Traveler reviews increase in importance - and number - in China. Friday, 13th June 2014 Source : PhoCusWright
The number of reviews on Chinese travel sites increased almost twofold in the last year:
According to a new report Traveler Reviews and Social Media in China, over 800,000 reviews were posted online in 2013, compared to 415,000 in 2012. Almost four in five Chinese travelers read traveler-submitted reviews while they plan at least half of their trips.
The Chinese online review space is varied and constantly changing. Online travel agencies host the majority of traveler reviews, but a new entrant is gaining ground. China's metasearch leader, Qunar, saw review volume explode 420% from 2012 to 2013. In comparison, all other review sites in China increased 95%.
The way reviews are being submitted has also changed. Now, travelers are submitting reviews via their phones. Qunar has adapted to this consumer behavior trend and accepts and solicits reviews by text message – one of the initiatives that has enabled it to gain ground against online travel agencies.
"Increasingly mobile-connected Chinese travelers are bringing their affinity for social media to the online travel world in the form of traveler reviews," says PhoCusWright analyst Maggie Rauch. "As intermediaries compete for their attention across devices, online agencies, metasearch sites and review sites are all encouraging users to share their impressions with other travelers."
Chinese Internet users are eager to comply. The country's social media environment has quickly become a crucial part of travel shopping. This report, Traveler Reviews and Social Media in China, leveraging social data through Circos Brand Karma, is the first of its kind to focus on the Chinese travel market and examine the role and impact of traveler review content on China's online travel ecosystem.
The role and impact of traveler reviews on China's online travel market
The extent to which travelers in China post hotel reviews and where they post them
The volume of traveler reviews posted on traveler review websites, metasearch sites and OTAs
Trends in the sentiment of online traveler reviews through
Key social travel benchmarks – buzz and social travel advocacy index (STAI) – to gauge social travel performance
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