Hotel Review Sites: Do they Sway Bookings or Not?

Wait, so people don’t use online review sites for hotel bookings?

Now I’m just confused.

A recent article by CNN Travel editor, James Durson, makes the argument that reviews on popular hotel booking sites may not mean as much to travelers as we once thought. (But a disclaimer before you read – this is one editor’s interpretation of a survey…I will explain.)

A recent poll from Market Metrix showed that only 2.9 percent of the 40,000 responders named “Positive Online Review(s)” as a reason for selecting a particular hotel.MP900305799

Wait, whaaaat?

By far the most important aspect of a hotel was its location. The poll showed 30.2 percent of respondents naming it as their key selection criterion, followed by price at 15.7 percent and past experience at 11.9 percent.

But let’s not get carried away and start devaluing the uber-importance of online reviews for things like hotels. This survey does NOT seem to take into account whether or not travelers used online reviews in their booking process and the implicit influence bad reviews or good reviews may have had on their decision.