Travelers Fooled by Five-Star Reviews!

Travelers fooled by five-star reviews —  it’s a common mistake we all make?

The reviews online are gushing, all 300. You arrive and say UGH! It happens millions of times to millions of travelers around the world.  I am going to repeat myself here; if you don’t understand your unique travel personality this case scenario will happen time and time again.

The Reality of Five-Star Reviews

Today, it seems as if every business either has a five-star or some sort of star review. Food for thought; a Cornell University analyzed more than one- million hotel reviews on TripAdvisor found that 70% of reviews were positive (either 4- or 5-star reviews,) while only 15% ranked in the bottom two categories (1- and 2-star reviews.)

Airbnb seems to be playing along with TripAdvisor it’s pretty hard to find a bad review. A 2015 study of 600,000 listings by Boston University found that 95% of Airbnb’s got 4.5 stars or above, suggesting that people rate it more like Uber. Unless the listing was dishonest or something goes very wrong, Airbnb reviewers give full or almost-full star ratings.

From looking at reviews alone, it may appear that most hotels or vacation rental homes are above average. Really? We all know this can’t be true. Just think about your vacation experience I’m sure 90 percent of them weren’t five-star.

I’ve discussed in previous blogs how marketing professionals are hired to make both destinations and properties look good online. It’s their job. We all want to look good right? Not a critique just a fact!

Fooled by Five-Star Reviews? Who Do You Trust?

The premise of my book; “What’s Your Travel Personality; Let Your Inner Guide Be Your Travel Guide” says it all. You have to trust yourself. Yes, I realize you don’t know everything, but I am sure you have close friends, a partner, a family member who are similar minded, and who may even share the same values and travel personality type.

Trust your gut.

Listen to your intuition.

Turn off the smartphone and sit with a decision to see if it feels good. Ask yourself is this the place for me? What does a yes feel like, what does a no feel like. If you are quiet, and in-the-moment you will find the answer.

Online Reviews from an Extrovert or an Introvert’s Perspective

  • Extroverts may rate a destination higher if they find it to be stimulating, full of excitement, and socially active vs an introvert who will find a destination that is highly stimulating to be a drain and would probably give the destination a three-star or below rating while the extrovert would give it a five-star review.

See how quickly and easily one can be fooled by a five-star review. Believing in a review could quickly steer a traveler down the wrong path. I just used one example and with 16-unique travel personality types, you can see how a rating system becomes irrelevant unless of course, you know exactly where you want to travel? And even then, take the ratings in stride and measure against your unique travel DNA.

iHeart Radio Interview

Want to learn more?

If you haven’t had a chance you may want to listen to my radio interview about What’s Your Travel Personality; Let Your Inner Guide Be Your Travel Guide.  The interview was aired on Speaking of Travel, archived somewhere on iHeart Radi with host Marilyn Ball. I made it easy to listen. Here is a direct link to the podcast.

Or learn more by visiting my travel page. This page gives an overall idea on the premise of travel personalities and the import role they play when planning a vacation.


Photo Credit: Becca Tapert on Unsplash


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