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Customer Reviews Affecting Business Travel

Author: PASA

Consumer reviews significantly influence business travellers when booking hotels

97 percent of business travellers in the APAC region always or sometimes trust reviews to choose their next hotel. Over three quarters (79%) of the Australian business travellers surveyed said they use reviews when booking a hotel. AirPlus, one of the leading providers of billing solutions, recommends employers incorporate reviews into their travel programs.

Consumers are increasingly sharing their views and experiences with complete strangers. This has given rise to the power and influence of reviews. Consumers are searching for these views, just as readily as they seek recommendations from friends and family.

This readily applies to the travel industry, particularly in the case of hotel reviews and bookings. AirPlus surveyed 2,180 business travellers from 24 countries. Across the APAC region, over one third (33%) of business travellers chose their hotel based solely on online reviews. Globally, this figure was down slightly at 28 percent.

Reviews have a high degree of credibility

91 percent of Australian business travellers said they trust the reviews they read. This trend is felt even more strongly in emerging APAC markets. 97 percent of Indian business travellers and 99 percent of Chinese business travellers trusted the reviews. 57 percent of Indian business travellers followed through with their trust and booked a hotel based solely on online reviews. This is significantly more than 28 percent of business travellers globally.

The diversity of the APAC region means differences in leaving reviews. Given their reliance and trust of reviews, the AirPlus survey found 52 percent of Chinese business travellers and 45 percent of Indian travellers always share their hotel experience. On the other end of the scale, 49 percent of Australian business travellers never share their hotel experience.

Hotels should encourage their business travellers to leave a review

Online reviews matter. They demonstrate the calibre of the hotel and services offered. David Newington, Commercial Director APAC for AirPlus, said “Leaving reviews for hotels has a symbiotic effect. The feedback helps like-minded business travellers make a decision about where to stay. For Australians, this is particularly important as they value recommendations and word of mouth feedback.”

David continues, “If hotels encourage customers to leave reviews, this helps to bring in new clientele. The more reviews received, the more hotels can develop. Similarly, companies must harness review platforms. Feedback from a company’s own employees provide an opportunity to support travel perceptions. Employees are more likely to book preferred hotels, and thus comply with company policy, when they read a review by a trusted colleague.”

David explains, “Reviews help corporates match a hotel to the needs of their employees. If the employee will need to make numerous international calls during their trip, services like free, reliable wifi are a must. Reviews may reveal the quality of the connection without having to test it.”

You can find a white paper on this topic to download at the AirPlus website: www.airplus.com

About AirPlus International:
AirPlus International is a leading international provider of day-to-day corporate travel management solutions. 51,000 corporate clients rely on AirPlus International for their business travel payment and analysis needs. AirPlus International-branded products and services are sold worldwide. The AirPlus Company Account is the most successful billing account within the UATP. Further information at www.airplus.com.

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