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TripAdvisor reviews generate ‘£2bn a year in visitor spending’

TripAdvisor reviews generated £2bn in visitor spending in the UK in 2014, according to a new study by Oxford Economics on behalf of the online travel agent.

The report found the company ‘influenced’ some 10% of all travel spending globally in 2014 and ‘generated’ 22 million tourism trips throughout the year. Some 400,000 of those visits were in the UK, which the report said would not have occurred without TripAdvisor content.

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Tourists who booked through TripAdvisor spent less on average per day than other travellers, however the report claimed the savings they made allowed travellers to extend their trips and spend more at their destination.

The report said TripAdvisor is not only influencing travellers’ booking decisions, it is “directly generating travel spending that would otherwise not have occurred”.

Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics (Oxford Economics), said: “Extensive modelling spanning more than 100 countries has shown the effects of TripAdvisor content to be significant both in terms of influence and in generating new travel activity.

“As well as generating trips that wouldn’t otherwise have taken place, increased interaction with TripAdvisor listings and reviews encourages travellers to take longer trips.”

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, added the findings of the report provide further evidence of the “strong link” between tourism and the digital economy.

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Editor’s Note

The report describes its methodology as follows:

  • Methodology: Study commissioned by TripAdvisor and undertaken by Oxford Economics, quantifying the economic impacts of TripAdvisor globally. Apanel dataset covering more than 100 countries for the years 2009 – 2014 was compiled to test the relationship between TripAdvisormetrics and travel behaviour. Extensive econometric testing proved that TripAdvisor content is a causal factor in travel activity, in addition to being positively correlated. Research conducted in 2015.
  • Influenced: Defined as any travel in which TripAdvisor played any role. This includes generated impact as well as any travel that would have otherwise occurred but used TripAdvisor reviews and scores to inform behaviour.
  • Generated: Defined as incremental trips, nights, and spending that would not have happened without the content and functionality of TripAdvisor.

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