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How can Tripadvisor reviews inform hotel localization strategy?

hotel key

Tripadvisor possesses one of the largest sources of hotel review data in the world; an incredible 703 million reviews of the world’s leading hotels across eight million locations. It contains valuable customer insights examples that can be used to help improve the overall experience of guests, optimize hotel localization strategy and ultimately beat the competition.

The hotel industry is highly competitive, and in such a cutthroat market there are only a handful of ways to stand out from the crowd. There is a huge opportunity for hotel chains to analyze unstructured review data left by customers, helping them to use customer insights to identify key areas where they are either excelling or lacking.

Brands are using Relative Insight’s unique text analytics solution to analyze unstructured data sources quickly and at scale. Our comparative approach means that brands can compare two or more sources of written data, uncovering the differences in words, phrases, topics, grammar and emotion between them.

So how can hotels benefit from this approach for their hotel localization strategy? Let’s find out.

Analyzing Tripadvisor data

We collected Tripadvisor reviews for various Marriott hotels across London and New York City and uploaded this data to Relative Insight. Using our split functionality, we were able to divide these reviews by metadata and create two comparisons:

  • Split by location: reviews of London Marriott hotels vs reviews of NYC Marriott hotels
  • Split by sentiment: positive reviews vs negative reviews

Comparing reviews from Marriott hotels in different locations helps to uncover how the guest experience differs across markets, and what is important to each demographic. Whereas looking at positive reviews against negative reviews as a means of hotel sentiment analysis enables hotel brands to see where they could ultimately improve. Here’s what we found.

London vs New York City


Our analysis revealed that visitors to London Marriott hotels are 3.4x more likely to mention food throughout their reviews. Reviewers were pleased with the buffet, breakfast and snacks on offer at the hotel. However, the main talking point was afternoon tea which was a hit amongst guests – exemplifying successful hotel localization strategy.

insight card - food

Another key insight we found was that visitors to London Marriotts were 7.5x more likely to speak about family, specifically mentioning children throughout their reviews. While it seems that Marriott is doing a great job of hosting families and generating positive reviews, the hotel chain should keep this in mind when thinking about how to optimize the guest experience in their London locations and ensure that there are child-friendly benefits on offer.

insight card - London visitors talk about family in tripadvisor review data


The concrete jungle is known for its towering skyscrapers and epic views, which didn’t go unnoticed by visitors to NYC Marriott hotels. Guests were 10.7x more likely to comment on the great and spectacular views of the city, providing the hotel chain with a marketing opportunity that differentiates NYC properties from those in London.

insight card - NYC visitors talk about views in tripadvisor review data

Looking at the insights from NYC visitors, we also saw an over-indexing of reviews mentioning the daily destination fee. Many hotels in New York City charge this amenity fee. However, as hotel chains often advertise their rooms at lower rates and then add this charge on arrival, guests can feel like they’ve been scammed.

While customers were somewhat pleased they could redeem their destination fee as credit for food, beverages and Starbucks in the hotel, the lack of understanding and failure of communication around the topic caused frustration amongst guests. As this customer insight is unique to NYC visits, Marriott must aim to create clearer communications around the destination fee to avoid looking dishonest. This further illustrates the need for a hotel localization strategy to create the best possible guest experiences.   

insight card - NYC destination fee at hotels

Hotel sentiment analysis: Negative vs positive reviews

Negative reviews

Analyzing sentiment in Tripadvisor data enables hotel brands to get under the skin of their customers and understand where they can improve their services.

Taking a look at negative reviews of London Marriott hotels, we found that words such as rude, worst, negative and useless were much more likely to be used to describe hotel staff. This stands in stark contrast to the language used throughout 5-star reviews, which described Marriott employees as attentive, professional, polite and friendly.

The effect that staff demeanor can have on customer experience is abundantly clear and emphasizes a need to implement initiatives that standardize customer service across hotels.

insight card - rude reception staff at hotel

Our analysis also revealed that Marriott customers who rated their London stay between 1-2 stars were 7.3x more likely to discuss topics such as worry, safety and danger. When visiting such a renowned hotel brand, safety and security are expected as a bare minimum. Considering some guests have experienced a lack of security, Marriott must look into these incidents in further detail and implement new processes in their hotel localization strategy to ensure guest safety is paramount.

Positive reviews

But how does the language of positive Marriott reviews differ? Firstly, we found that positive reviews were also more likely to mention the cleanliness of the hotel, describing the overall interior as spotless.

Similarly, our analysis revealed that London Marriott visitors who rated the hotel chain 5 stars enjoyed the comfort of their stay. Words such as comfort, cozy, home and relaxing emphasized this overarching theme, highlighting the importance of creating a serene atmosphere in hotels.

Marriott could utilize these words throughout their marketing and communications, reflecting consumer language and depicting the hotel as a cozy getaway that feels like home.  

insight card - comfortable

By leveraging Tripadvisor data and analyzing user reviews, hotel brands can develop stronger consumer awareness, gain more insight into how they are performing against competitors, identify what customers want from hotels, and find critical insights to inform hotel localization strategy.

Relative Insight’s comparative approach to text analysis speeds up the process of analyzing customer reviews, helping brands find unique insights that can inform key business decisions. If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch to arrange a chat with one of our experts.

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