My Last Review was _____: a Guest’s Perspective

As a central point of our latest research project, we wanted to discover what type of reviews guests are leaving after their latest stay. So what did we do? We asked a group of travelers a set of questions that were aimed at their experience with online reviews.

Even before their stay, most travelers – meaning 93% – are interacting with reviews before they make their booking decision, something we tested in a 2015 study. This time around, our researchers wanted to dig into that statistic even further, to see exactly how relevant reviews are to their booking decision. Guests were asked to rank the factors that affect their decision when searching for a hotel, which included: hotel brand name, star class, price, review score, short description, and the image of the property’s listing. Review Scores were the most important after price, showing that reviews really do drive booking decisions. Another previous study of ours proved that travelers are even willing to pay a higher price for a hotel that is rated better.

My Last Review was Requested.

Let’s not forget, these review scores originate from past guests. So we asked if they had written a review in the past year, and 54% said they had written at least one review. So that means that more than half of guests are willing to spend their time to write feedback about their stay in a hotel. One factor that we thought would yield interesting results was to compare whether or not they were asked to leave this review. Out of those asked, 80% of left a review – compared to only 22% of guests who wrote a review having not been asked. So by asking for a review, hotels are very likely to collect one. By why would a hotel want more reviews? As a traveler myself,  I asked myself that question in a previous blog, and concluded that reviews are mostly positive.

So our research led us to ask those travelers who had left a review, how they rated their last stay on a 5-point scale. From extremely positive (5-stars) to extremely negative (1-star), the following chart shows the distribution of reviews.

requested unrequested review scores

My Last Review was Positive.

95% of the reviews that had been left are reportedly positive, with a total of 5% having had been neutral to negative. This confirms that collecting reviews is in the best interest for hotels and other accommodation providers.

When diving deeper into these past two factors, researchers tested the correlation between review ratings and whether or not a review is requested. While there wasn’t a big increase in whether or not reviews would be positive, it was discovered that there is a 16% higher chance that a guest would leave a 5-star review over a 4-star review.

Review Ratings

All these stats and more can be found in full in our free white paper “Consumer Research Emphasizes Importance of Online Feedback Management.” Moreover, there are insightful implications that really explain how reputation management fits into any hotel’s review marketing and operational excellence strategies.