How do global travelers research before booking a hotel?
May 11th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

How do global travelers research before booking a hotel?

According to YouGov Profiles data, around two-thirds of the global audience (67%) say that cleanliness is an important factor when choosing a hotel, followed by price (57%) and location (55%). But how do they go about deciding on which hotel to book?

Data from a recent YouGov survey, focused on 18 international markets, reveals that written consumer reviews are the most popular pre-purchase research method, with 57% of global respondents indicating that they check other travelers’ experiences before booking a hotel. Speaking to friends and/or family is the second most popular method (44%) followed by consulting the brand's website (39%).

Nearly three in ten global respondents say they refer to video reviews by the public (28%). Views of professional experts (20%) and sales executives (15%) are among the least preferred methods.

Written consumer reviews is the most popular method of research for a high share of consumers in 17 of the 18 markets surveyed. The highest usage is reported in GB where nearly three-quarters of consumers say they prefer reading other travelers’ reviews (73%), followed by Singapore (69%), and Italy (68%).

India is the only market where consumers are slightly more likely to say they prefer speaking to friends and/or family before deciding on which hotel to book (50%) than reading online reviews (49%). Speaking to friends/family is an important method of research for half the population in US (50%) and Singapore (51%).

In countries where consumers are more likely to say they prefer consulting the brand’s website, video reviews by members of the public are not as popular a research method – GB (41% vs. 19%), Australia (45% vs. 25%), UAE (32% vs. 42%), US (40% vs. 19%).

Taking in views of professional experts when researching which hotel to book is popular in India and Singapore where around a third of consumers (33% and 34% respectively) say they prefer this method. Consumers in the other markets surveyed are not as likely to use this method with Denmark (13%) and Germany (14%) registering the lowest figures.

Speaking to a sales executive was the least popular method overall. However, this varied widely across countries, with Indonesia reporting the highest usage at 25% and GB (5%), France (9%), and Italy (10%) reporting the lowest usage.

A higher percentage of global women rely on written consumer reviews (61%) compared to men (53%) when researching a hotel. Speaking to friends and family is also a more common research method for women, with 47% saying they use this method compared to 40% of men.

In terms of consulting the brand's website, both genders have a similar rate of preference, with 38% of men and 39% of women using this method. However, video reviews by members of the public are more popular among men (30%) compared to women (26%).

Taking in the views of professional experts is a more common research method for men (23%) compared to women (17%). Finally, speaking to a sales executive is the least popular research method for both genders, with only 16% of men and 14% of women relying on this method.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2034 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in February 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.