Online travel review rating scales and effects on hotel scoring and competitiveness
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine whether different scales and ways to collect reviews and ratings found on online travel agencies (OTAs) can affect hotels, and whether hotels obtain the same or different evaluations. Design/methodology/approach – Hotel ratings from five OTAs in four European markets were collected and compared in pairs. An initial comparison was made with the hotel scores of each OTA to show what a typical user would see. Then, a rescaled score (0-10) was used to compare all the OTA scales appropriately and to distinguish between what customers observe and what the reality is. Findings – The results reveal that Booking.com that uses a scale (2.5-10) and Agoda with a scale (2-10) seem to give higher rating scores than Atrapalo (1-10), Travel Republic (0-10) and hotel reservation service (1-10). However, when the scores are rescaled (0-10), the worst ratings are found on Booking. com followed by Agoda. Practical implications – OTAs should include, next to the scores, the scale used to rate hotels so as to provide users with better and clearer information. Moreover, rating questionnaires should match the verbal denominations with their numerical values to avoid biased ratings. Social implications – OTAs and hotel managers are losing information provided by customers because customers are not aware of the scale when rating hotels. Moreover, hotel ratings are used by potential customers to obtain a clearer image of an establishment. However, if some hotels are being overrated by some scales, customers might have higher expectations, which may not be met. Originality/value – The unique rating scales of Booking.com and Agoda provide additional insights into their hotel evaluations, which seem to be apparently higher when in fact they are not.
Is part ofTourism review, 2020
European research projects
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