Ditch your Lonely Planet guidebooks and logon on to TripAdvisor. That’s what 70% of the folks surveyed and referenced in this article say they do. (The article doesn’t tell me much about the survey participants so take this for what it’s worth.) I still find the guidebooks useful when I’m walking around a city, but like many people, I plan my trips online first. My husband and I used TripAdvisor to find hotels and activities in Italy for our honeymoon, and recently used it to plan a trip to New Mexico. We’re big fans. TripAdvisor features user reviews on accommodations, activities, and restaurants. User reviews are the online equivalent of word-of-mouth. And word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing tools.
Businesses have caught on. We’ve been asked by hotels we stayed at to post our reviews on TripAdvisor. Super smart marketing.