Tourism businesses from around the country will compete in the prestigious Gulliver Ireland National Tourism Accommodation Awards, which were launched today (Thursday, 18th March 2010) by Gulliver Ireland.
Customers of Gulliver accommodation properties are invited to submit a review of a property they have stayed in from St Patrick’s Day, 17th March through to 30th September 2010. All reviews will be assessed by the judging panel, which will select winners based on their overall customer feedback. The winners will be announced in December 2010.
Now in their sixth year, there are four award categories in each of the seven tourism regions. An award is made to each region’s best hotel, guesthouse, B&B and self-catering property. The overall winner is selected from the regional award winners. A separate award is presented to the property with the best listing on GoIreland.com, Gulliver's flagship website.
By focusing the criteria on the customer experience, Gulliver Ireland said that the Awards will emphasise to tourism businesses the importance of the dictum that the customer is king. Properties are encouraged to monitor their reviews, respond to customer feedback and ensure that the description and image of the property as well as other local information are up-to-date.
The company also stressed that negative reviews should be used as constructive criticism that can help deliver improvements when addressed. It also suggested that property owners should track reviews of other properties in their region to assess their competitive performance and seek inspiration for enhancing their customer offering.
Speaking at today’s launch, Dr Stewart Stephens, Managing Director of Gulliver Ireland, said, “User generated content and property reviews are now a vital part of planning and booking holidays. Engaging with and managing this conversation with customers is an essential skill for all tourism enterprises. This year’s Awards presents tourism accommodation providers with a six month window to generate invaluable customer feedback, which will both promote their property and improve the tourist experience offered by the property.
“The tourist experience begins and ends with the customer and the better the ability of accommodation providers to engage meaningfully with their customers, the better the return for their business. Customer’s reviews are word-of-mouth advertising and online customers are increasingly reading reviews before making a booking. All tourism accommodation providers should use the Awards as a framework for improving their customer relations and their businesses will benefit as a result,” he added.
For further information, please contact:
Lisa Fitzpatrick, Marketing & Affiliate Manager, Gulliver Ireland
Telephone: (066) 9792112
Email Lisa Fitzpatrick
Barry Ahern, Business Management Communications
Telephone: (01) 4830832/ (087) 6683574
Email Barry Ahern