New research has revealed the huge sway online reviews have on travellers.
Tripadvisor has conducted a global study in partnership with Ipsos MORI, polling 23,000 Tripadvisor users across 12 markets on the use of online reviews and their role when booking hotels, restaurants and experiences.
The study found that traveller reviews remain a go-to source of information, with 72 per cent of respondents always or frequently reading reviews before making a decision on places to stay and eat, or things to do. The figure is even higher when it comes to accommodation bookings, with four out of five participating travellers (81 per cent) always or frequently reading reviews before booking a place to stay.
Nearly 8 out of 10 TripAdvisor users (79 per cent) are more likely to book a hotel with a higher bubble rating when choosing between two otherwise identical properties, and over half (52 per cent) agree that they would never book a hotel with no reviews.
Four out of five respondents agreed that reading online reviews makes them more confident in their booking decisions, and 85 per cent said what they read on Tripadvisor accurately reflected their experience.
The most important thing respondents said they look for when reading reviews is recent content with 78 per cent focusing on most recent reviews, and they tend to ignore extream comments (39 per cent) favouring reading multiple reviews to get an overall sense of peoples opinion (55 per cent). On average, users read nine reviews before making a decision.
The research also found that more reviewers are motivated by sharing positive experiences than negative, with 87 per cent saying their motivation for reviewing was to share good experiences with fellow travellers.
“These findings show how important travellers find real perspectives from real people when they are planning their trips,” said Becky Foley, sr. director, trust and safety at TripAdvisor.
“While there are thousands of places to get travel information online, people keep coming back to TripAdvisor because they are guided by the reviews and can confidently plan the trip that’s right for them.”