Ever since the birth of the web, people have turned to travel sites to find the best possible deals on flights and hotels. And as the internet’s second generation of sites – popularly known as Web 2.0 – gathers momentum, the burgeoning number of social network sites, wikis and other communication tools has ensured that holiday reviews have become an integral part of today’s travel sites.
As more and more web users develop their own blogs and user-generated content spreads itself across the web, the importance of first-hand holiday reviews are becoming of paramount importance to prospective travellers before they book their holidays. Whether it’s user-generated video footage on popular online video sites, like YouTube, or holiday resort ratings on travel sites, holiday reviews indicate real user opinion; and in a market that’s becoming overly penetrated by press releases and corporate jargon, first-hand opinions are of crucial value to the discerning travel consumer.
Yahoo!, one of the world’s leading search engines, has long provided a travel forum for people who desire to write reviews on their holiday experiences. From Cornwall to Siberia, Yahoo! Travel’s resources provide prospective travellers with information on the best attractions and restaurants for a particular destination, as voted for by Yahoo! users. Trip Advisor is another popular holiday reviews site that claims to hold over five million traveller reviews and opinions on particular vacation spots. With a ‘rants and raves’ column, as well as the opportunity to post candid photos and interesting video clips, Trip Advisor acts as a working example of the importance of holiday reviews and user opinion to modern day travellers.
Many newspapers in the UK have also realised the importance of online travel reviews; for example, the Guardian, the Times and the Daily Mail all offer comprehensive travel reviews sections, allowing their readers to express their opinions on recent holidays.
However, because anyone can post a review, it’s becoming a growing problem for these travel websites that many holiday destinations are being subject to fake reviews. And, unfortunately, when these fake reviews are negative, it can severely damage the reputation of a particular holiday resort or destination.
Thankfully, many sites are catching on to this growing form of holiday review vandalism and acting upon it swiftly. Superbreak, for example, have just launched a My Holiday Review section, that gives all its customers the option to write a review of their holiday resort, as well as give ratings on key aspects of their holiday, such as the quality of their sleep,