene checklists for hotel and restaurant owners, TripAdvisor roped in experts from world health and safety organisations and backed it up with consumer research on safety measures that matter most.
Further, to ensure health and safety measures are indeed taken by properties, TripAdvisor has added a verification element that requires guests to provide specific information based on their experience of visiting the property. Should guest feedback reveal that properties have not complied with the promised measures, TripAdvisor would correct the information published for travellers’ consumption.
When asked if TripAdvisor would bring its Travel Safe checklists and reviews to other tourism services on its platform, such as tours and attractions, Vu said: “More than 70 per cent of TripAdvisor listings fall into hotels and restaurants, but we will continue to expand the feature to other important travel verticals.”
Vu believes that the Travel Safe checklists and reviews will offer convenience to consumers in their travel research, as they no longer need to consult multiple sites for information. “Now, they can easily view a list of sanitation procedures, get validation from real travellers, and ask questions online to the business owner,” he said.