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BizReport : Search Marketing : January 27, 2017

Consumers eliminate hotels with less than 3-star reviews from accommodation research

A new study following the path to decision during travelers' search for accommodation reveals the significant role of search engines and review ratings.

by Helen Leggatt

Global online reputation management firm TrustYou surveyed 920 U.S travelers who had booked a place to stay online within the past 12 months for business, for leisure, or both. The findings reveal that 91% turned to search engines when researching a place to stay, with the majority (81%) preferring to use Google.

More than three-quarters (77%) of travelers search keywords relating to accommodation and/or locations while over half 57% search for hotels, 49% for location, and 31% searching for a combination of the two. Tracing click-through on a Google's hotel listing, travelers were found to be most likely (20%) to click on the direct link to the hotel's website.

trustyou.pngWhile the most important factor affecting a booking decision was the nightly room rate, the second most important factor was a hotel's average review rating. Eighty-eight percent said they sort for hotels with a good review score of 3-stars or higher, and 33% for an excellent review score of 4-stars or more.

"Knowing the decision-making path of travellers is essential for hotels to target their efforts and position themselves ahead of the competition," said Valerie Castillo, senior director of marketing at TrustYou. "Our research emphasises the importance of reviews in this process, as they account for a vital part of the booking procedure as the second most relevant decision factor after price. Additionally, a higher review score helps hotels to remain competitive and to be shortlisted as a suitable option for the traveller's stay, without being preemptively eliminated."

Tags: hotels, research, search marketing, travel

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