Everything you want to know about TopHotels
The question of hotels reviews is getting more and more essential for hoteliers. Ratings on resources like TripAdvisor are considered by hoteliers as important marketing tool. And while most of international travellers leave feedback mostly on TripAdvisor and HolidayCheck, Russian tourists prefer to use https://tophotels.ru/en/. This resource allows hoteliers not only to to place description of their hotel, photos and videos, but also to use some advertisement options. Some of the services are free. In order to give more information about all features of the most popular review resource on the Russian market, we interviewed Svetlana Yurasova, Head of Sales and Business Development of TopHotels.
RTD: Svetlana, first of all tell us at least 3-5 reasons why hoteliers shall use your platform
TopHotels: TopHotels.ru is the most popular Russian travel website & the biggest online hotel catalogue in the Russian language. Numbers can prove our leading position at the Russian & CIS market. TopHotels always appears in TOP results of the search engines as Yandex, Google.ru. It's 100% organic search (we don't pay for being on the TOP) which means that Russian audience in general starts search for a hotel from our project.
TopHotels is not only a source of information for travellers, but it's also a sales tool for all Russian-speaking travel agents and TOs which use our database of accommodation, ratings and reviews while selling package tours to the tourists. Thousands of travel agents use our content and even display it on their official websites.
So it looks very important for hoteliers to have a listing of their property on our website, and to keep it updated and correct. All hotels in our database have a free listing - we display basic hotel description, info about rooms, infrastructure, photos and all hotel contacts. Each hotelier can apply for a free access to extranet account for updating basic content on its hotel page.
Using TopHotels marketing tools hoteliers can drive more reviews, website traffic & bookings.
RTD: Nothing is more trustful and informative as numbers. Give some statistics of your web site
TopHotels: Please see the statistics which we consider as good one. We have more than 307 500 hotels in our database with more than 2 million professional photos, placed by hoteliers. There are more than 1,5 million reviews written about hotels on TopHotels and more than 4,3 million photos placed by tourists. As you know, tourists and travel agents can register on our resource to have access to more features. Recently we have 10 000 registered travel agents and 1,5 million registered travellers.
TopHotels.ru has more than 500 000 visitors every day, which is more than 7 million visitors per month, and more than 70 million visitors per year.
RTD: Who are your competitors on the market?
TopHotels: There are a lot of travel projects and review websites in the Russian Internet but actually we cannot consider them as our competitors because no one has such popularity as TopHotels.
Being 17 years at the market we get used that hoteliers usually call us “Russian TripAdvisor” and to be honest we even like such comparison to the world known project which operates globally and covers millions of travellers. Our main difference is that TopHotels is focused on the Russian speaking audience (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan etc).
RTD: As we know, you have changed pricing policy this year. What are the new options?
TopHotels: In 2019 we launched a lot of new marketing options and changed our tariffs making them more affordable for the hoteliers. In general we became more flexible in pricing policy. We developed 2 main packages of business listing. Each of them includes basic option - access to PRO account (extranet) where hoteliers can manage page content, share special offers and hotel news, reply on guests’ questions and reviews, get access to statistics reports etc. Now hoteliers also have an opportunity to change services within tariff plans and mix options to create their own marketing package.
RTD: What are the new marketing tools you offer this year?
TopHotels: Among our new tools I would especially name the following:
- new banner places
- publishing articles & expert reviews about the hotels
- page branding with a colourful background
- new design of the hotel profile & option of including more links to the hotel brand website from TopHotels project
- sponsorship in contests & giveaways
- webinars & online exhibitions
RTD: Could you give us an example of effective campaign on your web site and average cost
TopHotels: Efficiency of the TopHotels campaign depends on many factors and mostly on hotelier’s marketing goals concerning the Russian market. For example, newly opened hotels need more advertising for increasing exposure online and covering both b2c and b2b audience. In this case costs of the campaign depends on the hotel’s budget. Average cost of recommended activities is around 5000 EUR per hotel per year. For Russian-friendly hotels which are already well known at the market it would be enough to get access to PRO account for interacting with TopHotels visitors and to use banner option to boost traffic to official hotel website. Average cost is around 2 000 — 3 000 euros per year. Also we use an individual approach to small hotels with limited budget and opened only during short season period. As a rule we negotiate the conditions of collaboration with each hotel individually and suggest the options which could give more benefits.
RTD: How do you estimate the effectiveness of campaign on TopHotels?
TopHotels: Being the informational website and at the same time metasearch engine, TopHotels cannot count the number of bookings made thanks to hotelier’s advertising activities, since we don’t know how travellers prefer to book their vacation, but we can evaluate another statistics and data: page attendance, dynamics of review score and rankings, number of new guests’ feedback/questions/requests left on the hotel page, banner impressions and traffic sent to the hotel website from our platform.
RTD: If the budget of the hotelier is limited, which option you suggest to use for sure?
TopHotels: In this case we recommend to get a full access to extranet - PRO Account: to complete the hotel profile at 100%, and to have possibility to reply all guests’ reviews and questions.
RTD: Ok, let us pretend hoteliers are convinced in need of cooperation with TopHotels. How to start working with you?
TopHotels: It’s easy! Hotel representative should register on TopHotels.ru as a Hotelier, and we will provide him with a free access to PRO account. In free subscription it will be possible to upload/ edit basic hotel info, photos, contacts. If hotel doesn’t have a profile on TopHotels - we advise its Management to send us a request asking to create a free hotel listing, and after that to proceed with the registration.
For newly opened hotels we also suggest a free listing of press-releases on TopHotels’ homepage in the special section New Hotels. To be included there, hotelier should send us materials about the new property in Russian language, photos and link to the official website.