Is a good Tripadvisor profile now more important than a good hotel website?

I have just stayed at a wonderful homestay on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. My traditional wooden rice cottage had been saved from demolition, transported here and rebuilt. The food was amazing homecooking using produce from the surrounding paddies and farms. It deserved its Tripadvisor ranking as the second best place to stay on the island. But its website was almost non existent. Three photos, all of beach nowhere near the lodge, and no relevant copy. It was clear our hosts had no idea … [Read more...]

Nobody does it better: How to get responsible tourism communications right

I got involved in a discussion on Twitter last week about what the best words for responsible tourism communications, and whether there we need a new one. All the usual suspects used when were bandied about – ethical, green, eco etc – and all the usual arguments we're put up against each one, which can basically be reduced to two problems: Problem 1 – They are co-opted. Take eco- for example. There's no criteria that you have to achieve to call yourself an ecolodge. So anyone can do so. Got an … [Read more...]

Tripadvisor’s Greenleader certification: innovative leadership… or more of the same Greenwash?

I was pretty excited to hear that Tripadvisor was launching a 'GreenLeaders' certification scheme, announced, like so many green corporate initiatives in the US, to coincide with Earth Day on April 22. With many millions of users worldwide, Tripadvisor has clout, and if it is embedding ethics into its listings, there is real potential to bring these issues to a wider travelling public. The second question in its questionnaire begins; “Do you have a towel reuse plan in place...?” It's 2013. … [Read more...]