An Unhappy Guest used to tell 3 Others – Now he tells 3 Million Others

Guest review management is becoming more and more important than advertising or direct marketing.
clipped from
The role of user-generated reviews is exploding. TripAdvisor(TM) attracts nearly 30 million monthly visitors and 88% of these visitors are influenced by content they read. Word-of-mouth adds a layer of credibility and is more effective than other more formal forms of promotion.
Market Metrix research has demonstrated that beyond the additional revenue that repeat customers provide, their word-of-mouth communications translate into significant profits for the hotel. In one example the positive word-of-mouth from a happy customer was worth $1,559 in profit for an upscale hotel.
Who reads hotel reviews?
Luxury guests (25%) and Timeshare guests (23%) were more likely to read a review before purchase, perhaps due to the variability among these properties.


Twitter Intermezzo: What should Hotel Owners know about Social Media and Internet Marketing?


What should Hotel Owners know about Social Media and Internet Marketing?
While winding down from #itb09, this question came up via Twitter.


My first reaction was: At least they should start reading Bill Marriot’s Blog. A good example!


Cool, Thanks for that.


My second reaction was: Plus they should read:

  1. #sxswtravel,
  2. #itb09, and
  3. #smstravel

Street Art (8): The Kos Bush Cars

First i didn’t notice it,

but when looking twice I spotted a car,

a vintage French Citroen

a Citroen Deux Cheveaux (or 2CV)

The second a vintage British

Pinin Farina designed Triumph Herald.

They are on the opposite sides of the street a 50 meters apart.

Recently I was touring the Greek Isle of Kos on a scooter and came by two shops in a little city outside the city Kos. I lost the name of the place, but am sure it will come back to me.
A wonderful combination of sustainably preserving vintage cabrio cars and guerrilla marketing.

This post is especially devoted to us, my wife and me, because a Ciroen 2CV (or Ugly Duck) was my first own car and the one we got married in and traveled in for our honeymoon and also devoted to a fellow TrendHunter who is “Unamused by the complexities of coaxing a 40 year old car through it’s MOT” while her car ( a Triumph Herald) is in far better state than this one, LOL.

Rotterdam City Welcomes Back SS Rotterdam

Monday August 4, 2008 the former Holland America Line (H.A.L.) Liner and later Cruise Ship “SS Rotterdam”, Dutch and Rotterdam Pride, was welcomed back in Rotterdam. There it will be berthed to serve as a Hotel, Congress Center, Theater, School and Museum, after extensive renovations. Currently the owner, a Rotterdam Social Building Society, has invested already Euro 175 Mio where they estimated it would cost Euro 25 Mio. It certainly meets some critique.

Technically it is not a Steam Ship, but a Steam Turbine driven Vessel. Anyway, it is not important anymore, because the motors don’t operate anymore. It was towed all the way from Wilhelmshaven in Germany where the major part of the renovation was done including an extensive asbestos cleaning.

Rotterdam City Welcomes Back SS Rotterdam 01

Under the welcoming consorting vessels was a spraying Rotterdam Port Authority vessel.

Rotterdam City Welcomes Back SS Rotterdam 02

Thousands of spectators on shore welcomed SS Rotterdam Back.


SS Rotterdam was launched in 1959 by then Queen Juliana. The wear and tear of 49 years of Ocean cruising is clearly visible here as the hull is reasonably dented.


Four red tugs of Kotug, a relatively small company owned by the Kooren family, proudly push and pull where necessary. It is remarkable that the Kooren Family succeeded to take over almost all towing in Rotterdam Harbor after a long struggle with Smit International. I still remember vividly when the first Kotug Tug arrived in Rotterdam years ago. They got an real grim escort from the whole fleet of Smit International. Grim, because the Smit tugs sailed so close to the new tug that it seemed as if they would like to sink the new competitor. Till then Smit International had the towing monopoly in almost all Dutch harbors and was a stock exchange quoted company with very deep pockets.


Those with an eye for ship design claim this is a vessel with a clear line as opposed to the boxes they create nowadays as Liners or Cruise ships.


The elegand funnels for the steam turbines are very characteristic for SS Rotterdam


I do like its silhouette!


Under the escorting vessels is the former motor yacht “Piet Hein”, currently owned by the Rotterdam Port Authority, but formerly owned by Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard. A super yacht in those days, but dwarfed here against the colossus of SS Rotterdam.


To the left of SS Rotterdam you see a very characteristic office building called “De Bolder” (ie “The Bollard”) serving as main office for the Mammoet company that lifts and transports whole offshore installations, factories and other heavy material over the seven seas. This is located in the city of Schiedam, located between Rotterdam and the North Sea. Schiedam is famous for its Dutch Genever distilleries.


A real Grand Old Lady with a properly curved backside.


On its way to its last Berth. I do appreciated they didn’t demolish or sink it.


I made these photos on board of the Rotterdam River Cruising Vessel “Tourmalijn”, that in a cooperation with AD ( A Rotterdam based News Paper) had provided a free welcome the SS Rotterdam tour of 2,5 hours for those who brought a coupon that was printed in the AD. I really appreciate this clever way of marketing a news paper and a river cruise company to the advantage of the citizens of Rotterdam and elsewhere with less to spend. I hadn’t read it off course, but had to pay only Euro 5.- Kudos for this social thinking of the two companies. There were more than 1200 people on board and it was like a good party as everybody enjoyed this trip tremendously!

See for more photo’s this Flickr Account of Nell a Dutch Photographer and Blogger of High Profile.

High Five (2): about Tagging your Photos, Word of Mouth and Twitterati

Travel Blog Carnival Venetian Logo
Old Logo for Happy Hotelier’s High Five
until I find a better one. Claude maybe?

I read many Blogs and share many posts in my news feed reader. You can find my scraps in the widget in my sidebar or at Happy Hotelier’s Shared Items.

I have dutifully reported about developments in the Travel Bloggers world, You can find those at my t-list category and some of it on my t-list page.

Travel Blog Carnivals

I have also dutifully reported about Travel Blog Carnivals. You can find these reports in my Travel Blog Carnival tag.

Thus far I was able to pinpoint the following Travel Blog related carnivals:

  • Darren Cronian of Travel Rants started a Travel Blog Carnival, stopped with it and after some nudging from me (hence he gave me the nickname “Ranting Hotelier” ) restarted it with Crazy Flight Attendants Booze Bans and the Future of KLM. From now on Darren will be the Happy Ranter for me 😛
  • Karen of Europe A La Carte Blog started one: Europe Travel Blog Carnival 5 May 2008 is her latest.
  • The Carnival of Cities is a carnival with city reviews.
  • Flyawaycafe”, a Carnival of Travelers Information

If you want to draw my attention to a post, please use the Contact Page or give me a message at Twitter

Happy Hotelier’s High Five.

I believe it is time to start my own variation on a Travel Blog Carnival and I have coined it: Happy Hotelier’s High Five, because:

A high five is a celebratory gesture made by two people, each raising one hand to slap the raised hand of the other — usually meant to communicate mutual satisfaction to spectators or to extend congratulations from one person to another. The arms are usually extended into the air to form the “high” part, and the five fingers of each hand meet, making the “five”, thus the name.(High Five on wikipedia)

I will not publish it on a scheduled date. I will publish it each time when I have found five persons or sites or posts that I deem worthy a High Five. It even will imply me echoing old news.

If you want to draw my attention to a post you may e-mail me at gje[at] or give me a message at Twitter

My High Five no 1 are for:

  1. Todd Lucier of Internet Marketing For Tourism for Upload Photos Correctly 10 Tips more Hits. Very important not only for “ordinary” (static) site owners, but also for Bloggers: If you name and tag your photos creatively, then your visibility gets a boost. This is also important because now I have Woopra for a week or three and see that more than 50 % of the referrals to Happy Hotelier are by image searches, rather than keyword searches.
  2. Set Godin who makes you think about word of mouth as he always make you think: Why Word of Mouth doesn’t Happen.
  3. Hjortur Smarason of Marketing Safari, because:
    1. He is the only one I know of thus far who Twittered just before and after his son was being born. Congrats! Maybe a first on Twitter?
    2. He is one of the first marketeers who really takes travel bloggers serious and who set up his client with a couple of bloggers going on a cruise with the intent of getting good coverage off course: A Great Opportunity for Travel Bloggers
    3. I was his first follower on twitter. He did two posts about his experience:
      • My First month at Twitter and what I have learnt, and
      • Are You A Twitterholic? Take the test!
  4. Elliot NG of Uptake for his support in setting up Twitter’s Tlist group that took off nicely, The T-List does Twitter, Join The Travel Twitterati! (Beta) and for his successful launch of Uptake’s Public Beta
  5. Problogger who summarizes 12 Traits of Successful Bloggers . I like foremost: Creative and Playful and Curiosity. What he tends to forget is that they have in common that they are great travelers as well, and therefore a good source for us Travel Bloggers.

Post Alia
OMG, I thought having invented a nice name for this category. Then, while writing and editing this, Loic Lemeur announces on Twitter he has become a member of Hi5…Darn i should have checked. This ruined my post… or maybe not:-)

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