Most travellers check TripAdvisor reviews before bookingPosted: February 17, 2014
More than three quarters of travellers check TripAdvisor reviews before booking a hotel, a new study has found.
An independent poll of 12,000 global travellers found that 77% of respondents usually or always check the travel review site prior to booking, while 50% use it for restaurants and 44% for attractions.
The study, which was conducted by PhoCusWright on behalf of TripAdvisor, found that 80% of respondents read at least six-12 reviews before making their decision, and find more recent reviews the most relevant. When researching restaurants or local attractions on TripAdvisor, one in five (20%) travellers read more than 11 reviews before making a decision.
“There is no denying that reviews are a powerful and significant part of the travel planning experience,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “The results of this study… reinforce the idea that we are becoming more social as travellers and demonstrate the essential nature of reviews to hospitality businesses. Not only are travellers referencing reviews before they book, they are clearly more highly engaged by businesses that respond to reviews.”
Management responses are also becoming increasingly important, the report noted. An overwhelming 87% of users agreed that a good management response to a bad review improved their impression of the hotel, while 70% said that an aggressive or defensive management response made them less likely to book that property.
Imagery is also important, with 73% of respondents stating that user photos help them make a decision.
By region, 24% of respondents in the Asia Pacific read reviews about 11 or more different hotels before making a booking – considerably higher than the 13% global average. TripAdvisor users in India are most likely to avoid booking hotels with no reviews, while Italians are the most likely to read restaurant reviews. Russia and Japan were the only two markets where respondents prefer to read multiple pages of reviews.
“Globally, travellers want to see pictures, they like to book properties that have a lot of accolades, and they like to read the most recent reviews to get a fresh perspective of the hotel, restaurant or attraction,” continued Messing. “The results underpin the need for business owners to not only monitor their online reputation, but to engage as much as possible with their past and potential customers. The benefits are clear – the more engaged the property, the more likely travellers are to book.”
Sourced by Travel Daily UK