5 Tips Inspired by Our New Traveler Survey

We asked. Travelers answered. An important new survey shows why reviews matter — and reveals key ways to grow your business.

In the rapidly changing hospitality industry, it’s important to listen to feedback from today’s travelers. That’s why Phocuswright, on behalf of TripAdvisor, recently surveyed1 global users of the world’s largest travel site. One thing we heard clearly: TripAdvisor reviews matter more than ever — both to travelers and to the businesses that serve them. 

Here’s what you need to know, plus tips to help you turn these insights into action.

Key finding #1: TripAdvisor reviews influence booking behavior.

  • 96% of TripAdvisor users consider reading reviews important when planning trips and booking hotels.
  • 83% of TripAdvisor users will “usually” or “always” reference reviews before deciding to book a hotel.
  • More than half of TripAdvisor users will not book a property that doesn’t have any reviews.
  • And it’s not just hotels: 87% of TripAdvisor users consider reviews important when booking restaurants; 81% say reviews are important when booking attractions.

Tip: Make sure people who read your TripAdvisor reviews can easily take the next step and become your customers. Hotels, inns and B&Bs can add contact details and post special offers to entice travelers, or accept bookings directly on your TripAdvisor page. Other types of businesses can follow similar steps; see our guides on how to optimize your restaurant listing and how to optimize your attraction listing.

“The majority of our users are coming to TripAdvisor not just to read reviews but also to compare options for their trip, make an informed decision and book. With travelers now finding the end-to-end solution they need on the site, peer-generated reviews are as important as ever.” - Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer at TripAdvisor

Key finding #2: The more reviews — and photos — the better.

  • The majority of TripAdvisor users (79%) will read at least 6-12 TripAdvisor reviews before choosing a hotel. Most (58%) will also read at least 6-12 reviews before choosing a restaurant.
  • 4 in 5 TripAdvisor users will “usually” or “always” reference reviews before deciding on an attraction to visit.
  • 76% of TripAdvisor users agree that traveler-submitted photos influenced their booking decision.

Tip: Capitalize on travelers’ interest in your TripAdvisor page by ensuring that you have plenty of recent reviews and traveler-submitted photos. Encourage customers to share feedback with Review Express, a free email-based review collection tool. (Already using it? Check out 10 tips for building successful Review Express campaigns.)      

Key finding #3: To drive bookings, highlight TripAdvisor content.

  • 82% of users agree that TripAdvisor helps them to plan better trips.
  • 2 out of 3 TripAdvisor users are more likely to book a hotel that displays TripAdvisor reviews and ratings on its website.

Tip: Free TripAdvisor widgets are a great way to showcase your TripAdvisor reviews, ratings and awards, both on your website and on social media.

Key finding #4: Travelers now want to read reviews and book – on the same website.

  • The majority (63%) of TripAdvisor users want one place where they can read reviews, compare prices and book.

Tip: Hotels, inns and B&Bs can attract savvy travelers with instant booking, which lets customers book with you directly on your TripAdvisor profile page. Restaurants can turn a global TripAdvisor audience into paying customers by adding a booking button from TheFork, and attractions can do the same with Viator.

Key finding #5: Your responses to reviews are more important than ever.

  • 85% of users agree that a thoughtful response to a bad review will improve their impression of the hotel — an increase of more than 50% since 2013.
  • 65% agree that they are more likely to book a hotel that responds to traveler reviews, versus one that does not respond.
  • 4 out of 5 TripAdvisor users believe that hotels that respond to reviews care more about their guests.

Tip: Responding to your reviews can have a big impact on both your revenue and your reputation. To get started, see our guide: How to add Management Responses to TripAdvisor Reviews.


  • 1. The 2015 ‘Custom Survey Research Engagement’ was an independent study of 14,991 respondents conducted by Phocuswright on behalf of TripAdvisor. Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey between April 8, 2015 and April 29, 2015, driving responses via pop-ups on TripAdvisor websites in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Australia, India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The survey targeted users of the website’s hotel reviews who have also purchased lodging for travel within the past 12 months, and planned their own trips. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey while visiting the TripAdvisor website via a link which directed them to an online survey instrument.

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Last Updated: November 12, 2015