SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Jim Kaskade, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Greg Ness, Sean Houghton

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Allianz Travel Insurance Survey Finds Traveler Reviews Are Trusted by Most Americans

User-Generated-Reviews Are an Important Source of Information for Consumers Booking Trips

RICHMOND, VA--(Marketwired - July 25, 2014) - Travel reviews are often the first place consumers go when deciding where to take their families on vacation, according to findings in the Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index. Highlighting the importance of user-generated-reviews in a traveler's decision making process, the survey found that four out of five (77%) Americans who are confident they will take a vacation this year, find other travelers reviews to be "trustworthy." Just one in six (16%) find them "not trustworthy" and less than one in ten (7%) aren't sure how they feel about traveler reviews. According to the survey released by Allianz Global Assistance USA, travel marketers should pay close attention to customer generated reviews as they are a powerful force in how consumers decide where they will spend their vacation time and money. 

The data also reveal that four in ten (40%) travelers, and one in three (35%) Americans overall, share their own reviews online in some form. Topping the list of online sharing platforms is Facebook (27%), followed by posting on travel review sites (15%), social networking sites other than Facebook (11%), consumer review sites (7%), and a personal blog or website (6%). 

Social media platforms also stand out as a place consumers go to find vacation ideas. The survey found Facebook to be the top destination for Americans looking for summer travel inspiration, used by 24% of respondents confident they will take a summer vacation this year, but down 4 points from 2012. TripAdvisor, with its user-generated-reviews, came in second place (18%), but is rising, up 4 points from two years ago. Pinterest was third (4%, no change) and Twitter was fourth (1%, down 5 points), with half of respondents (50%, up 2 points) saying they don't use any social media platforms for inspiration and 2% don't know if they do.

Age and geography are important indicators of whether consumers trust travel reviews, as the survey found Americans ages 18-34 are most likely to find user-generated-reviews trustworthy (77%), followed by middle-aged travelers 35-54 (69%), and seniors 55+ (56%). Geographically, travelers in the Northeast are most likely to find travel reviews trustworthy (77%), ahead of those in the Midwest (69%), the South (63%) and the West (59%).

"Traveler reviews often influence how and where consumers spend their vacation dollars," said Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer at Allianz Global Assistance USA. "From choosing a hotel to protecting a trip with travel insurance, it's clear that consumers trust peer reviews and marketers would be wise to take note."

These results are part of the data found in the 2014 Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index, which has been conducted each summer since 2010 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance USA.

Methodology: These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted June 6 to 10, 2014. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected adults residing in the U.S. interviewed by telephone via Ipsos' U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Allianz Global Assistance USA

Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We insure 16 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers, and credit card companies.

For more information about Allianz Travel Insurance plans, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.

Allianz Global Assistance

How can we help?

Allianz Global Assistance is an international leader in assistance, travel insurance and health, life & home care services, with operation centers in 34 countries. The company has more than 13,000 employees who speak 58 different languages and work throughout the world with an extensive network of quality service providers covering 167 countries.

Allianz

Allianz is ranked 31st in the Forbes Global 500 (2013) and is the 63rd most valuable global brand (Interbrand, 2013). Allianz has 144,000 employees worldwide and 83 million customers in more than 70 countries. In 2013, Allianz had 110.8 billion euros in revenue and over 1,770 billion euros under management. In addition to Allianz Global Assistance, Allianz brands in the US include:

Allianz Life

Allianz Global Investors

PIMCO

Fireman's Fund

Euler Hermes

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

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804.673.7175

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