English Corner

Almost every traveller checks guest reviews on the internet before booking a hotel. Image: Adobe Stock

This is what travellers want to know before they book a hotel

97 per cent of travellers consult reviews from previous guests when they want to book a stay at a hotel or resort. A recent survey now shows what travellers pay particular attention to.

Guest reviews are the second most important factor in the booking decision, just behind rooms and facilities and ahead of criteria such as food and catering, Wi-Fi/Internet connection and health and hygiene standards.

This is the result of a report by Accor, one of the world's leading hospitality groups, and is based on a survey of 5000 travellers from several European countries.

The survey shows that four out of ten guests (38 percent) read the guest reviews before booking a hotel. A further 38 percent stated that they do this most of the time. On average, travellers read nine reviews (8.63) for each hotel or holiday destination they want to stay.

Cleanliness of central interest

Before booking a stay, respondents are most interested in information about the cleanliness of the hotel or resort in question. When asked which three areas they would most like to read about in reviews, 52 percent said that cleanliness was the most important factor, followed by value for money (27 percent), rooms (26 percent), location (21 percent) and friendliness of staff (19 percent).

The majority (63 percent) of those who read reviews try to find a balanced opinion and take both positive and negative reviews into account. The topicality of the comments is also important: More than two thirds (67 percent) of people who read reviews ignore those that are more than six months old.

57 percent state that they write reviews themselves for at least half of their hotel stays. Ten per cent of respondents do this after every stay and a further 30 per cent do this most of the time.

According to the survey, 71 percent of respondents appreciate it when hotels take the time to respond to reviews; this shows that feedback from guests is recognised. On the other hand, however, 12 percent of respondents were against responding to reviews, as this could come across as insincere or purely a business practice.