User generated content covers a wide range of applications, including problem processing, news, gossip, reviews and research that are accessible to the general public.

Tourism operators should monitor, manage and grow their online reviews.

TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com) is the most popular online review site in the world and a basic listing is free.

Managing customer reviews is imperative in order not only to improve, but also to lift, your business’ reputation. If you turn a blind eye, you risk losing business.

The implication for you as a tourism operator is that all this user-generated content is being indexed by search engines. Consequently, people searching for you online have a very large chance of finding these reviews as well. Staying passive is therefore not an option. The only solution is to embrace this user-generated content and turn it to your advantage.