The travel brochure is dead; long live the online travel review site…

March 30, 2010 at 8:11 am 1 comment

 A recent study has shown that 25% of holiday goers now refer to online travel review sites before making their booking, compared to just 11% who use travel brochures and magazine supplements. Furthermore, the report showed that nearly 50% of travellers over the age of 45 regularly use travel review sites to pass on their own experiences, recommendations and warnings to other bookers.

These statistics are hardly surprising; online reviews offer the travel booker something that glossy magazines don’t – honest, unbiased travel reviews and candid warts-and-all photos. While this may take some of the glamour out of travel, travellers clearly consider that the added peace of mind and reduced chance of disappointment makes up for it.

Although word-of-mouth advice has always been an invaluable marketing tool, this report, commissioned by Total Media, shows that even the opinions of strangers carry more weight than travel brochures and other conventional forms of advertising. Add this to the fact that nowadays over 70% of travel bookings are made over the internet (for reasons of price and convenience) and the need for every B&B and guesthouse to have an online presence becomes clear.

This is not to say that such reviews should be trusted implicitly. On many of these travel review sites, there is no way to verify whether or not the reviewer was a genuine guest at the property. There may have been a mix up with a similarly named place in the same area, or the owners themselves may have signed in to leave a glowing but inaccurate review of their property. Overly negative reviews may have been left by someone with an axe to grind. provides the ideal solution. B&B and guesthouse owners are able to upload well-written descriptions and up to ten photos, and guests are invited to leave honest, objective reviews of their stay. Only those who have made a booking through the site are able to share their opinions, eliminating the risk of false reviews.

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Today’s Top B&B: B&B Anfiteatro in Lucca, Italy Off to Cork!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brian Whelan  |  March 30, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Credit to Bed and Breakfast World for trying to tackle this issue of accommodation review sites which are now being blatantly manipulated by owners. I think (like cigarette packs) some should come with a warning.
    In many cases people can safeguard themselves by Googling the name of the accommodation – the internet is the most unbiased information source.
    Brian (Dublin)


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