What is the meaning of the various TripAdvisor Awards and Ratings?

Culture Discovery Vacations TripAdvisor Honors:

There is one quick question we surely need to answer before anything else. Why don't we have TripAdvisor honors for the years 2020 and 2021? Simply put, Covid caused us to reschedule all of our vacations scheduled between April of 2020 and September of 2021. TripAdvisor issues its honors each year based on activity in the first half of the year, so sadly we had no activity to be considered for 2020 and 2021.

That said, as of this writing, it is said that TripAdvisor has roughly 8.1 million business listings, and 730 million reviews. You surely see countless websites show off their Tripadvisor award badges, to the point that it is really hard to tell the difference anymore. I mean, a 5 star reviewed company is seen as better than a 4.5 star company, right? But what if you are comparing ten different 5 star companies? The best answer is not in sheer number of 5 star reviews, but actually in the general consistency and tone of the reviews. And TripAdvisor has a secret algorithm to weigh these out. But we mere mortals can get something of an idea.

Travelers' Choice Awards

Culture Discovery Vacations was not in a Category eligible for this award.

This is an award that was reserved for hotels until 2021. Before then, the most companies like ours would get was the "Certificate of Excellence". But now TripAdvisor awards these in several categories for travel products you can book directly through the TripAdvisor website. In other words, it is based only on things booked through TripAdvisor. For example, you can find the #1 Travelers' Choice Award for a monument in a specific country, but the average rating by all reviewers may only be four stars. This is a result of Tripadvisor's recent move into selling the experiences people review.

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Culture Discovery Vacations has received this award for 9 consecutive years.

Since 2011, TripAdvisor has awarded their "Certificate of Excellence" to any listed company that has maintained a 4-Star or better review average (with consistent reviews) over the previous year. Each year's award is based on the previous year's average. So if a company averaged 4 or better in 2018, they get the "2019 Certificate of Excellence." While this says that a company certainly has a good reputation, so many get it, that it can be hard to separate them. This is where the "TripAdvisor Hall of Fame" and a little math can come in handy. Read on.

TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

Culture Discovery Vacations received this honor.

In 2015, TripAdvisor gave out a very unique and special one-time award to companies that had consistently earned the Certificate of Excellence for the five consecutive years they had been offering it. Globally, 29,042 companies earned this. It may seem like many, but consider that at the time there were roughly 7,000,000 companies listed on TripAdvisor at the time. That means that only 0.004% of all companies worldwide received this coveted reward. Or perhaps, more easily put, 99.996% of the companies reviewed on TripAdvisor were not recipients of this honor. Culture Discovery Vacations is one of the very few to receive this honor, and consider that this includes all sorts of companies such as hotels, restaurants, landmarks, etc. We have no way of knowing how few tour companies actually received this.

Four More Years

TripAdvisor only issued the coveted Hall of Fame for consecutive years of excellence in 2015. However, Culture Discovery Vacations has now received the Certificate of Excellence for 9 consecutive years. We have no way of knowing how small the pool of companies that can say this are, but we are pretty happy with it!

Who Knows What 2020 Would have brought?

2020 and most of 2021 were all put on hold thanks to Covid-19, so we will never know if they would have done another "Hall of Fame," but we could not earn the Certificate of Excellence in a year we were unable to operate during a global pandemic. But we are quite certain it would have been no exception for us!