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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 21, 2010

Brits rely on online reviews to make vacation accommodation decisions

When it comes to deciding where to stay while away on vacation, the British are happy to put their faith in online reviews penned by complete strangers, according to a new survey from

by Helen Leggatt

The survey of over 800 of accommodation website's customers found that over three-quarters (79%) seek out online reviews on which to base their vacation accommodation decisions. In fact, many "strongly agreed" that they took the recommendations of a stranger online over those made my family and friends.

Other sources Brits turn to when looking for vacation information included newspapers and magazine articles (40%) and guide books (39%).

However, just 10% of respondents said they would make their vacation decision based solely on a hotel's website, perhaps wary of the glossy images and marketing-speak commentary.

What online researchers are looking for are balanced, down-to-earth reviews written by people with no vested interest in the accommodation being scrutinized.

"The ability to read the reviews of other independent travelers who have actually been to a hotel or destination can really help people make up their mind when faced with a mass of options and choices," said Alison Couper, Director of Communications at, via "There are more than 1.8 million reviews on posted by people who have actually stayed in the hotels."

A survey conducted by RatePoint in November last year found that, of the 30% of online retailers who featured product reviews on their website, 43% experienced more sales and 28% said they had received more traffic.

Tags: consumer feedback, consumer reviews, e-commerce, online reviews, product reviews, social marketing, travel

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