App ‘decides destiny’

RATE US: Wagga Boat Club function manager Anna Bolton wants Wagga people to give the club’s restaurant its first TripAdvisor rating. Picture: Laura Hardwick IT’S the app that can “make or break” a business at the touch of a fingertip.
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And doesn’t TripAdvisor’s top Wagga hotel and last-ranking eatery know the feeling.

But all is not as it seems at Wagga Boat Club’sWater’s Edge restaurant –which is last by default –only because they’ve never received a rating.

“We’d love to receive a review, we would welcome that,” secretary-manager Jill Carnegie said.

“TripAdvisor is such a common thing in today’s internet-savvy world.

“We’ve got one of the most unique places in Wagga, we are the only restaurant that overlooksLake Albert, but not many people know we’re here.”

The problem for Water’s Edge is that it sits on the last pageof TripAdvisor’s Waggawebsite, meaning tourists who use it are unlikely to visit.

It’s a characteristic of TripAdvisorthat drew criticism as the app’s popularity took off. Tourism operators have also taken aim at the possibility for their competition to leave falsereviews, dragging down the rating, and “one review wonders” who only sign up to deliver bad news.

But Best Western Charles Sturt Suites and Apartments general manager Jamie Pascoe –who holds Wagga’s coveted top hotel ranking –said he never underestimated the ability of users to filter out falsefeedback.

“You can tell whether someone is genuine or not depending on how frequent their reviews are.If someone has just one review, it’s usually a sign,” he said.

“TripAdvisor are also very good themselves at deciding whether bad reviews are an accurate reflection or not.”

Mr Pascoe said the top spot was hotly contested among the city’s hoteliers.

“There are statistics that show if you’re up the top, you’re going to draw in more visitors,” he said. “It can make or break.”

Council’s manager of economic development and the visitor economy, Richie Robinson, said TripAdvisor was a “no-brainer” for modern visitation.

“Unfortunately, there’s not as many operators on TripAdvisor as we would like, which is why we’re so keen to spread awareness and encourage them to take the leap,” he said.

“Part of the reason why could be a bit of conservatism and that fear ofnegative feedback, but there’s plenty of opportunity toturn it into a positive and use it as constructive criticism.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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