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Word of Mouth
To find popular eateries and other hidden gems, travelers gather advice and recommendations from a cornucopia of resources:
77% read online reviews
66% ask local residents
56% ask the concierge/hotel staff
44% ask family or friends
While the survey results indicate that most people research local restaurants before their trip, travelers are more spontaneous when it comes to being seated, as 55 percent say they rarely make reservations for a table.
Craving Local and Laid Back
Locally-grown or sourced food at a restaurant is important for exactly half of of those surveyed. Seventy-seven percent say they prefer to dine out at independent establishments rather than chain restaurants.
When on vacation, the most popular setting for a meal out is casual dining, according to over one quarter of respondents. While 67 percent said they usually indulge in less healthy food options on vacation, less than one percent choose fast food. The top five favorite types of restaurant settings on vacation are:
Casual dining - 26%
Waterfront - 20%
Bistros or cafes - 18%
Al fresco - 13%
Fine dining - 11%
"Dining out is a significant part of the trip experience and a way for travelers to experience local culture and flavor," said
Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor. "Vacation is a time for travelers to indulge and that often means relaxing some of our dietary inhibitions."
When asked what annoys them most about a dining experience, 56 percent noted slow or poor service. Twenty-two percent said nothing annoys them about dining out when on vacation. Sixty-six percent have sent a meal back to the kitchen.