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Last week Vancouver took centre stage again with the 5th best reputation in the world, the only North American city to make the top ten, according to the 2015 City RepTrack® by the Reputation Institute.

People have a good feeling about Vancouver, but there are certainly areas for improvement, based on the survey combining emotional reputation such as trust and admiration with rational reputation such as public governance and infrastructure.

On the other hand, no Vancouver local restaurant made the list of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Canada. It appears no restaurant in Vancouver has the popular perception for an elite category such as “fine dining” on the traveler’s choice website. Arguably, most Vancouverites are just not into it these days!

Both sources above highlight a common theme:

Reputation creates perception.

How local hotels and restaurants manage their locations in the digital space creates their reputation and reality for businesses that cater to travelers. Review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor listen to social signals that rank public perception of local businesses. Having more five-star reviews on your business listing online, along with compelling stories of positive customer experience, influence public opinion. The results can sway a person’s decision one way or another, pitting one business against another, your business against your competitors.

Positive reviews are good for your business. Turning a negative review into a positive one is even better. But if you don’t have reviews, nor a reputation marketing platform to manage them, you are missing out. You can’t leverage your reputation or grow your business.

I love Vancouver, and feel infinitely blessed to live in this beautiful city. I’m constantly swayed to trust my choice of local businesses because of their reputation.

I have a good feeling my good friends and neighbours feel the same way, too.