There are now very few in the travel industry who think reviews do not play a role in consumer choice - but how seriously do product owners take it?
Quite a lot, it would appear.
TripAdvisor says part of a recent survey of more than 100,000 travellers and business owners revealed the speed in which travel reviews are read by those on the receiving end.
Some 60% of businesses claim they read a review as soon as it comes in - in contrast to just 12% who check their new reviews on a weekly basis and 19% daily.
Perhaps the reason for this eagerness and the ability to engage with those both criticising and praising a business is that 82% of owners believe reviews have a positive impact on standards in the industry, leading 70% to make steps to improve a product after acting on the content contained in reviews.
Only 6% of business owners believe online reviews do not have a positive impact on the industry.
The immediacy of the travel reviews culture was another interesting area uncovered in the study, not least with mobile connectivity clearly having an impact on the ability of travellers to leave a review when on-the-road.
More than two-thirds of travellers leave their reviews within two days of a trip or experiencing a product, TripAdvisor found.
Travellers also said the most important elements of a review to make it helpful to fellow readers are: concentrating on facts (56%), detail (48%) and being concise (41%).
Still, providing some kind of balance is important in terms of style of reviews (83%), with 69% saying they like to see context as to why a reviewer liked or disliked a product.
Specifically to hotels, two-thirds of travellers want reviews to mention the overall condition of a property and 49% think it is important to mentioned the quality of service.
For attractions, interestingly, some 75% want to read practical tips about how to best experience a product or service.
One of the mysteries of why travel reviews have become so popular is the motivation travellers have to contribute to sites and forums.
The study found that 83% of travellers claimed to do so simply because they wish to share usual information and feedback with fellow travellers and "want to give back".
NB:Bad reviews image via Shutterstock.