73% of hotel customers research online

According to a survey of US adults ages 18 and over by Harris Interactive, 73% who stay in hotels when they travel say they start their stay by researching hotel accommodations online. When asked to consider what factors other than price and location are important in selecting one hotel over another, online travelers cite the hotel’s written description (71%) and visuals (69%) as the top two most important factors. Other important factors: information about the destination (62%); property star ratings (60%); the brand of hotel (53%); customer reviews and testimonials (44%); and loyalty program (31%). 28% rated visuals as “very important,” more than the description of the property (23%) and information about the destination (17%). Online travelers are twice as likely to rate visuals as “very important” as they are property star ratings (14%), customer reviews and testimonials (13%), the brand of hotel (11%), and loyalty program (8%).