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Why traveler ratings and reviews matter more during COVID-19

Sep 23, 2020

By Ian Knox, VP, Product & Marketing, EPS

As lockdown measures slowly ease for some, we are carefully starting to venture out and make decisions about travel. Before doing so, we’re looking at what measures are in place to keep us safe in this new COVID-19 world. Maybe you’re wondering whether there is adequate spacing between visitors, whether the staff wear masks, or if hand sanitizer is readily available. Understanding what your experience might look like helps you determine whether or not you want to book, especially when it comes to travel. 

Travelers are looking for information to alleviate their concerns 

Online ratings and reviews have more authority than ever before as today’s travelers are increasingly turning to social proof to inform their decisions.

In "A new view on leisure travel in the time of COVID-19" [1], Expedia Group Media Solutions surveyed travelers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Europe, to find out what drove their travel decisions. 9 out of 10 respondents wanted to see information on health and hygiene before making their reservation, highlighting how important these factors are in the decision-making process.

Up-to-date guest feedback can drive future bookings 

When satisfied guests share their feedback on how a hotel has implemented measures to protect guests, it gives confidence to those hovering over the ‘book’ button.

Recent Expedia Group research found that travelers are more influenced by guest ratings than by the hotel brand when it comes to choosing where to stay [2].

The same applies to reviews that give travelers an in-depth insight into the previous guest’s experience. In a recent study by Rezdy [3], 95% of travelers read reviews before booking a trip, demonstrating how influential user-generated content can be to a potential booker.

Helping your travelers find their perfect trip 

In times of uncertainty, peer-to-peer endorsements are guiding our consideration and shopping behavior. In response to this, Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS) has now added millions of user-generated ratings and reviews to the API, EPS Rapid. For the first time, your travelers can access over 58 million reviews and more than 75 million traveler ratings from across Expedia Group, all in one place.

Your travelers will find comfort in reading what to expect from the property they are interested in. In the example above, a recent guest mentions the property’s “COVID 19 safety” and another guest writes about the “Great COVID-19 measures in place.” These comments help boost the next traveler’s confidence levels. Over 1.7 million reviews have been added since March, helping to convert concerned shoppers into travelers ready to take their trip.

Nobody knows for sure when travel demand will bounce back, but we’re beginning to see green shoots of recovery. For example, recent research from Expedia Group shows that travelers are choosing short-distance trips, with 2 out of 3 guests traveling under 1000 miles [4]. Regardless of their travel preferences, your travelers need the reassurance of knowing what to expect.

When you’re connected to EPS Rapid, your travelers get access to millions of Expedia Group ratings and reviews. By doing so, not only do your travelers get the assurance they need to book, but you also improve your chances of recapturing demand as it comes back.

For more information on the latest version of EPS Rapid visit: 

Expedia Partner Solutions – EPS Rapid API


Ian Knox is the Vice President of Product and Marketing for Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS), the B2B partnership brand of Expedia Group. Ian has a 20-year track-record of successfully growing technology businesses by building differentiated and compelling products, both for emerging and Fortune 500 companies.


[1] Expedia Group Media Solutions, July 2020

[2] Expedia Group internal data, Aug 2020

[3] Tint Up, Aug 2020

[4] Expedia Group internal data, Aug 2020