TripAdvisor reviews generate £2bn a year in hospitality spending

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

TripAdvisor reviews generate £2bn a year in hospitality spending

Related tags: United kingdom

TripAdvisor reviews generated £2bn in visitor spending in the UK in 2014 alone and sustained 55,000 jobs, according to a study by Oxford Economics.

The research – conducted on behalf of the online travel agent– found that 400,000 trips to the UK were made after viewing the site.

However, TripAdvisor users spent less on average per day than other travellers, suggesting visitors are using the site to find low-budget options.

Adam Sacks, president of tourism economics at Oxford Economics, said the study showed online reviews had 'significant' influence on users and inspired new travel activity.

“As well as generating trips that wouldn’t otherwise have taken place, increased interaction with TripAdvisor listings and reviews encourages travellers to take longer trips," said Sacks.

The study also claims that over 1.9m travel industry jobs – including 55,000 in the UK - were sustained as a result of spending generated by the site in 2014.

Hospitality headache

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) said the report provided evidence of the 'strong link between tourism and the digital economy’.

However the findings are unlikely to appease many hospitality operators, who have argued that unreliable or even false negative reviews posted online can seriously damage their business.

TripAdvisor launched a private feedback option​ last year in an attempt to minimise the number of harmful reviews being made public, but many in the industry want to see further action.

Last year the Twitter campaign #noreceiptnoreview​ attracted widespread support after it called for the site to only publish reviews where users could provide evidence of a restaurant or hotel receipt.

But TripAdvisor said the method would be unfair to consumers, and that it had ‘sophisticated systems and techniques’ in place to detect fraudsters.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site and app,​ with 320m reviews posted monthly in 48 countries nationwide.

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