I'm sure we've all read some sort of scathing online review about a restaurant, hotel or other business. Some of these are definitely warranted, while others could be isolated incidents within the business they reference. One would have a hard time distinguishing which is which, especially in this day and age where it's easy to hide behind a computer keyboard and hurl insults at those you do not like.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, found here, studies have found that higher online reviews lead to higher demand and hotel rates, and vice versa for lower scores. Knowing not all travelers read reviews, the study still insists that if just 20% of travelers read ratings and reviews on sites such as Hotels.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor, that a hotels demand will increase as well as their rates, if they have a high score and reviews.
Now, you'd believe that it would be easy to manipulate these rankings, if you were a shady hotel manager by buying positive reviews, or if you competed or just loathed a certain property, by giving them lower scores. However, it wouldn't be that practical or easy. The study also found that in order to raise or drop the rating of a four-star hotel, the property would have to endure a uninterrupted streak of 2000 five or one star reviews to raise/lower the rating by one star.
For the full article, click here: https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/for-hotels-online-reviews-really-matter-to-the-bottom-line-1479477602