Forget recommendations from friends and family, for most people TripAdvisor has becoming the “go to” place to find out if a holiday destination is worth its salt, according to a new study.
With nearly half of consumers (43%) now using the site for inspiration before booking their main holiday, friends and families’ opinions are only valued by just over a quarter (26%) of Brits.
The ‘Digital Destinations’ research undertaken by TNS shows that the rise of sites like TripAdvisor has had a massive impact on the high street, particularly in the research and inspiration phase of booking a holiday.
Less than a quarter of those surveyed (22%) now look at travel brochures, with only 15% actually making the effort to visit a local travel agent for holiday inspiration. However, it’s not all bad news for travel agents, as the research found they are still popular with package holidaymakers – 37% of those who booked a package holiday in the last two years booked offline with a travel agent, either in person or over the phone.
TripAdvisor is nearly twice as popular as sites such as Expedia (23%) and more than three times as popular as Skyscanner (9%) for holiday research purposes.
Webloyalty Northern Europe managing director Guy Chiswick said: “By becoming a booking tool as well as a review site, TripAdvisor is taking market share away from companies like Expedia. Already, one in ten of us are using this new feature.
“More and more consumers will begin to use the entire range of tools offered by TripAdvisor. Its competitors in the travel sector will need to step up the pace if they are to retain their current market share and stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds.”
However, TripAdvisor is not without its critics. One restaraunt boss from Aberdeen – Steve Bothwell, the owner of Café 52 – launched a scathing attack on one reviewer, claiming she was a ‘vino-fuelled’ customer who ‘felt my backside’ after she complained when a fellow diner was cut by a glass dropped by a waitress.
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