Sharing Your Holiday Experience on Consumer Review Sites

In recent years, as the internet has grown in popularity and so many people have access to a computer with internet, the practice of researching about holidays and booking vacations has become almost 100% internet based. Few are the people who head to their local travel agent to research their next destination. Instead, people spend hours searching the internet, finding information about the destination, looking at maps, reading individual hotel’s websites and perhaps the most important part of all is consumer review reading reviews from other travelers that have personally experienced the hotel, restaurant or tour operator in question.

Why are consumer review sites so important?
When it comes to information online, people find it difficult to trust everything they read. And, rightly so. It is very easy to publish something on the internet, but not so easy to check the validity of what is published. A hotel in the Maldives, for example, can publish a website with information and photos that make you believe it is the perfect destination. Of course, they won’t tell you that the rooms haven’t been painted in 10 years or that the restaurant serves cold, tasteless food or that the swimming pool is dirty and the tiles are cracked in the bathrooms. They don’t want you to know that because you wouldn’t book a holiday there if you knew that. This is where the consumer review site comes in. People looking for a holiday generally search the hotels available in the area they want to visit, check if the hotel fits into their budget and if it has the right amenities. Their next step is to go to a review site and search for that hotel. Important factors here include the overall customer rating (usually rated from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest) and the number of reviews (the more reviews, the more validity they hold). People generally read 2 or 3 reviews and then decide whether they want to make their reservation or not.

Customer review sites can be good or bad news
The information included in a consumer review can either be positive or negative to the hotel or other establishment in question. If a significant number of people agree that a place is good and leave a positive review, it will no doubt help that place’s business and they will see an increase in customers and also in traffic to their website. If the reviews are negative, however, the results can be devastating. This means that the advent of review sites has forced businesses around the world to improve and maintain the quality of their service, food, comfort and cleanliness, which for us, the traveler, is great news.

Customer review sites are also good for…
It’s not only hotels that fit into review sites. Commonly reviewed items include restaurants, bars, nightclubs, tour operators, scuba diving schools, museums and any other tourist attractions.

Why should you visit a customer review site?
There are two reasons you should visit a customer review site. One, you can gather valuable information about your next vacation and two, to share your experiences with other travelers researching their vacation. After all, you rely on other people’s opinions when doing your research, so it’s only fair to give back to the community.

Victoria Bourbon

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