NEEDHAM, Mass. – TripAdvisor has published the results of a study which uncovers how significantly reviews influence booking decisions. The global study, conducted in partnership with Ipsos MORI, polled over 23,000 TripAdvisor users across 12 markets on the use of online reviews and their role when booking hotels, restaurants and experiences.
Trusted, accurate reviews
Across hotel, restaurant and attraction reviews, more than four out of five (85 percent) participants of the study report that the reviews they read on TripAdvisor accurately reflect their experience, with 86 percent agreeing that TripAdvisor makes them feel more confident in their booking decisions.
“These findings show how important travelers find real perspectives from real people when they are planning their trips,” said Becky Foley, Sr. director, trust and safety at TripAdvisor.
People trust people
The results show that traveler reviews remain a go-to source of information, with 72 percent 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 travelers (81 percent) always or frequently reading reviews before booking a place to stay.
Nearly 8 out of 10 TripAdvisor users (79 percent) are more likely to book a hotel with a higher bubble rating when choosing between two otherwise identical properties, and over half (52 percent) agree that they would never book a hotel with no reviews.
Recency and consistency important to travelers
When researching their travel, respondents indicate that the most important thing they are looking for when reading reviews is recent content. They want to know that what they are reading is a fresh perspective by a fellow traveler, with 78 percent focusing on the most recent reviews.
TripAdvisor users make thoughtful decisions, with nearly four out of ten respondents (39 percent) saying they ignore extreme comments, and over half of respondents (55 percent) reading multiple reviews across several pages to get an overall sense of people’s opinions. On average, TripAdvisor users read nine reviews before making a decision on booking a hotel or a restaurant.
Why do people write reviews?
The results of the research emphasize that TripAdvisor is not simply a place for people to air their grievances. When asked about their motivations for writing reviews and sharing their stories on TripAdvisor, the top reason given by 87 percent of people is that they want to share good experiences with fellow travelers; this is further supported by the fact that the average worldwide rating on TripAdvisor in 2018 was 4.22 out of five.
Foley adds: “With our minimum word count and candid photos, travelers are able to share their experiences and stories with other travelers, allowing our reviews to serve as a true guide during the planning process.”
The Power of Reviews project surveyed 23,292 TripAdvisor users across 12 markets (Australia, China, France, German-speaking, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States) between May and June 2019. The survey targeted users who had visited the site in the last 12 months. The sample is made up of TripAdvisor users who had opted into a survey panel and were invited to participate in the research via an email link directing them to an online survey platform. Ipsos MORI were involved in questionnaire design and data analysis. Results are weighted to represent the residency profile of TripAdvisor users across participating markets.