Published on : Wednesday, January 25, 2017
TrustYou, the world’s largest feedback platform, today published the findings of a recently conducted travel industry study. It reveals the relevant and important factors affecting the consumer decision process during one of the main phases of the traveler journey. The study follows the path to decision during the traveler’s search for accommodation and evolution of offers, which play a pivotal role leading to the eventual decision to book. The sample for the study consisted of 920 participants of adults over the age of 18, who all must have traveled and booked an accommodation online within the past 12 months for business, leisure, or both. The study is available to download for free.
The key findings of the study include::
91% of travelers turn to search engines when looking for a place to stay with the majority 81% preferring to use Google. “Google Search” is travelers’ top most common source of travel inspiration.
77% of travelers search keywords relating to accommodation and/or locations. 57% of travelers search for hotels, 49% search for a location, and 31% searching for a combination of the two.
A hotel’s TrustScore, or average review rating score, is the second most important factor affecting the booking decision after a hotel’s nightly rate. Furthermore, 88% of travelers sorted out hotels with a TrustScore under three stars, and 32% eliminated those with a TrustScore under four stars.
Tracing click-through on a Google’s hotel listing, travelers are most likely (20%) to click on the direct link to the hotel’s website and also very likely (10%) to click on review data provided by TrustYou.
Valerie Castillo, Senior Director of Marketing at TrustYou, says: “Knowing the decision-making path of travelers is essential for hotels to target their efforts and position themselves ahead of the competition. Our research emphasizes the importance of reviews in this process, as they account for a vital part of the booking procedure as the second most relevant decision factor after price. Additionally, a higher review score helps hotels to remain competitive and to be shortlisted as a suitable option for the traveler’s stay, without being preemptively eliminated.”
The research shows that hoteliers must consider their presence on Google within their marketing strategies. The majority of travelers turn to Google when seeking travel inspiration, beginning with their accommodation search, and evaluating offerings between multiple hotels. Valerie Castillo adds: “By optimizing a hotel’s presence on Google, more information is available to drive travelers to the hotel website. In the course of the the study, 20% of users clicked on the hotel listing’s website. It is therefore our advice for hotels to include review information on their website, such as the Meta-Review and TrustScore, to increase direct bookings.”
TrustYou specializes in guest feedback management and direct hotel messaging, helping hotels to influence the booking decisions of travelers. This is done by obtaining and maintaining a high review score to be selected, increasing the number of reviews for a higher credibility and better average scores, and providing review summaries and widgets for a better user experience.