Wotif.com To get Social, Flight Centre Just Has…

Australia’s most popular accommodation wesbite, Wotif.com has revealed it will be adding the capacity for customers to post user reviews. “We hope to have it soon,”said Matthew Varley, Executive General Manager – Asia, Wotif Group, at the Web In Travel conference in Singapore. Online user reviews have proved incredibly popular – witness the success of TripAdvisor – and are integral to many of the world’s most popular online travel agents.

Meanwhile, Flight Centre has bought 80% of UK-based website Gapyear.com, which provides information, products and a social networking platform for young travellers. The balance will be held by Tom Griffiths, who founded the site in 1998. Flight Centre has said it aims to grow the business and introduce the model to new markets.

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One thought on “Wotif.com To get Social, Flight Centre Just Has…”

  1. Online reviews of accommodation are definitely popular these days, as shown by TripAdvisor. As well as trying to find some good places to stay based on previous travellers’ experiences, I think we all have a fascination with reading some of the very graphic horror reports that some establishments get from disgruntled guests! However, Wotif does have to tread a very fine line when it comes to allowing reviews. The owners of the properties it sells rooms for may become quickly alienated if Wotif is publishing a stream of bad reviews as it may persuade guests to stay elsewhere and tarnish their reputation. If property owners are able to force the removal of those bad reviews, then there goes the objectivity and honesty behind them. TripAdvisor is a little different because typically the accommodation property has no affiliation with TripAdvisor, so there’s no feeling of a conflict of interest. Whereas with Wotif, an accommodation provider could say “hey, you’re getting all these commissions/booking fees from my bookings and then you’re publishing bad reviews of my accommodation”.

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