The Best of Queensland Experiences program is a best practice initiative that responds to changing consumer expectations. Tourism and Events Queensland will continue to review each criteria on an ongoing basis and adjust where required to ensure we are truly identifying those ‘Best of Queensland’ experiences. Changes and updates to criteria will be shared below and in TEQ's industry newsletter, Eye on Q.

Changes to how Facebook reviews contribute to operator assessments

TEQ engages ReviewPro to track operator's online customer reviews and assess the criteria Delivery of an exceptional experience based on positive customer reviews. To assess this criteria, ReviewPro collate operator's online reviews from over 175 global review platforms, such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Facebook and Google, and uses the combined consumer star/bubble ratings to provide a Global Review Index (GRI) score out of 100.  

In September 2018, Facebook made important changes to its user review system. Facebook users can no longer give ratings of businesses alongside their review; now they can only recommend businesses. Furthermore, reviews and recommendations are only viewable to users after they log into their Facebook profile. 

This change means that, with no Facebook star/bubble ratings for ReviewPro to capture, from 1st September 2018 onwards, Facebook review ratings will no longer contribute to the ReviewPro GRI calculations. Comments that accompany Facebook recommendations will continue to contribute to the ReviewPro Summary informatoin, including Customer Review Word Cloud, Review Sources etc. 

This change came into effect on 1st September 2018. Any Facebook reviews that were tracked previously by ReviewPro will continue to be calculated in historic ReviewPro GRI scores, however they will no longer impact operator's score from September 2018 onwards. Read more about changes to Facebook's review system.

The Facebook platform and Facebook recommendations are still an important part of influencing the consumer experience and consumer travel decisions. Operators should continue to encourage visitors to leave reviews across all relevant online review platforms, including Facebook.

This criteria is based on the ReviewPro GRI™ score. A minimum ReviewPro GRI™ benchmark of 80 must be achieved in order for operators to meet this criteria. The current benchmark of 80 aligns with ReviewPro’s definition of a positive review score.  

During the first interim assessment of Best of Queensland Experiences program in March 2018, the average ReviewPro GRI™ score for Queensland experiences was 88.72.  

Regardless of the criteria benchmark, TEQ’s aim is for all tourism operators within Queensland to continuously strive to improve their ReviewPro GRI score, to ensure they deliver an exceptional experience for consumers.  

The ReviewPro GRI™ benchmark will remain at 80 for the 2019 assessment.  

TEQ has made the decision not to increase the ReviewPro GRI™ benchmark for the 2019 assessment, however, we have a long term aspirational goal for all operators within Queensland to receive a ReviewPro GRI™ above 90. 

Important: All operators who are identified as a Best of Queensland Experience will receive priority across TEQ's marketing activity. Within the identified Best of Queensland Experiences, TEQ will further prioritise operators based on the ReviewPro GRI score, those who are truly delivering the best experiences according to consumers. The higher the ReviewPro GRI™ score, the higher the operator will be preferenced across TEQ’s marketing activity.

After consultation with industry it was identified during the first interim assessment that there were a group of operators who were disadvantaged by the current criteria.  

Research shows that consumers have an expectation to be able to instantly book tourism experiences online. If your business accepts bookings in advance, it is best practice to offer a secure online booking platform through which consumers can book your experience. However, some operators including, but not limited to, galleries, museums, shopping centres, cafes, wineries and breweries may not accept advance bookings at all as part of their business model (whether this be online, via telephone or email). Consumers also typically do not have an expectation to be able to book these experiences in advance.

Operators who do not accept advance bookings as part of their business model may apply to be excluded from the Online Booking criteria. 

The reviewed weighting for operators who do not accept bookings in advance will be:  

Criteria   Points 
Consistent delivery of an exceptional experience  75
Active and engaging Social Media presence  15
Regional Tourism Organisation membership 5
Accreditation 5
Total  100

Important: To be excluded from the online Booking criteria from January 2019, you must complete this short form before 1st November 2018. TEQ will then review your request and confirm you exclusion from the Online Booking criteria. 

In January 2018, Facebook announced a major change to the algorithm used to determine how it ranks posts in users’ newsfeeds, with the objective of improving the well-being of its users. Posts by people and users’ friends and family, rather than posts by business pages, will have a greater reach and be treated with higher priority in users’ newsfeeds. This may impact the ability for business pages to reach their audiences and achieve the required social media benchmarks. 

Currently, this criteria requires an operator to achieve two out of three benchmarks across the key metrics of: average number of posts, consistency of posts and engagement, across either Facebook or Instagram.  

Together with our partner, Digital Coaching International, TEQ has examined the operator social media performance both before and after Facebook implemented the algorithm changes to understand the impact on each social media benchmark. The results showed that after the announcement of the algorithm change in January, there have been limited impacts for Queensland Tourism businesses.  

The current social media benchmarks will remain unchanged for the January 2019 assessment. 

TEQ will continue to work with industry experts to evaluate the business implications of algorithm changes to both Facebook and Instagram channels, and review the criteria accordingly.

For further information please contact your TEQ Destination representative.