Octopus Travel research reveals Brits find strangers more honest than politicians

1st May 2010

30 April marked the annual National Honesty Day and new research by leading online hotel booking agent Octopus Travel reveals that ‘honesty’ is top of the agenda amongst the general public.

In the light of the General Election, the survey results revealed that the British public ranked politicians, the police, banks and the media as the least honest organisations, placing much higher trust in friends, family and even strangers who have shared similar experiences. Family were considered the most honest sources of information with two thirds of people (66%) feeling that they were truthful. Even the opinions of strangers fared better than the government with 24% believing they could get a sincere opinion from other people who had gone through similar experiences, compared to only 3% thinking the Government were honest.
One in five people believed Barack Obama was the most honest politician (21%), whereas British politicians performed less favourably with only 15% believing that Nick Clegg was honest, 10% for Gordon Brown and 9% for David Cameron, whilst two thirds of respondents (67%) didn’t think any politicians were honest at all. Celebrities didn’t fare much better either with over half of those surveyed thinking Tiger Woods was dishonest (57%) and 47% thinking Katie Price was dishonest.

Honestly and transparency were also key factors when it comes to choosing and purchasing hotel stays. 70% of respondents said that independent and honest reviews were a key reason when it comes to booking hotels, and 63% said they like to know what they are paying for upfront, without being stung by hidden costs.

40% preferred to make their own travel arrangements and believed they could get the best deal online, although only one in four people (24%) used price comparison websites, whilst a tiny 2% believed they could get a better deal with travel agents.

It seems that Brits are more confident that they can find honest views from each other. When looking for hotels, reviews from fellow travellers were considered the most honest source of information (43%), whilst less than one in ten people think that newspaper reviews (7%) or brochures (6%) provide honest recommendations.


Octopus Travel’s managing director Gareth Gaston commented: “Following this survey and its findings, honesty will clearly play a pivotal role in the post-election world in influencing consumers’ choice in who to believe in, who to buy from and who to use. People have become disillusioned by large organisations and are believing more in each other than ever before. As such Octopus Travel is making honesty our key proposition to our customers, with our three honesty policies: honest pricing, honest reviews and an honest approach.”



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