Impact of online reviews on travel and hospitality industry
As marketers, it is very important to understand the consumer usage and attitudes towards the online reviews. The latest statistics and trends, which have been compressed into an infographic by Invesp, show that 90% of consumers read online reviews and 88% of them trust the online reviews as much as they trust the personal recommendations. In other words we can say that, before buying a product or service many people read reviews as part of their pre-purchase research. In today’s environment, there has been a reduction in consumer trust of both organizations and advertising, as well as a decrease in television advertising. So, the word of mouth (WOM) offers the great way to obtain a significant competitive advantage. WOM is especially important in the hospitality and tourism industry, whose intangible products are difficult to evaluate prior to their consumption. When WOM becomes digital, the large‐scale, anonymous, ephemeral nature of the Internet induces new ways of capturing, analyzing, interpreting, and managing the influence that one consumer may have on another. These Consumer-generated content (CGC) is growing in importance. Especially online travel reviews written by consumers are ever more available and used to inform travel-related decisions.
A Web-based survey of the users of the most popular travel site, TripAdvisor, was conducted to investigate and to know about how other travelers’ reviews inform the trip planning process. The survey results show that reviews are used mostly to inform about the accommodation decisions and are currently not used much for en route travel planning. The difference in Gender were found for conscious impacts of reviews, especially with female users gain more benefits from using reviews, especially in terms of enjoyment and idea generation. Age differences occurred across a variety of perceptions and use behaviors. The Implications for travel marketing and also the travel information systems design are provided. But the only drawback with online reviews are professionals used to pose themselves or appoint executives to write fake reviews as satisfied customers who had visited a particular hotel in the past. They write positive reviews about the hotel or travel or hospital. They write very good comments on facilities provided, services offered, hospitality, accommodation, etc. They give full ratings and advice others to visit it.