Research: What makes a helpful review

Tripadvisor recently conducted a survey — of both travelers and business owners — to gather information on what makes a helpful review.1 Read on for key global findings from your peers in the hospitality industry. 

How often do you check your reviews on Tripadvisor?

  • 60% of business owners who responded say they check their reviews “whenever a new one comes in”
  • 19% check their reviews daily
  • 12% check their reviews weekly

Do online review sites like Tripadvisor have a positive impact on the hospitality industry?

  • 82% of business owners agree with this statement
  • 43% strongly agree
  • 6% disagree

70% of surveyed businesses have taken steps to improve their quality of service as a result of a review

Have you improved your business’s service as a result of a review?

  • 70% of surveyed businesses say yes

What’s important in the content of a review?

It’s all about the service: accommodation, restaurant and attraction owners agree that the quality of service is the most important factor to mention in a review.

What about writing style?

  • 63% of business owners feel it’s important to provide a context for opinions
  • 58% of respondents say it’s important to share a balanced view, including pros and cons
  • 30% of respondents feel it’s important to explain the context of why they visited, or who they were traveling with
  • 29% think good grammar and spelling matter

Biggest turn-offs in a review

  • 51%: when a reviewer doesn’t provide enough detail
  • 45%: overly nitpicky comments
  • 40%: reviews written by someone who “sounds angry”
  • 31%: bad grammar

What makes a great management response?

  • 48%: be specific
  • 41%: be professional
  • 40%: show your personality
  • 36%: be original

Learn why management responses matter and how to make sure you’re writing what you mean.

Most useful factors in a review

  • Useful, detailed information about the business
  • Written within 3 months of the experience
  • Relate personal, unique experiences
  • Use specific examples and hard facts
  • Mention how the service offering could be improved

Least useful factors

  • Extreme opinions or phrasing, whether positive or negative, without much explanation or justification
  • Reviews written long after the experience (3 months to a year later)
  • Use of personal feeling, without explanation

The message is clear:  reviews are most relevant when they’re timely, use specifics and include references to the level of service provided. Want to collect more of these reviews for your property? Try using Review Express. It’s the free Tripadvisor tool that lets you email a review request to up to 1,000 recent guests at once.


  • 1. Survey included 95,608 travelers and 7,215 hospitality business owners

Get more reviews with Review Express

Get more reviews with Review Express

Last Updated: April 2, 2015