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BizReport : Research archives : April 30, 2007

Online travel consumers prefer user-generated content

Consumers want travel brands to embrace consumer generated reviews, and in response travel innovators are transforming their web presence into social platforms.

by Helen Leggatt

compete%20logo%202.gifRecently released findings from Compete Inc.’s “Consumer Generated Content in Travel” reveal that a majority of consumers support a brand that responds to their input.

Consumer generated content (CGC) is becoming an increasingly valuable source of travel information as consumers put more trust in their fellow traveller’s reviews than in professional content. Glossy pictures and brochure-speak are becoming a thing of the past.

Compete estimates that CGC influences $10 billion a year in online travel purchases. Little wonder that some big travel industry players have already reworked their websites toward a more social platform. Sheraton created “Global Neighborhood”, Southwest Airlines involved its customers in the creation of a commercial and TripAdvisor’s 5 million+ reviews have been created by one of the largest and active online travel communities.

"Consumers want brands to have a role in their conversation," said Gregory Saks, director of Compete's Travel Practice. "If brands remain genuine and transparent in their CGC strategies, travel marketers can become a powerful voice in the conversation and engage with consumers in an entirely new way."

Tags: Compete Inc, social marketing, travel industry

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