The on-going controversy behind user-generated content (UGC). What is it?
The user-generated content can be define as the content add on acompany's website exclusively by online users. In the hotel industry refers to consumer reviews and comments on travel reviews-sites, online travel agencies and blogs.
Hotel user generated content hasbecome one of the most important elements in a hotel’s marketing mix and reputation management strategy.
With every hour that passes, UGC becomes more influential in the holiday planning and buyingprocess. More and more consumers are researching and booking their trips online, depending on the suggestion and opinion of others, whether online or offline. Before UGC, travelers had the choice ofasking their Travel Agent, now, they can ask others because it is cheaper and faster.
Consumers look for genuine reviews contributed by real consumers speaking about their first hand experiences. Theywant to make sure that they are doing the right acquisition on the buying process.
Until about 15 years ago, the ‘booking‐a‐holiday’ process was relatively easy: people used to look forsuggestions from close friends or relatives and then chose the best vacation packages in a travel agency (mostly accompanied by the advice of the travel agent as well.
With the growth and development of theinternet, the search and offer of information moved online with social media defining a new way of communication that is very similar to communicating mouth to mouth.
Due to the remarkable amount ofinformation on the web, they can have access to something that was inaccessible before: reviews, comments, criticisms and opinions of other users. They are not passive readers anymore: on the contrarythey are actively involved in the production and publication of content
Consumer used to look for online reviews in sites like TripAdvisor(largest travel community on the world) and also on Expedia,...