Nearly three quarters (73%) of UK businesses have taken steps to improve their service as a result of an online review, and 59% check their reviews "whenever a new one comes in".
That's according to a survey of 100,000 respondents by online reviews site TripAdvisor.
The survey polled 95,608 travellers and 7,215 hospitality business owners globally, of which more than 23,462 were UK travellers, and more than 1,603 were UK business owners. The report was created as part of the site's newly-launched Guide to Writing Helpful Reviews, which is aimed at consumers and hospitality operators to help them get the most out of reviews posted online.
Over 85% of respondents said that online review sites have a positive impact on the industry and hospitality standards.
The report also looked at what consumers are most interested in when it comes to reading reviews of a business.
Almost two thirds (64%) would look for a description of a hotel's condition, while just under half (49%) think it's important to read about the business's quality of service. When it comes to restaurants, 81% of consumers would be most interested in the food quality, followed by 66% who look for comments about service.
Over four fifths (83%) of travellers said they wanted to read a balanced review of a business, and over two thirds (69%) said they would want to know the context behind a negative experience or less-positive aspect of a trip.
Asked why they write reviews at all, more than eight in ten reviewers (83%) said they do so because "they want to share useful information with others" and because "they find reviews helpful, so they want to give back".
A useful review needed to concentrate on facts (56% said); should provide a lot of details (48%), and be concise and to the point (41%).
Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer at TripAdvisor, said: "Reviews have become a powerful tool. More than half will not make a booking decision without reading reviews from others."
Jackie Grech, policy director, British Hospitality Association, also commented on the launch of the guide. She said: "Reviews are of critical importance to the industry, which aims to provide the best service and offer to guests. It is a great thing to have a guide that emphasises the importance of customer reviews, and to take care to use that powerful voice to provide a useful, honest, realistic review of your experience."