Travel reviews have shaped the tourism industry over the past years. Sometimes feared by service providers, sometimes criticised for being biased, but frequently used by tourists all around the world; review websites are one of the big success stories in online travel. Only recently, the leading review website TripAdvisor announced that it surpassed the 150 million review mark. The University of Applied Science Worms (Germany) has had a very close look at the perceptions, usage and acceptance of travel reviews (Tnooz).
Unsurprisingly the study has shown that reviews bear high importance among the sampled tourists. Roughly half of the respondents indicated that they always used travel reviews. Of the 1,021 internet users surveyed, about 17% say review sites are essential to booking, 31% say important and 48% say important but recognise the need to handle with care. Review websites are not only used as a tool to confirm or disconfirm potential choices, but they are adopted increasingly for gaining inspiration. In fact more than 4 in 10 respondents identified them as the most important source for finding and choosing hotels. Especially the latter is a factor that DMOs take into account, as the integration of user reviews into their websites becomes a common industry practice.
CREDIBILITY OF REVIEWS
Over that past years media reports have highlighted the potential risk of fake user reviews. The study provides some interesting insights into the costs of purchasing fake reviews (about 5€ per review), fake Facebook fans (between 2 and 5 Ct) and other market prices of buying fake social media engagement. Nevertheless, this does not affect consumers attitude and confidence in the general credibility of reviews. In fact, some 86% say they find reviews credible or very credible. Thus, consumer reviews have established themselves as an authority on travel products and destinations. This is a significant opportunity for DMOs, as they can create huge synergies by integrating them into their online presences in a smart way.
ISSUES OF FAKE REVIEWS
The study also asked the major player in the field to assess themselves in terms of manipulation; with TripAdvisor not specifying, Expedia saying 0.3%, HRS less than 1%, HolidayCheck less than 1% and Zoover 5%. Similarly consumers are aware of the fact that fake reviews exist on these sites, but the vast majority (71%) said that the number of fake reviews is probably ‘not so high’ or ‘low”. This high level of consumers’ trust in the overall truthfulness of reviews is not only based on perception, but is rather fuelled through positive experiences. For more than 70% of respondents, the hotels correspond to the reviews read in advance and for more than 20%, the hotels were better than the reviews said.
Discussioncomments powered by Disqus
More from #DTTT
In June we present:Live: #DTTTCampus
#DTTTCampus is here again and we are live from the ground in Oslo, Norway. We are so excited to be welcoming a range of speakers from around the world, from DMOs to travel film directors and industry content powerhouses. We are all set up in the newly transformed Høymagasinet and ready to get started! Stay […]
In May we present:Meet…Heili Klandorf-Järvsoo from Estonia Tourist Board
Heili Klandorf-Järvsoo is the Head of Tourism Marketing at Visit Estonia, and she will be joining us at #DTTTCampus alongside a panel of other DMOs to share insights on the in’s and out’s of Visit Estonia’s ‘Storytellers Nest’.
In May we present:Meet…Kevin Wright from Travel Oregon
In a world of always-on content, information overload and the ever-changing digital consumer, how do you stand out from the competition and most importantly, reach your audience? Kevin Wright, Vice President of Global Marketing for Travel Oregon will be joining us at #DTTTCampus in June to talk about Reflecting on the Role of Content to […]
In May we present:Meet…Gloria Loree from Destination Canada
We caught up with Gloria from Destination Canada ahead of #DTTTCampus to get a sneak peek into what we can expect from her talk on Designing Signature Experiences to Build Brand and Narrative.#brand experiences #destination canada #brand narrative #brand stories
In May we present:Meet…Daniel Bury VR Filmmaker
Daniel Bury is one of the youngest & most up and coming creators in the world of VR film-making, travelling the world to create immersive experiences through unique 360 and VR storytelling.#VR experiences #virtual reality experiences #daniel bury #filmmaker #dtttcampus #virtual reality #Vr
In May we present:5 Reasons Why to Visit #DTTTCampus 2019
In short, #DTTTCampus is a full exploration into the destination experience, with valuable insights on navigating the digital landscape and the ever-changing consumer behaviour of travellers today.#dttt campus #keynote speakers #workshops #destination experience #oslo #destination marketing #Visit Oslo