Internet travel giant TripAdvisor claims it is responsible for as much as £1.7 billion in travel spending in the UK alone each year.
The figures accounts for as much as 2.2 per cent of the entire tourism spent in the market, according to new research from the Tourism Economics think tank.
Results from a new study into the impact of online user review sites on consumer behaviour reveals holidaymakers are likely to increase both the length of a stay and the amount spent following research.
Tourism Economics director David Goodger said: “Sites such as TripAdvisor have fundamentally changed the way consumers both research and shop for their holiday and leisure activities, to their benefit.
“Travel consumers can now afford to be more selective in their purchasing decisions which has really seen those providing a quality product or service in this industry rise to the top.
“The great thing about user-generated content sites is that in addition to building consumer confidence and increasing spending prior to travel, they have levelled the playing field for businesses big and small.”
TripAdvisor claims the £1.7 billion spent helped created 7,000 jobs in the UK and supported 20,000 in the tourism industry.
TripAdvisor for Business president Christine Petersen said: “The travel industry has long been ahead of the curve in adopting user-generated content and really tapping into this to benefit both consumers and businesses alike.
“Property and site owners that have been truly embracing and engaging with this content not only benefit through the consumer feedback they receive but they have also raised the quality standards of the industry as a whole in the UK,” she concluded.