The Effect of TripAdvisor Reviews on Bookings

TripAdvisor employs three different review and ranking systems. Guests that have stayed at the property write bubble-reviews based on their personal overall experiences. TripAdvisor displays both an average bubble review score and the individual bubble reviews. The second review system, the star review, is determined by a third-party, such as Expedia, and is based on facilities, staff and amenities, rather than personal experiences. Lastly, a hotel is ranked among other accommodations on TripAdvisor.


The average bubble-review, number of bubble reviews, and ranking are displayed prominently on the hotel’s TripAdvisor page while the star ranking is less noticeable, as highlighted in the screenshot below. Increasing these three reviews and rankings has been shown to increase the number of bookings at a property.

TripAdvisor Bubble Reviews

According to TripAdvisor, 83% of travelers rely on bubble ratings when choosing a hotel, proving how important these ratings are. In fact, a study conducted by TrustYou used heat-mapping technology to determine that guests are 3.9 times more likely to book the hotel with the highest average review score when price is equal.


A separate study conducted by TrustYou, AccorHotels, and the Statistical Consulting Unit of LMU Munich measured how TripAdvisor rankings affect bookings for AccorHotels’ European and Asian-Pacific properties. The study found that a larger number of 5-bubble reviews, a higher average review score, and a higher ranking on TripAdvisor result in more bookings.


The study also examined how the different ranking and rating systems affected bookings. A higher percentage of 5-bubble reviews translates to a better ranking on TripAdvisor. A better ranking increases your property’s visibility and leads to more bookings. The study of AccorHotels’ properties found that a 10% increase in ranking on TripAdvisor equals a 4.6% increase in bookings in Europe and 5.7% in Asia-Pacific. A higher percentage of 5-bubble reviews also has a greater impact on bookings than the average bubble review score does in Europe, but the average bubble review has a larger impact than the number of 5-bubble reviews in Asia-Pacific


To increase your TripAdvisor bubble reviews and ranking, you can encourage guests to write reviews for your property. Having more reviews on your TripAdvisor page is likely to increase your average bubble review score, which will in turn increase your rating. You can remind guests to write reviews when they check out or via email after their stay.


TrustYou reports that 76% of guests say they are willing to pay more for accommodations that have higher reviews.   A Cornell study also found that increases in reputation justify increases in room rates. Increasing your TripAdvisor bubble review score and ranking allows you to generate more bookings at a higher rate.



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