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BizReport : Research archives : January 19, 2016

Many rely on online travel reviews but only a vocal few post them

Online reviews play a major role in online travel planning but, according to new research by TNS, it seems more people read them than post them.

by Helen Leggatt

In a survey of more than 2,000 adults in the U.K., TNS found that 15% would not book a holiday without first looking at reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor. Almost 4 in 10 (39%) said they "generally look at some reviews" while 16% "sometimes" check out reviews.

Just 28% said they paid "little attention" or "no attention" to reviews while researching travel.

However, when asked how many post reviews about travel experiences, just 11% said they did so "often" or "all the time", suggesting that a vocal minority's views are those on which travel decisions are being made.

More than half (56%) said they "never" post reviews and 11% "seldom".

The TNS survey, reported on at Travolution, also revealed differences in posting online reviews among age groups and wealth. Older adults were more likely to post online reviews with 13% of 35-54-year-olds doing so "all the time or often" compared with 10% of those age 16-34 and 9% of over-55s. Furthermore, among more wealthy travelers (those in social groups AB) 14% post reviews compared to 8% of those in C1.

Media coverage of travel scams and fake reviews have impacted consumers' trust in online booking and research. Research in the UK by Travel Counsellors found that just 23% ranked online reviews as the most important source of information when researching, instead preferring first-hand knowledge from a "real travel agent" (71%).

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: online reviews, research, travel, UK

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