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The importance of online reviews when deciding travel plans

The importance of online reviews when deciding travel plans
The importance of online reviews when deciding travel plans
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Relevance of online reviews when buying tours

Online reviews reflect customer satisfaction and are a key factor into deciding and buying tours during travel planning. So, they can build a good online reputation for your business.

Positive online reviews are the natural consequence of a great customer experience. Not only are they the key factor of online buys, but they can make you a quality benchmark in the industry. For example, the Michelin stars can make a restaurant a travel destination and put them on the map, hence the importance of online reviews when deciding travel plans.

According to the POEM model of customer journey of DEC Association, reviews are classified as earned media because it is with hard work and consistency that you can obtain and maintain a great and trustworthy online reputation. Reviews can come in different formats, like stars, a numeric scale or a positive, negative or passive comment.

Online reviews as the main factor in the buying decision process

Online reviews are the result of customer satisfaction and they are the main influence for new clients to buy tours. According to a study made by iaSpain in 2021, 73% of prospective clients only buy when they feel they can trust the company and about 51% only buy after the recommendations from their influence group.

According to PowerReviews (2022) 99.9% of consumers only buy online after consulting online reviews. This form of social recommendation has also adapted to the social media revolution with influencers being the voice of reviews. Nevertheless, with time, the need for trustworthiness has evolved into users listening more and more to micro or nano (less than 10 000 followers) influencers rather than big ones.

Deciding travel plans based on online reviews
Deciding travel plans based on online reviews

Fake reviews and online reputation

Fake reviews are one of the biggest problems when it comes to online reputation which results in a huge complication because it is precisely what will give a customer trust and inspire them to buy you tours. However, fake reviews also affect the quality of your social profile online which can lead to users doubting your company.

Amazon and Google had many issues concerning fake reviews, so they implemented a strict vigilance program to report and block fake reviews. The defense for honesty in reviews not only works wonders for SEO, but also helps create a solid online corporate reputation that possible travelers can trust. So, real online reviews help improve branding, SEO, valuable content and conversion rates.

Prospective traveler decision process based on reviews

José Arozarena, CEO of TourReview, confirmed in a talk with PhocusWright that 95% of prospective travelers will read a review before booking an activity and 7 out of 10 rely on reviews for booking any travel tours or experiences. Consequently he says that the principal guiding factors for an online buy are price and reviews.

In the analysis of the decision process of online buyers in the tourism sector, states that any need for information automatically redirects clients to consult specialized browsers and platforms that include customer evaluations. Even if the final buy is not online.

Managing the online reviews can be a challenge without the proper organization, which is why, TourReview offers the solution. A software that unifies the reviews you get from all platforms into one single dashboard that allows you to manage, respond and filter, as well as creates full reports and analysis of your current status according to your clients.

The importance of online reviews when deciding travel plans
The importance of online reviews when deciding travel plans

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