TripAdvisor’s growing influence as a booking tool

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New research by Webloyalty shows TripAdvisor’s ‘book now’ feature has become popular among holiday customers in the UK. According to the marketing company 9% of people used the site as a booking tool for their last holiday.

New Webloyalty research has revealed that TripAdvisor is revolutionising the way we research our holidays in the UK, with nearly half of us (43%) now using it for inspiration prior to booking our main holiday*.

Peer-to-peer recommendations on TripAdvisor are now the favoured route of holiday research, becoming far more popular than suggestions from friends and family, which only a quarter of Brits (26%) sought for their last main holiday. Nearly half of us (43%) do not judge recommendations by friends and relatives to be important when selecting a holiday destination, compared to less than a third (30%) who felt that way about online reviews.

The ‘Digital Destinations’ research undertaken by TNS showed 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 us (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. The internet has become the most popular route to booking a holiday in the UK as well, with one in five of us (21%) booking the entire holiday with a single company online. Interestingly, nearly one in ten (9%) of us used TripAdvisor as a booking tool for their last holiday, extending the industry presence of the already popular website.

Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty Northern Europe said: “By becoming a booking tool as well as a review site, TripAdvisor are taking market share away from companies like Expedia. Already, one in ten of us are using this new feature. As a key touchpoint in the holiday journey, more and more consumers will begin to use the entire range of tools offered by TripAdvisor. Their 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.”

The traditional reason for visiting a site like TripAdvisor is to read or leave reviews of hotels or restaurants. In total, nearly a quarter of Brits (23%) wrote a review based on an experience from their last main holiday, with 13% actually posting the review when on the holiday itself. Given time to think on returning from the holiday, one in five of us (18%) will write a review of a holiday experience when back in the UK.

From Hotel Marketing, 11 June 2015

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Founded by two travel and technology professionals with years of experience in Asia, Representasia specialises in sales & marketing representation throughout Southeast Asia for travel/hospitality technology providers and travel-related startups, as well as providing marketing consultancy services for hotels and travel businesses in the region.

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