TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of an independent study1 that underscores how essential online traveler reviews have become for hotel bookings. The commissioned report, conducted by PhoCusWright® on behalf of TripAdvisor, reveals more than half (53 percent) of respondents state that they will not book a hotel that does not have any reviews on the site, and 87 percent of users agree that TripAdvisor hotel reviews "help me feel more confident in my decisions."
Of those polled, 98 percent of respondents have found TripAdvisor hotel reviews to be accurate of the actual experience, and 95 percent of users state that they would recommend TripAdvisor hotel reviews to others.
The survey also reveals some interesting findings about why travelers write reviews, how they use them when planning a trip and the impact management responses have on their perceptions of properties.
Travelers Stay Positive
The survey debunks a common misconception that travelers primarily write reviews to complain about bad guest experiences. In fact, sharing positive experiences is their main motivation:
74% state that they write reviews because they want to share a good experience with other travelers
78% state that they write reviews because they feel good about sharing useful information with other travelers
Most Ignore Extreme Comments
According to the survey, travelers are a savvy and discerning bunch, as they take reviewers' track records into account when picking a hotel and generally ignore extreme comments:
71% of users state that they like to see basic information (i.e., number of reviews written) about contributors as they browse through reviews
67% of users state that, when available, they look at traveler-submitted photos to help them make hotel choices
59% of users state that when reading reviews, they ignore extreme comments
Only 5% of users state that they focus more on negative reviews to check for hotels and avoid potential pitfalls
Responsive Hotels Attract More Business
The survey finds that travelers expect hotel management to be actively responding to their reviews, and those who do stand to generate more business:
57% of users agree that seeing hotel management responses to reviews generally "makes me more likely to book it (versus a comparable hotel that didn't respond to travelers)"
84% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review "improves my impression of the hotel"
78% of users agree that seeing a hotel management response to reviews "makes me believe that it cares more about its guests"
64% of users agree that an aggressive/defensive management response to a bad review "makes me less likely to book that hotel"
"The findings of the TripAdvisor survey reveal that, to thrive, hoteliers must actively encourage their guests to share their candid experiences online and also respond to their reviews when they do," said Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO, TripAdvisor. "Otherwise, more than half of travelers may either ignore the property or pick a more responsive one."
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site,* enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 60 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 75 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, July 2012
**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, July 2012
1 According to a September 2012 PhoCusWright survey commissioned by TripAdvisor of 2,739 respondents. Participants for the study were solicited at random through a pop-up invitation link on TripAdvisor.com.