Wait, did TripAdvisor really influence 10% of global tourism spending in 2017?

The influence of TripAdvisor on how tourists choose to spend their money is continuing to increase, according to research commissioned by the reviews website.

Research firm Oxford Economics finds that TripAdvisor’s reviews and scores influenced around $546 billion of travel spending during 2017 – this represents 10.3% of all global spending on tourism which reached a total of $5.3 trillion last year.

The study, entitled Sizing the Worldwide Travel Economy, also reveals that viewing TripAdvisor content led to consumers taking extra trips to new destinations, as well as encouraging longer stays in new destinations and properties.

The report estimates that consumers spent an extra $80 billion globally on 32 million extra trips in 2017 that would not have happened without TripAdvisor.

TripAdvisor’s influence has continued to grow year-on-year since 2007 when the site influenced around 7% of all spending on leisure travel, with the impact on international tourism being “consistently higher” than for domestic trips.

The level of impact that TripAdvisor has on travel booking decisions varies across global regions – the site has the least amount of influence in Asia Pacific (on 9% of travel spending) and also North America (10% of spending), which the report attributes to the high number of domestic trips in the region.

Europe is where TripAdvisor wields the most influence with 12.8% of travel spending from tourists in Emerging Europe being directly affected by the site’s content, while this figure was 11.6% in Western Europe.

Charlie Ballard, TripAdvisor’s director of strategic insights, says:

“The travel category is indeed enormous and outpacing other consumer spending worldwide.

“TripAdvisor not only inspires travel, but also causes more travel – in particular by encouraging travelers to take longer trips by showing them how much more there is to see and do.”

To compile the research, Oxford Economics analysed TripAdvisor user trends from 2004 onwards, as well as data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and tourism figures from 51 countries.

Related reading:

TripAdvisor grows year-on-year, as does its influence on bookings

No fixed plans for the majority of travellers when researching

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Rob Gill

About the Writer :: Rob Gill

Rob Gill has been writing about the travel industry since 2001 when he joined the features department at Travel Trade Gazette in London, having previously worked for local newspapers in the UK for five years.

He was also city and finance correspondent at TTG before later becoming editor of ABTN (Air & Business Travel News) and then digital editor of Buying Business Travel.

He is now an award-winning freelance journalist writing about the leisure and business travel industries for B2B magazines and websites. He has travelled extensively for both business and pleasure, but is mostly based in London these days.



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  1. Max Starkov - Founder & Director at HEBS Digital

    TripAdvisor is a very important travel decision influencer, but I believe the research study here simplifies the travel planning and decision making process.

    Today’s travel consumer’s hotel planning and booking journey is increasingly complex in this multi-device, multi-channel, and multi-touch point digital landscape. In fact, according to Google, the average consumer engages in 38,983 digital micro-moments in just under two months. The average travel consumer journey takes about 17 days, and the average visitor goes through eight research sessions, 18 site visits, and six clicks before making a hotel booking (Google Research).

    As consumers remain digitally connected throughout these micro-moments before making a booking, each touchpoint presents an opportunity for a hotel to build a brand connection, influence intent, win the booking, and be there for every step of the journey.

    In light of this complex digital landscape, hotel marketers should engage online travel consumers throughout their complex digital journey, TripAdvisor being just one of these touch points.


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