Making Yelp reviews available to hotel guests

05Oct09

I know of at least one really bad restaurant that has a long line every weekend morning. The food is mediocre, the service is nonexistant, and the people at the cash register can’t even be bothered to say hello when you pay. And I’m not the only one who feels this way: the reviews on Yelp clearly indicate that the restaurant should be avoided.

If local residents are smart enough to avoid the place, who is filling up those tables and standing in line for an hour? Tourists. There are several hotels nearby, and people seem to gravitate towards the restaurant in huge numbers. Obviously, these people aren’t taking advantage of review sites before or during their trip.

This represents an opportunity for Yelp and similar local business review sites. Tourists and business travelers seem to be underrepresented in their user base. So why not start promoting the service in hotels? Yelp could advertise on the hotel website or in the lobby area, or strike a deal where the hotel concierge desk uses the site to recommend restaurants and other businesses.

Making local reviews accessible from hotels is a win for everyone. Yelp picks up more users, hotel guests get to visit better restaurants that they’ll enjoy more, and the hotel itself earns more repeat bookings as better-informed guests choose to stay there again.



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