More than a third of consumers would not book a hotel without reading guest reviews first, according to new research.
The survey of 1,366 people by Tui-owned accommodation firm LateRooms.com found that the demand for reviews is soaring, with 40% browsing the internet before booking to read the views of previous guests.
Despite the increasing numbers of fake reviews across review websites, 45% did not realise the extent of the problem, believing everything they read.
But 28% of people disregarded reviews as fake when extremely negative or gushingly positive language was present, meaning genuine customer reviews could be getting dismissed as consumers feel they have to filter the content they find online.
Reviews branding hotels as ‘dirty’ were the biggest turn off, with 90% saying this would preventing them from booking a room.
Almost half of respondents would not book with a hotel if it was described within reviews as being noisy.
Half of people would leave a scathing review if they were encountered poor customer service during their stay.
However, 70% said they would be prompted to leave a positive review if hotel staff were friendly and helpful.
The survey was commissioned by LateRooms.com to mark 1.4 million reviews on the website.
Offline marketing manager Lynda Matthews said: “Customers are after the truth when it comes to getting the inside view on a hotel from its guests, but the presence of fake reviews is greater than ever.
“We are trying to combat this by ensuring that customers can only log in and leave a review once they have completed their stay, meaning guests that want to check out a property before they check in know they can trust every word.”