When I need to learn about a travel product or destination, I tend to gravitate towards the “user feedback” and “traveler review” sections respectively. It’s not that I don’t trust the supplier’s marketing pitch… I simply prefer to learn about something from a fellow traveler’s perspective – specifically someone with similar interests.
Case and point – before I book our family vacation spot, I laboriously eyeball as many TripAdvisor traveler reviews as possible (not to mention their video and photo uploads) in order to uncover the truly good, bad and ugly facts. Invariably, I’ll also find very useful, undocumented nuggets of information (nothing you’d ever find on the hotel’s website or marketing collateral) that usually helps make the vacation so much more enjoyable. The beauty of TripAdvisor is that I can narrow down traveler reviews to only those individuals that fit my particular demographic. For instance, if I’m traveling with my wife and two young sons, I don’t want to read feedback posted by “couples on a romantic getaway”. I want to read a mother’s suggestions about which buffet offers the healthiest, kid-friendly fare.
Studies have shown that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, whereas only 14% trust advertisements. Savvy business travelers are starting to pay more attention to fellow “road warrior recommendations” than they ever have. To support that growing trend, GetThere recently launched Hotel Traveler Reviews, a feature that gives travelers the ability to peruse tips and recommendations during the OBT shopping process.
Some corporate travel managers are taking this technology to the next level. For example, rather than exposing their travelers to reviews posted by the general population, they are limiting reviews to those of their global employee base. Heading to London to meet with the company’s sales team? Why not factor their recommendations into your hotel reservation equation.
Are you aware of any existing or emerging “traveler recommendation” sites, or do you have any cool ideas or suggestions? If so, please share them by posting a comment below.
~ Theo Szymanski