User-generated views are often the first port of call during the decision making process for potential travelers according to findings in the Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index. The survey found that four out of five (77%) Americans, who are confident they will take a vacation this year, find other travelers reviews to be “trustworthy.” Just one in six (16%) find them “not trustworthy” and less than one in ten (7%) aren’t sure how they feel about traveler reviews.
The numbers also show the importance of online reviews, revealing that four in ten (40%) travelers, and one in three (35%) Americans overall, share their own reviews online in some form. Topping the list of online sharing platforms is Facebook (27%), followed by posting on travel review sites (15%), social networking sites other than Facebook (11%), consumer review sites (7%), and a personal blog or website (6%).
Social media platforms also stand out as a place consumers go to find vacation ideas. The survey found Facebook to be the top destination for Americans looking for summer travel inspiration, used by 24% of respondents confident they will take a summer vacation this year, but down 4 points from 2012. TripAdvisor, with its user-generated-reviews, came in second place (18%), but is rising, up 4 points from two years ago. Pinterest was third (4%, no change) and Twitter was fourth (1%, down 5 points), with half of respondents (50%, up 2 points) saying they don’t use any social media platforms for inspiration and 2% don’t know if they do.
Age and geography are important indicators of whether consumers trust travel reviews, as the survey found Americans ages 18-34 are most likely to find user-generated-reviews trustworthy (77%), followed by middle-aged travelers 35-54 (69%), and seniors 55+ (56%). Geographically, travelers in the Northeast are most likely to find travel reviews trustworthy (77%), ahead of those in the Midwest (69%), the South (63%) and the West (59%).
These results are part of the data found in the 2014 Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, which has been conducted each summer since 2010 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance USA.