03 December, 2012

Do you trust online reviews?

When you're planning to visit somewhere or go on holiday, how often do you use internet review sites before you make your decision? I have to say while I always have an idea of what I'm looking for, I sometimes go onto sites such as Trip Advisor to see what other travellers think. There's no doubt that the internet is part of everyday life (and a crucial part of the travel industry); but if you read a bad review, would you still visit that restaurant or stay in that hotel?

While I find review sites very helpful, incredibly, it is estimated that 1 in 10 reviews are fake. Around 85% of consumers search for reviews and recommendations online; and as we all know word of mouth can have a big impact on our views, which makes it very influential. Mark Hall, managing director of online reputation management comany Got Juice says:  "A single bad review can ruin the chances of gaining new customers and create a long standing, horrible word of mouth campaign offline."

So should we trust review sites in the first place? I have to say I make my own choice in the end, and believe that all reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt anyway. On a recent holiday I went to a restaurant that came highly recommended - it was ok, but actually turned to to be the poorest meal of the trip. The motto of the tale? One man's meat is another man's poison!

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