Since we started running our tours as City Lights Tour company, we have been committed, all the time, to offer high-quality service. We were a very small company, made by two people. Slowly we grew and now we have a lot of guides and tours running around Italy. Our main goal was clients’ satisfaction as without clients we wouldn’t exist.
One of our main windows to the world was Tripadvisor.
We have always encouraged our costumers to leave us an honest review as, especially at the beginning, every comment can help the newly born business: the good ones gave us huge motivation to work harder and in case of the bad ones we could have noticed where we needed to intervene and improve our service.
However, sometimes we were discouraged by some listings, new as ours, growing ten times faster than ours, even if we didn’t have an explanation of how that could happen. Later, we understood how that can actually happen.
Last week, the Italian court has faced the first legal case of this kind: a company has been condemned to a fine and its legal representative to 9 months prison for selling packages of false reviews on Tripadvisor. The packages could have been bought in order to increase companies’ visibility and rating on Tripadvisor and consequently also on the web in general.
The community of Tripadvisor should be honest, free community of costumers who share their experience for the good of all of us: service providers and users. If the review is honest, negative or positive, it will still, probably, produce some long terms effects as said before. However there are always people who are never happy or whose expectations were completely wrong and the review can damage or in a better case, make us laugh. (for example: “it’s a great beach, just too sandy”).
We at City Lights were always committed to provide high standards of quality tours and that’s why we can proudly say that we, for the fourth year in row, are winners of the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. We also need to say a big “thank you” to all our costumers – Tripadvisor users who took some time and left a review on our Tripadvisor listing.
We are grateful to all of those who are putting the effort to preserve Tripadvisor as useful tool and to keep it a “clean” and trustworthy community. Whether you like it or not, Tripadvisor will affect your business and only if you’re not engaged in offering good quality service, you should be afraid of it.
In our case what people usually complain about is that the Vatican Museums are crowded or that the Colosseum is “just an old building”… Maybe we should warn our clients that the Vatican Museums are the third most visited place in the World and the Colosseum was built only about 2000 years ago.
HOT AND BOTHERED IN CENTRAL AMERICA
“You said the town was next to a volcano, but we went and there was no lava. I’m pretty sure it was just a mountain.”
NEW YORK’S NO ZOOTOPIA
“The animals at the zoo looked very sad and it made our children cry. Can’t they train them to smile?”
LOST IN SPAIN
“The street signs weren’t in English. I don’t understand how anyone can get around.”
NAAN TOO PLEASED IN INDIA
“I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry and I don’t like spicy food at all.”
SIGHT-SEETHING IN KENYA
“The elephants we saw on our honeymoon were visibly aroused which made my wife upset and made me feel inadequate.”
DOUBLE TROUBLE IN FRANCE
“My boyfriend and I asked for single beds in our room and you gave us a double. Now I am pregnant.”
FEELING SECOND BREAST IN SPAIN
“Women were sunbathing topless on the beach and my husband spent all day looking at them.”
IN DEEP WATER IN ITALY
“No one told us there would be fish in the sea — the children were surprised and upset.”
TAKEN FOR A RIDE IN TURKEY
“There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re afraid of heights.”
IT GOT OUT OF SAND IN THAILAND
“The beach was so sandy that sand got into my clothes and was hard to wash off my skin.”
TIME MACHINE IN CARIBBEAN
“It took nine hours for our flight to get from the UK to Antigua but the Americans at our resort said it took them just three.”
OFF COLOUR IN MALDIVES
“The sand was much too white and not yellow like it is shown in your brochure.”
DOOM AND ROOM IN PORTUGAL
“Our one-bedroom apartment was much smaller than the two-bedroom one next door.”
TAKING THE BISCUIT IN BULGARIA
“The local store sold hardly any British food and did not stock my favourite brand of biscuits.”
LOST IN TRANSLATION EN ESPANA
“There were way too many foreigners and everyone spoke Spanish.”
KENYA TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
“We bought designer sunglasses from the market and later found out they were fake.”
“We could not enjoy the tour as our guide was too ugly.”
GIVING IT LARGE IN SPAIN
“The beach had too many fat people. It was gross.”
Whether you like it or not, imagine to find yourself doubtful whether joining an experience, a tour or eat in a restaurant: Tripadvisor can help you to make the right choice. Would you eat in a restaurant that has mostly negative reviews or would you join a tour organized by a company which clients have been complaining about bad guides and poor quality standards?
And this is not all: Tripadvisor is becoming more “social” that it has been so far. By the end of the year, this powerful tool will give you the opportunity to read opinions from different points of view. Users will be able to learn all about a certain place from locals, influencers, food critiques and main brands like Smarter Travel, Cruise Critic, TheFork, National Geographic, GoPro. Also, you’ll be able to connect with your friends, to see what they’ve liked in a certain location, to read their reviews and you’ll be also notified on your smartphone if you’re near a place your friends already visited. So, your Tripadvisor will become your personal Tripadvisor feed with which you can see a lot and share more!
We think that everybody should participate to this community and make it a better place.