TripAdvisor survey shows how hotels are responding to boom in reviewsNewsBy Sean O'Neil | March 6, 2013Share This article was originally published on Online reviews powerhouse TripAdvisor has commissioned the first of a series of bi-annual studies on top travel and hospitality industry trends.The inaugural survey polled more than 35,000 travellers and accommodation owners in 26 countries and was conducted by independent research firm StrategyOne, a division of Edelman Berland.Some key travel tech findings:Online continues to trump offline travel agents. (Surprise!)The top three sources of information reported as being most "useful" by global and European travellers are all online sources: Travel review websites (38%), Web based travel agencies (19%), and travel operator websites (16%). That compares favorbly against travel magazines & brochures (6%), and high street travel agencies (4%).When it comes to primary booking channel, the numbers are just as strikingly in favor of online. Here's the graphic:Another factoid that stands out is how hotel owners are responding to the power of user reviews.Rather than ignore or resist TripAdvisor, some hotel owners are embracing it, according to the survey. About four out of five hotels are inviting guests to submit reviews.Roughly half of hotels are congratulating or rewarding staff for positive reviews, according to the survey.There's an obvious caveat to all of this:One trouble with surveys is that they reveal what people say, not necessarily what they do—and what people mean by certain things can also vary. And TripAdvisor naturally is invested in seeing positive answers to all of the questions, so how questions were framed may have been tilted in a certain direction.The full survey can be found at tripadvisortripbarometer.com/uk.