Giovanna A. Garlati
THE NEW TREND IN TRAVEL REVIEWS: INCREASE IN FOOD AND RESTAURANT REVIEWS
Travel community site Igougo reports that travelers are sharing more food experiences
New York, March 18, 2008
While the focus of travel reviews has historically been on hotels, IgoUgo, the world’s savviest travel community, saw the number of restaurant reviews jump to nearly one-third of all reviews submitted to the site in January of this year, up from just under 20% in January 2006. A recent poll from Travelocity also showed that 75% of people consider food an important part of their travel plans, and an increasing number of travelers are looking to travel review sites for great tips from real travelers on where to find food that’s worth the trip.
To celebrate this new trend, IgoUgo today launched the IgoUgo Community Table, a page highlighting the community’s great food content and celebrating the search for the perfect vacation meal. The Community Table features Qs&As with foodie members and celebrity chefs, links to thousands of member food and restaurant reviews, and roundups of local restaurant secrets.
In addition, IgoUgo editors have planned a 30-day celebration of restaurants, local flavors, and everything related to the joys of food and travel throughout the month of March. In addition to highlighting IgoUgo’s member-submitted restaurant reviews, the community’s editors are calling in some experts. Famous foodies and chefs like Andrew Zimmern, Ming Tsai, and the Food Network’s latest stars will be participating in special Q&As throughout the month. Gourmet editors have also contributed some special features.
The main purpose for IgoUgo’s Community Table and March food celebration is to gather traveling "foodies together, make new friends, and help travelers share and find the best food experiences around the world.
"Food has always been an important part of people’s travel experiences, but we’re now seeing them sharing more and more of their opinions with fellow travelers through reviews," said Cameron Siewert, content and community manager of IgoUgo. “Online travel communities like IgoUgo are becoming the new place to find out where to eat both across the ocean and across the street.”
IgoUgo is one of the most popular online travel communities in the world. Its 350,000 members—world-seasoned and passionate travelers—share firsthand travel experiences, advice, and photos, with candid tips and inspiring stories covering more than 5,500 global destinations. Site users can search by keyword to find reviews by like-minded travelers, as well as destination guides and helpful links. Members can easily contact one another to ask questions, exchange information, and build friendships without geographic bounds. In return for writing reviews, IgoUgo members accrue valuable points redeemable for gift certificates and frequent-flyer miles. IgoUgo has garnered top industry honors, including being named one of Forbes’ “Best Travel Sites” in 2006, a Webby Award for “Best Travel Site in the U.S.,” a “Top Travel Site” ranking from USA Today, and “Best Travel Community” and "Top Travel Site" commendations from Yahoo Internet Life.