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North America has its fair share of luxurious hotels, sprawling resorts, and glistening beaches. But if a new study is any indicator, Latin America’s luxury hotels are leaving enough impressions to warrant an increase in reviews from travelers.
The Luxury Travelers And Social Media 2014: The Americas report looked at which travel booking and review sites, and destinations received the most traction from luxury travelers in North and Latin America between January 2012 and June 2014.
It found that travelers wrote 235,835 reviews for North American luxury properties in 2013, a 3% decrease compared with 2012. Starting from a much lower base, Latin America’s luxury properties’ reviews jumped 5% to 33,929 during the same period.
Reviews written in Spanish and Portuguese are included in the report’s tally, and 14 sites under consideration, including TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Agoda, saw reviews in these languages.
North America’s Prolific Reviewers
North American travelers were writing the bulk of the reviews for Latin American luxury hotels, accounting for 68% of these reviews, the report found. And TripAdvisor attracted half –50.8% — of all luxury hotel reviews in the Americas, the report states.
Globally, TripAdvisor is also the leader in luxury reviews, receiving 46.2% of these reviews compared with 29.1% of all non-luxury reviews, the study found.
TripAdvisor also posted the most positive luxury reviews for both continents, counting 65% of reviews in North America and 70% in Latin America as positive.
Booking.com had the lowest percentage of negative luxury reviews in Latin America and sister company Priceline.com had the lowest percentage of negative reviews in North America, each getting only 12% of these reviews.
Latin America’s Faves
In Latin America, Barbados received the highest percentage of positive reviews at 77%, and Chicago received the most for North America at 75%.
New York City, San Francisco and Chicago still reign as favorite destinations with North American luxury travelers, but the report found luxury reviews in all three cities decreased between 2012 and 2013.
For Latin America, destinations such as La Romana, Dominican Republic, and São Paulo, Brazil, received the largest increases in reviews. These two cities were also named “upcoming destinations” for luxury travelers in Latin America, while Paradise Valley, Arizona, and Nashville, Tennessee, are considered up-and-coming locales in North America. The report didn’t specify numbers of the increases or decreases for these cities.
For social media, 42% of Facebook posts of luxury travelers worldwide were travel stories in 2013. Latin American luxury travelers are YouTube’s second largest user group, and eight of the top 10 destinations added to Pinterest are located in North America.
The report also found 62% of Latin American luxury travelers consider on-the-go mobile booking as important or critical. North American luxury travelers prefer to book via a brand’s mobile app versus a mobile website, and 67% of these travelers read hotel reviews to make purchase decisions.