User-generated content has become commonplace in travel planning. Whether they visit review sites, poll friends on Facebook, compare guest reviews on a hotel website or simply take note of the aggregate scores from traveler reviews on an online travel agency (OTA) site, most travelers consult their peers as they plan their trips. As the wisdom of the crowd becomes integral to trip planning, the strategic importance of user-generated content has grown for suppliers and intermediaries alike. Many hotel chains and OTAs have adopted the approach of featuring only "verified reviews," where the hotel or OTA can link a review to an actual reservation, so that the reviewer is confirmed to have stayed at the property.
But do verified reviews really matter? Do travelers place more trust in verified reviews? Do they know which sites only include content from verified guests, and do they care? To better understand which sites travelers consult and trust most, this article examines data from Phocuswright's European Consumer Travel Report Fifth Edition, published in November 2014, which explores travelers' use and perception of traveler reviews. The report was based on an online survey of 3,461 travelers from the France, Germany and the U.K., fielded in the summer of 2014.
- I Want My UGC
- On a TRIP
- Where Travelers Read Reviews
- Do Verified Reviews Matter?