Saturday, April 10, 2010

Public To Critique Jasons Advertisers

Guests now have yet another method of ranting or raving about their accommodation experience on-line.

We were interested to read today that Jasons Travel Media will be introducing guest accommodation reviews that they have branded "Stayed, Paid and Raved". 

Jasons claim that their main point of difference compared to other review services such as market leader, is that guests booking via will display a verification icon next to their review to give kudos to those that have actually experienced the accommodation. Other reviews will be accepted but will not display the verification icon. As with most other review sites, accommodation providers will be able to respond to reviews.

Jasons claim that their review service will be "a first for a New Zealand owned and operated company", however they must have overlooked Kiwi-owned that have been operating a guest review system for some time on their popular last minute accommodatuion website. Ezibed customers have contributed over 7,000 ratings and close to 4,500 reviews.

One significant aspect of Jasons Travel Media's announcement is that have gazumped their main rival, AA Tourism that are tantalizingly close to publicly releasing their own customer review initiative.

A move into guest reviews for an Online Travel Agent is an obvious and worthy course to take. It is an interesting scenario that travel media providers, Jasons and AA Tourism will be providing a platform for the public to critique their own paid advertisers. Less than flattering guest reviews have the risk of irking and isolating some advertisers that still have a substantial investment in print advertising with both travel companies.

Jasons and AA Tourism will be putting themselves in an unenviable position of appearing to run a transparent and credible public review service, while trying to appease their advertisers.

Is there a conflict of interest? Probably, however we are sure both impending review services will be run with integrity. But, there is a very good chance that there will be bumps along the way!

We know the psychology of their advertisers very well as they are predominantly fellow moteliers and look forward to following the challenges of operating these new guest review services ;-).

We know that guest reviews are becoming an important part of the process the public consider when making an accommodation decision. Guest reviews can be codified into a simple rating system and we are curious why AA Tourism are going down the guest review route when they are a shareholder in Qualmark.

We believe that guest reviews are the future of rating accommodation. Jasons Travel seems to think so and maybe AA Tourism does as well...

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