78% Look at Hotel Reviews Half the Time

SurveyMonkey's Hotel Traveler Trends RevealedåÊsome interesting trends in the lodging and dining industries. Consumers surveyed were most likely to both travel and stay in hotels 1–3 times every 12 months. Consumers check an average of 4 websites before making hotel reservations, while 78% said they look at online reviews before making reservations or visiting establishments at least half the time, per the survey.

Of those surveyed, 59% traveled for pleasure and 56% stayed in a hotel for pleasure in the past 12 months. Those aged 45 to 49 traveled for both business and pleasure more than any other age group.

Of those surveyed, 27% said price was the No. 1 reason they choose a particular hotel. Quality of accommodations (22%) and location (21%) came in second and third, respectively.

When it comes to hotel rewards programs, 42% of those who have stayed in a hotel at least once in the past 12 months said they participate in a rewards program. The benefits they seek the most from a rewards program are: discounted rates or pricing (77%), points toward a free product or stay (63%) and special perks or amenities like free meals or Wi-​Fi (49%). Those who stay in hotels for business purposes 4 or more times per year prefer to earn points toward a free product or stay.

Only half of consumers agreed with the statement, ‰ÛÏMost establishments have their guests‰Ûª best interests in mind, even if it means less profits.‰Û

Between bars, restaurants, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and resorts, consumers trusted bed and breakfasts the most, with 27% trusting bed and breakfasts ‰ÛÏa great deal.‰Û Resorts (22%), restaurants (12%), hotels (11%), bars (6%) and motels (3%) followed.

Of those surveyed, 3 in 4 said packages and deals directly hosted by an establishment make them ‰ÛÏmore likely‰Û to visit a hotel. Online deals found on sites like Groupon or LivingSocial also greatly influenced consumers and travelers (50%), while more than 1/​3 said discounts on review sites like Yelp made them more likely to visit a hotel or restaurant.

Interestingly enough, social media wasn‰Ûªt valued very highly by consumers in the survey. A whopping 77% of consumers said it‰Ûªs ‰ÛÏsomewhat‰Û to ‰ÛÏnot at all‰Û important for a hotel to have a social media page, while just over 20% said a social media contest would make them more likely to visit a hotel or restaurant.

When asked about the feedback systems of hotels, only 42% of those surveyed said establishments make it ‰ÛÏsomewhat easy.‰Û On top of that, more than 40% reported receiving a paper survey from a hotel, despite the survey finding that nearly all respondents prefer to submit feedback online.

One of the travel-​booking websites/​apps that 7.6% of consumers are using to read reviews, research and book lodging options is Hotels​.com. AudienceSCAN results show 57% of this audience is male. It is likely that Hotels​.com users are looking for hotels near sports arenas, as 48% of them enjoy attending sporting events in person. This crowd responds well to coupons, so try offering a discount in the advertising: 40% started online searches based on coupons they saw.

SurveyMonkey's 2015 Hospitality Consumer Report also mentioned that 80% said they look at both positive and negative reviews equally. This is ample support for making sure your travel and dining clients are transparent in their public reviews. Just remember, no one believes a company that only has positive reviews available to read. Use your clients' negative reviews as positive opportunities to respond with improvements for the 56% of Hotels​.com users who are planning a vacation this year. And to the 41% booking beach vacations in the next 12 months!

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.