86%: this is the percentage of people who consult customer reviews before choosing their hotel, whether on online reservation sites, Google or TripAdvisor.
It is also important to know that reviews are the 3rd most important criteria for selecting a hotel.
Experience reports on the 2022 trends in terms of customer reviews and opinions in the French hotel industry.
How many reviews have travelers left in the last months?
Reviews have been numerous in recent months, especially in July and August during the summer season. Compared to the year 2021, the summer 2022 season has recorded an increase of more than 20% in reviews left by consumers.
However, it should be noted that in 2021, the lockdown ended in June, and the 2021 season remained difficult (barriers, masking, canceled events…), which impacted both hotel occupancy rates and reviews – occupancy rates being closely linked to the number of reviews left by customers.
In addition, 2022 is a record-breaking year for occupancy rates and average prices in France. The comparison is therefore difficult, even if the overall trend is upward.
Positive or negative customer reviews?
If we consider a positive review when the rating is at least 7 out of 10, the amount of positive reviews increased between 2021 and 2022, from 80% to 82.79%.
Taking into account the increase in the number of reviews left on online sites (+22%), this evolution is really interesting. This potentially means that customers are not harder to please, and that satisfied customers are more likely to leave a review.
Despite the difficulties of the hotel world (difficult recruitment, poorly qualified staff
Despite the difficulties of the hotel industry (difficult recruitment, poorly qualified staff, different management…), the 2022 season went well, both for foreign and local travelers.
Moreover, we notice that the number of reviews left are often those of French speakers: between 2021 and 2022, the number of reviews in French has increased from 79% to nearly 83%.
This includes French travelers but also Belgians and Swiss. This trend is explained by a real increase of French travelers within their own country.
What is the average rating of the last months?
The average rating follows the trend of positive reviews: it increases by 1.61% between 2021 and 2022. In July, the variation is rather small with an average score going from 8.18 to 8.21. In August, the rating jumped from 7.93 to 8.12. On average, over the summer, the average score goes from 8.03 to 8.16.
This low differentiation in rating can be explained by the fact that despite the increase in positive comments, the feedback from dissatisfied customers is quite harsh.
The presence of the barrier gestures and the few sanitary measures still in effect during the summer of 2021, as well as the lower interactions, may partially explain the presence of slightly more negative reviews, which limit the increase in the average rating.
Customer reviews by platform (TripAdvisor, Google, Booking?)
In the summer of 2022, the platform that collects the most reviews remains Booking with 53% of the reviews left on the internet. It is followed by Google (16%), then by TripAdvisor (9%) and finally by Facebook (2%).
63% of the reviews concern hotels, and 37% concern outdoor hotels, which are not
marketed by Booking.
Regarding the evolution of each platform, we see a real increase between 2021 and 2022:
Booking: +33% more reviews
Google: +10% ;
The number of reservations on Booking explains this increase in the number of reviews.
Similarly, the average rating of the various platforms is increasing. Booking went from 8 to 8.16; Google, from 7.91 to 8.11; TripAdvisor, from 7.88 to 8.18.
It is now a reality, reviews are important, even essential in the selection of a hotel, and not only.
Don’t forget that reviews and comments about your establishment will be one of the first interactions a traveler will have with your hotel, and we all know that a good first impression is necessary to push for a reservation.
Take care of your customers and encourage them to leave reviews: it will bring you visibility and good publicity.
Moreover, it is one of the points that can make the difference with the competition…