An analysis to approaches taken by hotels to online reviews and the underpinning reasons for them doing so
Purpose: The advances in technology have allowed consumers greater accessibility to write online reviews about any business they visit. Consumers may choose to write a very positive review and recommend the business to other consumers, but the problems arise when consumers misuse the sites and write negative words rather than speaking with the business directly about an issue and this can discourage future custom. The aim of this study is to look at online reviews within the hotel industry. Firstly, looking at how the hotels respond to reviews and then why they choose the method they do. It then looks at the perceived impact that negative reviews might have on a business. Methodology: After conduction research into different data collection methods, a qualitative approach was used in the form of face-to-face semi-structured interviews. A total of five participants were used, three of whom attended a sit-down face-to-face interview and two others which were conducted via email due to circumstances. Findings: The findings were analysed and discussed, and this helped identify important themes and trends that could be linked back to the literature review. This project confirmed that majority of online reviews are not replied to and there is a discussion around the different reasons for this. There were also suggestions as to what perceived impact there may be from negative reviews to a business, but this could not be fully answered. A recommendation is made for further study to be carried out regarding consumer behaviour and the impact of negative reviews.