Uh oh… this is where we get controversial: ain’t nobody gonna like us after this one.
So, in order to try to mitigate against the overreaction of one or two of you (among the millions we are about to insult), a little background on why Slovene Dream exists… even if it’s only for the next five minutes or so.
Our goal has always been to show you only the very best of Slovenia, and to this end we have personally sought out exactly that. And that’s all you need to know: we are experts and we care and we want to share our knowledge with you.
Oooookayyyy… here we go…
1. Trip Advisor
Because none of its management have any experience or qualifications in travel. OK – one of them used to work for Travelocity, but that hardly counts as in-depth knowledge within the management team.
2. Trip Advisor
Because (almost) none of its contributors have any experience or qualifications in the travel industry. Yup, that’s you.
3. Trip Advisor
Because you have no idea who the contributors are – education, social standing, whether they have any friends, do they give to charitable causes, are they kind to animals, do they wash their hands after a pee-pee – you know: the stuff you know about people you know (and not necessarily trust, but at least can judge).
4. Trip Advisor
Because one bad review by a total idiot can be seriously damaging to a thus far reputable hotel or restaurant.
5. Trip Advisor
Because the ascendancy of the unqualified many over the qualified few is what we used to call communism (isn’t it interesting that an uber-capitalist organisation should use the communist ethic to achieve its aims?).
6. Trip Advisor
Because it’s scary that a company that has no affiliation to the travel industry whatsoever should have such power within that industry.
7. Trip Advisor
Because a user’s likes and dislikes are aired in public before the hotel owner or manager has a chance to respond; without any direct feedback, they have no way of reacting positively to any issues, complaints, praise or suggestions.
8. Trip Advisor
Because they don’t use expert moderators and it is nigh on impossible to block a bad review by a competitor.
9. Trip Advisor
Because, with 280 million unique users per month, it’s here to stay and no eensy-weensy little business like ours can ever hope to convince their customers (or their hoteliers who get good reviews) to ignore it.
10. Trip Advisor
Because you are being conned into thinking that you are a contributing Voice of the People… so if you have contributed something to Trip Advisor, you have also been recruited as being its staunchest defender.
How dare we… ?
For us this is an easy dare, which can be explained by our feedback policy.
First, you have to understand that, as we profess to represent only the best, it is in our interest to ensure that not only do we represent them, but that we support the best.
When our customers return from their holiday, we ask them for feedback – at the same time pointing out that we will publish their positive feedback only when any negative issues have been dealt with… to everybody’s satisfaction.
On receiving a feedback form, we then ask the hotel to address any issues that are of concern to both us and our guest. As and when those issues are dealt with, we publish the positive part of the review.
If, on the other hand, an establishment often attracts negative comments about the same issue(s), while obviously not doing a damn thing about them… we drop them.
This way, everybody wins:
- The customer gets to air their grievances and get something done about them.
- The hotel gets to deal with issues as and when they are notified, thus helping them improve.
- Slovene Dream gets to hone its hotel portfolio, ensuring we can always stand by our product.
Better than the bun-fight induced by Trip Advisor, we think.
Sure, if you want to check on anything factual – beach opening times, number of bears or beers per kilometre, or whether the bacon is kosher – please use Trip Advisor. And you should of course use them if you want uninformed, unverifiable opinion by a complete stranger.
Otherwise, either seek expert advice from people who can prove they know what they’re talking about, or from someone you know and trust.