Travelers today are equipped with more information than ever before. Information and reviews on hotels, restaurants, and even the most obscure destinations are accessible within a few simple clicks on the computer.
With so much feedback in hand before booking, travelers should be pretty happy with their accommodations these days. But do they really have the feedback they need, when travelers read only about 1.2% of reviews before booking.
Let that sink in for a minute because it is very little of what’s available.
Leisure travelers read an average of 6 to 7 reviews before booking while business travelers read an average of 5, according to “Consumer Research Identifies How To Present Travel Review Content For More Bookings,” by Donna Quadri-Felitti, PhD, Director of the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University.
Most of these travelers have spend a good 30 minutes reading reviews, but walk away without the scope of feedback they need to make a truly informed decision. Moreover, most travelers tend to read the outliers in reviews – the best reviews, and the worst – which leads to unwarranted expectations.
In response, hotels now have to find a way to provide review data in a way that paints a holistic image of the property. Review summaries, many companies have found, are one opportunity to do this.
In addition to summarizing all verified hotel review data available across the web, review summaries also offer a more visual representation of traveler feedback. It’s less time-consuming to digest and is completely customizable. Some hotels use symbols to indicate overall traveler satisfaction levels, while others use a points system (9.0 out of 10, for instance.) Many hotels will provide short summaries of what travelers say about rooms, food, ambiance, and more.
The benefits of review summaries for travelers are that they make the travel research process much simpler, and allow travelers to feel more confident about their decisions. Hotels benefit as well, as they can compile all reviews into a realistic portrayal of the property and expose their best, most honest reviews.