Travel review sites overwhelmingly trusted, survey finds

Travel review sites overwhelmingly trusted, survey finds

More than three quarters of UK long-haul travellers believe online review sites are trustworthy despite criticism of market leader TripAdvisor.

A poll by of 550 travellers by online agent Netflights.com found that 76% thought the content on online review sites to be a valuable guide.

Only 12% would rule out a hotel on the basis of one negative online review.

But 54% would choose alternative accommodation if two or more reviewers had deemed service or facilities to be below par.

Eighteen percent claimed these sites only make up part of the hotel decision making process, along with other more traditional factors such as price and location.

Less than 5% of respondents suspect that any content on review sites might be contrived or in any way biased.

The results come in the wake of a recent Channel 4 documentary depicting the motives of habitual TripAdvisor reviewers as questionable.

A Netflights.com spokesman said: “We’ve seen the influence of online reviews grow sharply in recent years and there’s no question our customers see them as a valuable tool in the decision making process.

“Our contact centre team are often questioned by customers around reviews of hotels we feature that appear online. Many of our team have visited the hotels in question personally and often find that the reviews don’t marry up with their own experiences.

“The team are often able to offer reassurance that the review is the exception rather than the rule; sometimes however even this advice isn’t enough to counteract the seeds of doubt sewn by a single negative online comment.

“Our advice to our customers is always to consider the possible motives of online reviewers and bear in mind that human nature dictates that people are more likely to report a negative experience than a positive one.

“Seek the advice of family, friends or friends of friends as well as that of impartial travel professionals, whether over the phone or on the high street.”

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