When it comes to online hotel reviews, travelers don’t believe everything they read.
Far from it.
Asked what they thought of property reviews posted by guests online, more than 8 in 10 described them as only “somewhat reliable.” While many of the write-ups are legit, they added, they believe hotels sometimes manipulate the system by posting bogus reviews. Equal numbers of travelers (7 percent) said they thought online hotel reviews were either “very reliable” or “not reliable at all.”
No “be all, end-all”
“I use sites like TripAdvisor to get a temperature or general feel for a property,” says Nathan Kam, a communication consultant who works in the tourism industry. “But I don’t consider it a ‘be all, end all’ source for information. I take what I find there and cross-check it with my other social networks — friends on Facebook, and maybe check in with my followers on Twitter to see what they have to say — and always check with a travel professional or two who might have an opinion. It seems like more work, but it’s worth the time to ensure you don’t end up with something surprising upon check-in.”
Kam’s comments reflect a majority of the reader feedback to this poll of more than 700 readers of this site and Consumer Traveler, which was conducted last week in cooperation with the Washington-based Consumer Travel Alliance.