When it comes to making a holiday booking, research has found that the vast majority of people still use reviews to come to a decision.
Booking that all-important summer holiday can be a bit of a gamble – the flights may be cancelled, the weather might be terrible, the hotel might be completely different to the photos and much further from the beach than advertised.
With potential pitfalls at every turn, it’s no wonder that we try to get the inside scoop on a holiday by checking reviews before we book.
Research by commerce solutions company Reevoo found that almost four out of five of us either “often” or “always” read reviews before booking a holiday.
Not only that, but it was found that many of us book a holiday from a website that offers customer reviews – saying this adds weight to the claims made by a company.
“Consumers now have a host of online information available to them, including advice from websites and social media platforms, in addition to customer reviews,” said Richard Anson, founder of Reevoo.
Websites such as TripAdvisor have fuelled the popularity of reviews, with prospective holidaymakers using them for everything from finding out what a hotel is really like, to writing one of their own after a bad experience.
But some people in the travel industry, especially hoteliers, have criticised customer reviews, saying that they often scare people out of a booking and misrepresent the experience on offer.
While holidaymakers still regard customer reviews highly, it seems there is an air of suspicion surrounding them.
The research found that a third of people are suspicious when they don’t see a bad review, believing that the website is only showing the positive accounts.
On top of this, 34 per cent are concerned that customer reviews are not written by customers, while 36 per cent said they worry that reviewers have been paid to write a positive review.