tripadvisor hotel reviews

TripAdvisor survey shows how hotels are responding to boom in reviews

Online reviews powerhouse TripAdvisor has commissioned the first of a series of bi-annual studies on top travel and hospitality industry trends.

The inaugural survey polled more than 35,000 travellers and accommodation owners in 26 countries and was conducted by independent research firm StrategyOne, a division of Edelman Berland.

Some key travel tech findings:

Online continues to trump offline travel agents. (Surprise!)

The top three sources of information reported as being most “useful” by global and European travellers are all online sources: Travel review websites (38%), Web based travel agencies (19%), and travel operator websites (16%). That compares favorbly against travel magazines & brochures (6%), and high street travel agencies (4%).

When it comes to primary booking channel, the numbers are just as strikingly in favor of online. Here’s the graphic:

tripadvisor online offline

Another factoid that stands out is how hotel owners are responding to the power of user reviews.

Rather than ignore or resist TripAdvisor, some hotel owners are embracing it, according to the survey. About four out of five hotels are inviting guests to submit reviews.

tripadvisor businesses embracing

Roughly half of hotels are congratulating or rewarding staff for positive reviews, according to the survey.

tripadvisor hotel reviews

There’s an obvious caveat to all of this:

One trouble with surveys is that they reveal what people say, not necessarily what they do—and what people mean by certain things can also vary. And TripAdvisor naturally is invested in seeing positive answers to all of the questions, so how questions were framed may have been tilted in a certain direction.

The full survey can be found at

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. Dino Maiolo

    Thanks, Sean. Reviews will continue to be important for hotel and accommodations owners as long as the public believes they are legitimate. Yelp has got a pretty good filter (a little too good), but many other platforms still need to work on filtering fake reviews. Granted, it’s not easy, but it’s necessary if sources like TA are going to remain relevant in the long term.

    • Sean O'Neill

      Sean O'Neill

      Thanks, Dino. I’m feeling hopeful about new technology that Cornell has created that is supposed to be a very effective algorithmic solution to filtering fake reviews. At least until the fake reviewers find new workarounds. 🙂

      • LUIGI

        I’ve been reading about this for a couple of years. Is anyone (travel site) actually using this, or is it only for the Cornell hotel school research.

    • Andrew Schorr

      I think the public has always been good about discerning which reviews are legitimate and which aren’t. Any site that has enough traffic to where fake reviews could become a problem, should have the resources to deal with it. I don’t see this as an existential threat to UGC-based sites.

      In the aggregate it is very difficult to game the system in a meaningful way. Yes, it’s crushing if you are the owner or vendor and you know an anonymous person is maliciously slandering your brand. There should be means for you to protest and defend your name. Yes, you may lose a couple potential customers who can’t make it past a bad fake review.

      I would argue, however, that most users have learned by now to filter to the mean sentiment of reviewers. The web savvy throw out the overly gushing reviews, throw out the horror stories, and in the middle you get the truth. That’s the force for truth you get at the scale of the web.


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