Review websites
2 years ago

Survey reveals half of users do not trust travel review websites

Content is STILL proving to be the king. About 60% of review website users pay more attention to customer comments rather than to the numerical or star ratings reviewers provided.

But there is a flip-side.

A study by market research firm Maritz Research was conducted during April this year among 3,400 people who regularly use review websites such as TripAdvisor, Zagat, Open Table, Yelp and

Trust factor with review websites

Larger review sites like TripAdvisor and Zagat are trusted higher compared to smaller players. The chart below chart shows the percentage of users who say the information on review sites is accurate.

Review website - Trust factor

Trust factor with review content

Below graph shows the percentage of users who think the review content is positive, negative, and neutral.

Review website - Content trust

Below are few opinion pointers from the survey respondents:

  • I can usually tell when a review is fake – if it is overly positive.
  • If there are not enough reviews, I don’t usually take it seriously.
  • I think that people tend to only share either the good or the bad which usually does not give you a real balanced opinion.
  • I believe the site is selective in the reviews it posts.
  • Some are credible some are biased or questionable.
  • Generally reliable if one disregards the top 5% and the bottom 5-10% of comments.
  • Take everything with a little skepticism but if enough people say it then more believable.
  • I believe that a lot of the information is put there by people who work for the companies to show positive information

The study also says that 60% of review site users pay more attention to the review content, 11% pay more attention to numerical ratings and 29% of users pay attention to both equally.

Trust factor by user demographic parameters

Below graph shows the percentages of users by age group that feel the content in review sites are a fair representation of customers’ experiences.

In most of the cases, the trust factor is directly proportional to users age.

Review website - Age vs trust in site

73% of men and 78% of women think the information in review sites are a fair representation of customers’ experiences.

Read vs write

Below graph shows the percentage of total respondents who had read and posted reviews last year. TripAdvisor, and Yelp has the highest readers and contributors too.

Review website - Read vs post reviews

NB1: Maritz survey report can be downloaded here – Part 1 and Part 2.

NB2: Review image via Shutterstock.

Karthick Prabu

About the Writer :: Karthick Prabu

Karthick is general manager for Tnooz in Asia, based in Bangalore.

He has previously worked for Port of Singapore Authority, SITA, TravelCLICK, Rezopia, Travelocity, MindTree and Happiest Minds Technologies.

Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.


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