New Research Shows the Importance of Online Reviews Within the Travel Industry

Young travelers, particularly Millennials and Gen-Z, are more frequently relying on and have confidence in online reviews, and companies that ensure they are maintaining a positive digital presence will see the benefits according to new research from TrustYou.

The company has published a research paper detailing the importance of reviews and their appearance on travel sites, including tour operators, hotels and OTAs.

The study was undertaken in collaboration with the IUBH International University of Applied Sciences and the travel company TUI, and the research reinforced the importance of review scores along with their role in guiding the purchase decisions of modern travelers.

Travelers are more frequently judging a company’s reputation based on their online presence, and this reputation frequently influences booking decisions of individuals born and raised in the technological era.

The study undertook to pinpoint the review attributes that drive them towards making a booking.

According to the research, 83 percent of digital natives say that reviews play an important or very important role in making a booking decision.

When it comes to trusting a review, young travelers look for an authentic writing style (73 percent) as well as detailed (69 percent) and current (66 percent) reviews that are not older than three months.

When it comes to hotel bookings, digital natives prefer Booking.com (68 percent), followed by Google (61 percent), TripAdvisor and Expedia with 30 percent each as a review source.

Sixty-eight percent of younger travelers believe that scores are the best way to present reviews.

Furthermore, 51 percent consider a consolidated representation that includes a visual representation such as stars or a score to be good and 29 percent prefer widgets.

“Our company’s vision is to enable hoteliers to listen to what their guests have to say, in order to adapt, adjust, and deliver an excellent guest experience,” said Valerie Castillo, TrustYou’s vice president of marketing.

“It is our firm belief that studying the particularities of each generation of travelers gives us specific insights into what they want, expect, and demand from a hotel business,” said Valerie Castillo, TrustYou’s vice president of marketing.

Castillo believes her company’s research will provide travel companies with important data to adapt their businesses.

“Given our findings, we emphasize the rising importance of user-generated and visual content, when referring to online reviews,” said Castillo. “It has become essential for hotels, OTAs, and tour operators to provide supporting content on their website—such as scores and widgets—in order to encourage a booking.”

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