Hotel guests read 6-12 reviews before booking, says TripAdvisor survey

Fifty-three percent consumers worldwide will not book a hotel unless it has been reviewed by other guests, according to a new TripAdvisor commissioned survey, conducted by PhoCusWright.

The survey of 12,225 people at the end of 2013, revealed that when researching TripAdvisor for places to stay, the majority (80 percent) read six to 12 reviews before booking. Respondents turn to TripAdvisor on a regular basis. Twenty-nine percent visit the site several times a month, 12 percent say they check the site at least once a week and 26 percent regularly use the site more than once a week. Overall, this means that 67 percent of respondents check TripAdvisor a few times a month or more.

More than 80 percent say the site's reviews help them feel more confident in their travel decisions, and help them to have a better trip. Ninty-three percent of respondents feel that a hotel stay is very important to the overall trip experience. Seventy-seven percent usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before selecting a hotel.

So important are reviews that more than half of travelers researching on TripAdvisor won't book a hotel if it has no reviews, reports Biz Report. On the other hand, reviews that are extreme - either in their gushing praise or downright disgust - are largely ignored. However, favorable user photographs and TripAdvisor awards are likely to tip the balance in favor of a property. 

Some other statistics of the survey:

  • 73 percent of TripAdvisor visitors rely on user-submitted images to make a decision.
  • 87 percent of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review "improves my impression of the hotel."
  • 70 percent of users agree that an aggressive/defensive management response to a bad review "makes me less likely to book that hotel."
  • 62 percent of users agree that seeing hotel management responses to reviews generally "makes me more likely to book it (versus a comparable hotel that didn't respond to travellers.
  • 65 percent of respondents are more likely to book hotels that win awards from TripAdvisor. Majority of respondents write reviews for positive reasons, with 79 percent of UK travelers wanting to share a good experience with other travelers, and 70 percent feeling good about sharing useful information with other travelers, reports Tnooz.

More than 80 percent read at least 6-12 reviews before making their accommodation decisions, and they also think the site makes them feel confident in their travel decisions. One in five travelers read over 11 reviews before making a decision.

Respondents are most likely to focus on recent reviews (both positive and negative) to get the freshest perspective. Interestingly, 93 percent of respondents feel that a hotel stay is very important to the overall trip experience, reports Tnooz.