Jun 20, 12 | 12:07 am
By Ian Taylor
User reviews on travel sites can "dramatically increase" booking rates, and soliciting reviews can increase the number and rate of good reviews.
That is the view of Andy Phillipps, chairman of review site Reevoo and founder of accommodation site booking.com.
Phillipps told the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) conference in Barbados: "The more review content you have the better the conversion rate."
However, Conrad Advertising media and planning director Nick Henley said: "Reviews are deal breakers rather than deal makers.
"Reviews are rarely the medium that creates the interest [in a holiday or destination]. Travel reviews can be over-credited with creating conversion when they don't monitor conversion."
Phillipps argued: "Review content can dramatically increase sales, and being proactive nearly always brings benefits."
He reported a survey which suggested 88% read online reviews before booking, and argued: "The likelihood of purchasing [a hotel room] is three times higher among those who look at reviews."
Phillipps added: "There are nearly always better scores [on conversion] when [hotels] ask for feedback.
Source: Travolution. To read more about "Reviews 'Raise Booking Rates' Says Reevoo; 'Not true' Says Ad Agency"