26 November 2008

Disappointing use of Tripadviser muscle

Surveys are a pretty standard PR tool, and Tripadviser have just published a pretty standard survey that I'm sure will get some coverage because it appeals to our baser instincts.

It's on Travel Annoyances. 

Apparently the top ten are..

1. Children kicking your seat back 31%
2. Rude seat recliners 21%
3. Loud mobile phone conversations 16%
4. Passengers taking too long to stow overhead baggage 12%
5. People getting up before the seatbelt sign is off 5% 
6. Armrest hogs 4% 
7. Passengers consuming smelly food 4% 
8. Travellers blocking moving walkways 3%
9. “Shoulder surfers” reading over your shoulder 1% 
10. People wandering in front of airport service carts 1%


That'll get coverage because because it immediately taps into our own experiences in a 'Yeah, I've been there' kinda way, but here comes the clincher... The Top Ten most annoying travellers...

1. Americans 18% 
2. French 12% 
3. Germans 10% 
4. British 6%
5. Chinese 6%
6. Russians 5%
7. Japanese 5% 
8. Italians 5% 
9. Indians 2%
10. Emiratees 1%

Yeah! Now we're talking! That pretty much guarantees coverage in our hate-brigade tabloids who can use it to reinforce all those stereotypical images of other nationalities. 

And it works everywhere else too. American media can indulge in outrage, French media can relish in American discomfort, the Germans can delight in being less hated than the French, and so on down the line. (Oh, that reminds me of an anecdote. I'll stick it in a comment down the bottom *)

Anyway (getting to the point) the reason I clicked on the press release from my news distribution service was the opening line...

"A TripAdvisor® survey of nearly 9,000 worldwide travellers has revealed the British are amongst the most annoying travellers in the world. "

Nine thousand! That's serious! That's a real sample! Normally PR puffer surveys are based on samples from 100 - 2000.

With that kind of resident audience to sample, Tripadvisor could do something worthwhile. A travel survey that actually adds to our knowledge. 

Listen up Tripadvisor guys, 'Most Annoying Travellers' is un-worthy. Add to the conversation or shut up.

2 comments:

onliner said...

* That story...

I was travelling through the Alentejo region in Portugal some years back and got into a conversation with my driver about jokes. We talked about the way nationalities and ethnic groups make jokes (or used to) about each other.. eg the Brits make jokes about the Germans, the Germans make jokes about the French, etc etc.

"So, if the Spanish make jokes about the Portuguese, who do the Portuguese make jokes about?" I asked.

"Us", he said, "the Alentejans".

"Ok....so, who do you make jokes about?"

He looked crestfallen.

"Nobody, we're the end of the line!"

Rojario said...

I have heard that TA has a bad reputation in the travel industry as being fallible. Actually the problem is that often bad reviews vanish. No doubt this confuses likely guests.