Booking.com Reveals the Most Welcoming Places on Earth According to its 2018 Guest Review Awards
AMSTERDAM – 8 JANUARY 2019 – Today Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, is honouring its accommodation partners that consistently deliver great guest experiences with a 2018 Guest Review Award. For the seventh annual edition of the awards, 759,845 properties in total across 219 countries and territories are being given an award, with the top countries receiving the most awards being Italy (106,513), Spain (46,646), France (45,286), Germany (36,042), United States (35,626), Croatia (34,027), United Kingdom (31,206), Russian Federation (26,729), Poland (26,572), and Brazil (24,477).
Most welcoming places on Earth
Based on the share of properties receiving an award in 2018, for the first time ever Booking.com reveals the most welcoming places on Earth according to customer reviews. With the highest percentages of total eligible properties winning awards, the most welcoming countries are Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, New Zealand, Taiwan, Romania, Hungary, Ireland, Serbia, and Greece.* The most welcoming destinations are Goreme (Turkey), Slunj (Croatia), Eluanbi (Taiwan), Niagara on the Lake (Canada), Lake Tekapo (New Zealand), Bendigo (Australia), Newport (United States), Nozawa Onsen (Japan), Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) and El Chalten (Argentina).** This is especially relevant for the 73% of global travelers that say friendly and interesting locals are one of their top considerations when selecting a destination for their next trip.***
When it comes to the most welcoming property types globally, they are all from the alternative accommodation segment, which highlights the ongoing traveler appreciation for unique stay experiences: Riads, Bed and Breakfasts, Farm Stays, Guest Houses, ApartHotels and Ryokans.****
Apartments and unique places to stay remain firm traveler favorites
For the second year in a row, apartments are the top-awarded accommodation type, making up more than a third (36%) of the award-winning properties globally in 2018. In fact, while hotels come in as the second-awarded accommodation type, nearly three quarters (73%) of all the winning properties are homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, including everything from boats and igloos to homestays and country houses. Also for a second consecutive year in 2018, four out of the five top-awarded accommodation types are alternative accommodation options: Apartments (269,649), Hotels (148,913), Guest houses (78,574), B&Bs (66,697), and Holiday Homes (56,303).
The ongoing appreciation and interest from travelers to experience a wide variety of unique stay experiences is also reflected in recent research by Booking.com with 21,000 travelers across 29 countries which highlights that more than a third of travelers (35%) would prefer to stay in a vacation rental (holiday home or apartment) over a hotel in 2019. In addition, almost a quarter (23%) said that they would consider listing their own home on a travel accommodation site over the coming year. With 43% of travelers also wanting to stay in an accommodation type they’ve never experienced before in 2019, the consumer demand in this segment remains strong.
“No matter the type, size or location of the property, what we see from our customers is that they value a human connection when they travel, whether it’s some extra attention to detail or a truly individualized approach to service,” said Olivier Grémillon, Vice President at Booking.com. “With these awards, we celebrate and thank all of the amazing accommodation providers who create special travel experiences for our customers on a daily basis.”
Notes to editors:
To be recognized with an award, properties had to have an average review score of 8.0 or higher based on at least 5 reviews as of 11:59pm (CET) on October 31, 2018. Only customers that have actually stayed at an accommodation can leave a review of their experience on Booking.com. After they have checked out of the property, they are invited to rate their accommodation experience against six categories: cleanliness, comfort, location, facilities, staff and value for money. As these reviews are never edited or adjusted in any way, travelers can reference them for an authentic account of what the real guest experience is like at every place to stay on Booking.com.
*Countries were sorted by the total share of 2018 Guest Review Award winners when compared to the total amount of eligible properties in that country. Countries also had to have an above average amount of winners to be included on this list (4,000 award recipients or higher).
**Cities were sorted by the total share of 2018 Guest Review Award winners when compared to the total amount of eligible properties in that city. Cities also had to have an above average amount of winners to be included on this list (60 award recipients or higher) and were curated for geographic spread.
***This is defined as the percentage of respondents who rated this aspect a 7 out of 10 or higher. Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 53,492 respondents across 31 markets. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place between October 16 and November 12, 2018.
****Accommodation types were sorted by the total share of 2018 Guest Review Award winners when compared to the total amount of eligible properties globally in each property type.