TripAdvisor: changing the landscape of travel through peer reviews

How vital are review sites such as TripAdvisor when you're booking a holiday or short break?

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The travel industry depends on reviews and word of mouth as a way of communicating the qualities and advantages that one holiday or hotel holds over another. Consumers now have the ability to do this in a variety of ways, but TripAdvisor is still the most used worldwide. Just think back to the last holiday or short break you booked and the online tools you used to come to your decision. I know that I wouldn’t consider making a choice until I’d consulted TripAdvisor first – and it appears I’m not alone.

Credibility is key
A recent survey of 12,000 travellers, conducted by PhoCusWright, revealed some interesting statistics regarding TripAdvisor and its role in shaping the industry. The survey revealed that 53 per cent of respondents would not book a hotel or holiday destination that had no reviews. It would appear that a holiday destination needs to be vouched for by peers for it to have any credibility in today’s market. Once a listing has reviews, the quantity becomes vitally important too; the majority of people will read between six to 12 of them before making a choice on a holiday.

53% of respondents would not book a hotel or holiday destination that had no reviews

I was also interested to read we are unlikely to be put off by a particularly bad review, so long as the company responds in a timely and appropriate manner. The research suggested that we have no issue overlooking the odd negative review, providing the hotel or holiday company replies publicly. I know that this rings true with me as there is always going to be something that hasn’t been to someone’s tastes, for example, so every review needs context.

Life through a lens
Images and the role they place in choosing a destination are also crucial. As we live our lives through the lens it seems that we need to see a mix of both official and user-generated photos from guests to gain real credibility. In fact, 73 per cent of respondents said this was something they would look out for when choosing a holiday. It’s evident that there is a lack of trust, which has led to a serious hunger for transparency; potential customers are bypassing glossy brochures and heading straight to the internet for a no-holds-barred account.

If you’d like to see how we’re doing on TripAdvisor, you can check out our TripAdvisor pages for Longleat Forest, Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest and Whinfell Forest. We are also very excited to be opening a new Village in Woburn Forest in spring, you can see the TripAdvisor page here.

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Simon Jarratt

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Simon Jarratt

I am the Digital Acquisition and Media Manager and have worked at Center Parcs for more than five years. I have a passion for travel in my working and personal life; because of this you’ll find me writing about the latest news in the travel industry and short break market.