Market Research Sees Online Customer Reviews Valued Highly by Travellers

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6th March 2013 15:25 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

 

Commissioned by online review site TripAdvisor, a survey (the first of a series of bi-annual studies) has been conducted on the most popular travel and hospitality industry trends as well as how hotels are responding to the rising importance of customer reviews.

The market research polled more than 35,000 travellers and accommodation owners in 26 countries, revealing some valuable findings.

Firstly, it was found that online travel bookings are continuing to far outstrip offline travel sources as the primary booking channel voted by those polled. In the UK, 76% of people favour travel review websites most, followed by online travel agencies and travel operator sites (59%).

Thereafter, people favoured recommendations by friends & family (36%), magazines & brochures (21%) and social media (17%), with High Street travel agencies coming last in popularity at 13%.

Another important finding was that hotel owners have realised the need to take the power of user reviews seriously – rather than resist or ignore TripAdvisor as was largely the case initially, around four out of five hotels are now inviting guests to submit reviews and approximately half of the hotels surveyed are congratulating or rewarding staff for positive customer ratings.

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