UK consumers are increasingly turning to online reviews when it comes to booking hotels and restaurants.
A survey by American Express found that more than 80% of UK consumers are now researching online before booking a hotel and 62% before booking a restaurant. Nearly half of them said they have refrained from booking a hotel or restaurant as a direct result of a negative review on websites such as TripAdvisor and TopTable.
However, despite the potential negative impact of negative online reviews, 77% of UK hotels and 80% of restaurants reported viewing the growth in consumer generated content as an opportunity for their businesses.
The findings were part of the second annual American Express Hospitality Monitor, a barometer of business trends and issues affecting the hotel and restaurant industries across Europe.
Kathryn Pretzel Shiels, hotel and restaurant director for American Express said: "Online communities can be a powerful player when it comes to influencing consumer behaviour, and the industry is clearly taking steps to better understand this channel.
"The majority of UK hotels and restaurants actively monitor content posted on independent review sites, and nearly 80% say these sites provide an opportunity for their businesses."
By Kerstin Kühn