This lecture approaches one of the hospitality sector’s most pressing issues: properly managing a business’s reviews and ratings in TripAdvisor and other similar platforms. Review sites have grown tremendously in importance as consumers are greatly influenced by ratings and reviews when choosing, for instance, a hotel or a restaurant. Some businesses are seizing this opportunity to
position themselves in the best possible way on these platforms, while others have reacted rather defensively perceiving the amplification of their customers’ voices as a threat.
This lecture presents a methodology that has been successfully applied by hotels to improve their ratings on consumer review sites and that can be easily applied to any hospitality-related business. The methodology comprises measures taken both on the hotel premises – such as proper staff training and handling complaints – and in cyberspace by professionally replying, for instance, to published reviews.
About Dr. Dimitris Koutoulas
Prof. Dr. Dimitris Koutoulas has been pursuing a career both as an academic and a marketing practitioner. With a degree in Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Tourism Marketing, he has been teaching Marketing, Service Marketing, Tourism Marketing, Destination Marketing, Hospitality Marketing as well as Tourism, Hotel and Event Management at Greek, Austrian, German and South African universities since 2002. His research projects and published work have covered a variety of topics related to marketing, tourism and the hotel industry. He has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Tourism Management at the Department of Business Administration of the University of Patras in 2014.
In addition to his academic career, Prof. Koutoulas is also working as a management and marketing consultant and as a project manager mainly in the tourism, hotel, publishing and the events industries. His work has covered nearly every aspect of tourism planning and applied marketing ranging from market research and strategic planning to press relations and staff training. He has successfully implemented projects in 31 countries over the last 27 years.
His client list comprises national and regional tourism organizations and ministries in Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Cyprus, the UK, Oman etc., Greek public-sector organizations (such as the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, Helexpo, the Organising Committee of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Chambers of Industry and Commerce etc.), the European Union as well as private-sector clients in Greece, Germany, the UK, the USA, Cyprus, Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain etc.
Dr. Koutoulas has participated in several hotel-rating projects both in Greece and abroad. These projects include the design and review of star classification systems, hotel quality assessments through mystery guest inspections, design of hotel award schemes etc. He has inspected and assessed hundreds of hotels and restaurants in ten countries.
Dr. Koutoulas has also conducted professional training programmes in Greece, Cyprus and Croatia aimed, among others, at hotel and restaurant owners, senior hotel staff as well as at senior staff of tourism boards, ministries and local authorities.