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No review, no booking say TripAdvisor users
New research by PhoCusWright for TripAdvisor reveals that more than half of the review site's users would not consider booking accommodation that had no reviews while extreme comments are ignored by 6 in 10.
Of the 2,739 users of TripAdvisor surveyed, 53% said they would not make a booking if there was no review on the website.
Reading reviews on TripAdvisor made 87% feel more confident about a booking choice after reading reviews and almost all (98%) find those reviews "accurate of the actual experience".
Confidence levels are further illustrated by the number of TripAdvisor users who would recommend accommodation reviews to others.
On the whole, users focus on positive reviews with just 5% paying much attention to the negative, and extreme comments are ignored by 59%.
It's not just the written word that site visitors use to make accommodation decisions, over two-thirds (67%) take into consideration traveler-submitted photos, seen by many as more representative of the actual experience than those submitted by the accommodation owner.
When perusing reviews, site users will check out the reviewer to see how many reviews they have made and take that track record into account when weighing up the accuracy of a review.
Earlier this year, research by online reputation experts TrustYou found that while few accommodation owners reply to reviews left on sites such as TripAdvisor (32%), the benefits of doing so are significant.
Over two-thirds of travelers (68%) who research accommodation feel that their perception is enhanced when management respond and, as such, they would choose a hotel that had responded to reviews over one that had not. Even a hotel's response to negative reviews reassures 79% of travel researchers that the management will be responsive to their needs.
"Responding to guests is one of the simplest ways to increase customer satisfaction and drive loyalty once a guest has left the hotel," said Margaret Ady of TrustYou.
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