When it comes to booking your dream holiday abroad, do you turn to your local or online travel agent for advice, or do you rely on the comments made by ‘real travellers’ on TripAdvisor?
Well, a recent consumer study held by the Association of British Travel Agents, revealed that more than half of holidaymakers believe that booking with a ‘travel professional’ will save them time (and perhaps money), but that some travel agents ‘need to work harder’ to better understand their guests needs.
Giving travel advice on a destination you have never visited is no easy task, and while travel agents have an endless supply of glossy brochures and 360° online tours to show their clients, if they are not well-travelled themselves, how can they give us the detailed information that we need to turn a good holiday into an amazing trip?
Well, it seems this is where TripAdvisor comes into play…
More and more travellers are turning to Travel Encyclopaedia TripAdvisor to read up on destination reviews and hotel reviews written by other travellers who have ‘been there, done that’, but the question is, how reliable are these reviews, and should we entrust them with our holiday?
As someone who uses TripAdvisor on a daily basis, I do believe it homes a lot of useful information for travellers, but I also know that anyone can post a review on any hotel or destination, and that their motives for writing it may not be for the benefit of other travellers!
With the Advertising Standards Authority ruling that TripAdvisor must not imply that all of its reviews were from ‘real travellers’, it seems we really must read between the lines, and not be put off a hotel or destination because it has one or two negative reviews, which could have been written by a nearby rival.
Niche tour operators and travel agents who specialise in a specific region or area are more likely to have the detailed information you need to plan your perfect trip, and when combined with an ‘overview’ from TripAdvisor, you can turn your Bucket List Dreams into a holiday of a lifetime…
14 Comments Add yours
I hardly ever read reviews! I just pick a place I want to visit and go! I go with the flow while visiting that place and make my own experiences!
Sounds like you have the right idea Jessica! I agree, you have to make your own experiences, and even if the hotel is not what you expected, you can still turn your trip into an amazing holiday! 🙂
Exactly, you got it! I’ve turned horrible situations into interesting stories.
My kinda traveller! 😉
I’m very picky about cleanliness & cleanliness levels are rather easy to surmise by reading reviews and seeing photos on TripAdvisor. It’s also rather simple to weed out those folks with axes to grind and unreasonable complaints. I try to stick to better brand hotels with the hope that they are following a relatively high set of standards. With all of that, I do still end up in a dud every now and then! I like the idea of combining a travel agent with TripAdvisor when the really big bucks are involved.
Thanks Jody, I agree, if you read between the lines you can usually get a fair overview of the hotel. Cleanliness is key for us too…! 😉
I have been checking and reading reviews on Tripadvisor for years, before I book anything (hotel, restaurant, resort, holiday) and will never stay anywhere (recommended or not by any agent) unless I check first on Tripadvisor. And I also leave my own review after every visit to restaurants, hotel etc, to help future travellers
I’d pretty much never ask a travel agent any more. Word of mouth is much better – or like Jessica said, if it’s somewhere I want to go, I’d go and make my own of it.
we use TA a lot for our holiday planning.
We also find the reviews to be accurate and reliable most of the time.
very best regards,
Thanks Kap. I agree, TripAdvisor is very useful and if a hotel has three or four bad reviews out of 800 good ones, its a pretty safe bet! 😉
I’ve become a big fan (and contributor) on Trip Advisor, but my rule of thumb is to never put all your eggs in one basket. I always be sure several sources corroborate one another – and even then you can get stung.
Very wise Jane. I do think the positives of TripAdvisor far outweigh any negatives.
Love TripAdvisor! Sometimes it’s the only source of data I can find on hotels that are kinda far off the beaten path. Despite concerns over reviews being from “actual travelers,” I’ve only felt misled once out of maybe a hundred stays. Not too bad, TA!
Not bad at all Miranda! 😉 I once persuaded my other half to stay in a hotel with several negative reviews on TA, on the presumption that “it can’t be that bad”, we checked out at 3am…. it was the worst hotel ever!