TripAdvisor commissioned a report last December in order to better understand the importance of review sites in the decision-making process of travelers around the world. The study, conducted by PhoCusWright with over 12,225 respondents, sheds many important findings, echoing some previously reported facts from 2012 and mentioned in a recent post titled 3 Tips to Rank Higher on TripAdvisor.
Guests read 6-12 reviews before booking
Back when it launched in 2000, TripAdvisor was known mainly for its accommodation reviews, and still today this remains its forte. Yet, did you know the site lists over 3.1 million businesses, the majority of which are actually restaurants, with over 1.7 million listed? Accommodations (hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals and specialty housing) account for more than 1.2 million of listed businesses, while there are an estimated 400,000 attractions spread across 133,000 destinations in more than 34 countries worldwide. So why do travelers consult with TripAdvisor?
- 77 % usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before selecting a hotel.
- 50 % usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before selecting a restaurant.
- 44 % usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before selecting an attraction.
This study reveals that more than half of respondents (53%) won't even bother making a reservation until they've at least checked out one review for a property. In fact, 80% of respondents said they read between six and twelve reviews before booking an accommodation!
Variations per country
While North American have perhaps a broader choice with restaurant review sites, i.e. Yelp, Urbanspoon, Zagat, OpenTable, etc. it's interesting to note how much Italians (75%) usually or always refer to TripAdvisor before choosing a restaurant. Here are a few other variations worth noting:
- While most travelers (80%) will put emphasis on recent reviews above all, travelers from Russia and Japan buck this trend and value quantity of reviews over recency.
- Spanish TripAdvisor users read the most hotel reviews before booking. In fact, 34% of them read eleven or more hotel reviews before deciding on a hotel!
- 62% of travelers say management responses to reviews makes them more likely to book. This is even more so in Brazil, where almost seven out of every ten travelers (69%) concur with this statement.
These findings demonstrate how important it is nowadays, and more than ever, for travel brands to manage their presence on social media and above all review sites where online reputations can be made... and undone! Check out the full infographic below.