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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 25, 2011

81% of vacation planners base choice of hotel on web reviews

People looking around for vacations are paying a lot of attention to online hotel reviews, according to a new survey conducted in the UK by Travelzoo, so hotel marketers need to carefully manage their web presence.

by Helen Leggatt

travelzoo_logo.gifIn their survey analyzing consumer behavior, Travelzoo found that most folks who are planning a vacation focus first on price and then on online reviews. In fact, the survey suggests that many consumers are now basing where they take their vacation on the price of hotel rooms.

While 93% compared hotel prices before booking, an equally high number (81%) turned to hotel review sites to help with their decision making. Half of those polled said online reviews from previous guests are the most influential.

Furthermore, people were more likely to try out a new hotel or hotel chain if the price is right.

"Hoteliers cannot underestimate the value of positive reviews; every effort should be made to ensure that customer service and facilities are well maintained," said Joel Brandon-Bravo, managing director of Travelzoo UK.

Other key findings from the survey include:

- 79% do not consider a hotel's brand important
- 71% book the hotel for their main holiday two to three months in advance
- 64% believe that a hotel deal is important when choosing a destination
- 61% say it is important to have a hotel that does not allow young children to stay
- 58% choose to book online directly with the hotel
- 42% rate poor standards of cleanliness as the most annoying thing in a hotel.

Tags: hotel, online reviews, TravelZoo, UK, vacation planning

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