More on Travel Comparison Websites

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Sites like TripAdvisor have been discussed before in these rumblings. The issues of small numbers for some hotels, biased reviews put up by the companies or their opponents themselves have all been considered.

Now Thomson and First Choice have thrown up some research about what their customers think of them.. They have been asking some of the 5.5 million people that these brands of TUI carry each year.

Websites like TripAdvisor, Oyster, Tripalu have grown quickly over the last few years and 71% of those polled said that this was their top method of finding out about holidays. But whilst only 2% of them completely trusted these sort of sites, 83% said they were mostly trusted.
So what can we read into this?

They read them, partially believe them but are not totally convinced. But for tour operators, it seems those surveyed believe slightly more in what they read in the brochures.

Some people complain about the ownership of these sites. TripAdvisor, for example, is owned by Expedia. Others complain about the volume of advertising that they carry and whether this influences decision making by the customer as much as the reviews.

What emerges is that we like to read what people think but it isn’t necessarily swaying our decision making. According to this survey, we still ask our friends and family as well. Maybe it comes down to us looking at lots of different sources of information and then making our own minds up. And isn’t that what we should do?

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