‘Reviews are the biggest influencer in the decision process when booking.’

We are getting things back to a normal flow once again here in Costa Rica. The travel market is picking up, and tourist traffic is once again back on the road. The real estate market is also, by all reports, very strong. It’s about time!


Along with the upswing is the number of real estate purchases happening throughout Costa Rica. I have noticed a big increase in searches on my website for information about moving to Costa Rica, and also, what area is best suited to the dreams of these people looking for a move.


We have missed the travelers for many months. Our recent traffic increase is from the tourists who drive the economy of Costa Rica. We have all survived in some fashion over this time period, and it has been a true hardship for all on different levels.


As we welcome the excited travelers to our shores and mountains, our arms should be outstretched and welcoming. These people have been in shutdown mode, just like we have been for more than a year. They are the lifeblood that we need to get our regions back to a healthy economy. Each of these tourists has specific objectives and expectations for a wonderful trip to a place that many refer to as paradise.


Restaurants are open, and retail stores are finally getting people in their doors. Hotels, rental condos and houses are being filled up with tourists who want a special experience.


The extra mile given to make their experience special will fuel these tourists to encourage a new flow of first-time visitors to experience Costa Rica.


Reviews. How important are customer reviews for businesses? Did you know that 72% of the traveling public use reviews to make the informed decision of where to go, where to stay and what restaurants and activities are great to experience? And importantly, reviews have an influence on who will receive their hard-earned money. 


With accommodations being one of the biggest travel expenses, the use of reviews for booking lodging is even more widely used. Finding out the location of prospective lodgings and nearby amenities is the first step. Determining if it is up to your required standards and how well the property managers handle the needs of clients is a big part of the research.


The online review is a trusted source of information. According to some of the main booking sites, “Reviews are the biggest influencer in the decision process when booking.”


Generally, consumers read the top reviews, then go to the bottom reviews, if there are any, and read negative feedback. Flowery reviews are nice to read and give confidence in your choices. However, negative reviews really are the most important to look at. Reading through the reviews it is easy to detect if problems were due to something that was not controllable or a matter of poor customer service. 

Most important of all is the way customer service representatives respond to negative reviews. Was the problem acknowledged and addressed? Or were the reviewers bashed for giving a low review? In my opinion, the response and handling of issues are pivotal to future business. 


It is easy to say, “Oh, we can’t satisfy them” or “they are crazy.” But the attempt to make things right is what makes you stand out and is vitally important. When customers are mistreated, they tell more people in personal conversations than the number of viewers that online review will reach. And it will go on for years.


Tourism directly accounts for 8.2% of Costa Rica’s GDP. The Institute of Costa Rican Tourism (ICT) has advertising campaigns to draw people to Costa Rica. The best foot forward will assure that once travelers arrive and see this country’s natural wonders, while experiencing a fantastic time, they will be going back to their home shores and telling everyone. 


Remember that you get a hundredfold in return for what you put out. Costa Rica needs to remain at the forefront of the happiest places on earth. We who live and work here play a big part in maintaining this image to the outside world.

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