Il trend delle recensioni estive

Summer reviews trends: what data tells us

How guests satisfaction changed over the past 3 years

Now that summer is drawing to a close, we have enjoyed studying the trend of the sentiment on the Italian holidays, comparing the data with those of the same period in 2020 and in some case, even with those of 2019.

Which data? Well, every year Qualitando completed questionnaires give us a lot of data.

All precious material for reading and for interpretations of the changes in the satisfaction of guests in the Italian accommodation facilities.

To confirm the trends we extracted, our partners in crime and friends from Travel Appeal intervene, and we thank them!

And here is what came out:

First, for the reasons abundantly explained here, in summer the frequency, and therefore, the number of reviews written and published about the local accommodation facilities. The results show a physiological slight drop in scores and of the general sentiment which, despite everything, remains high, at 86.7%.

B&Bs and shelters seem to be the best of all, with 90.8% for B&Bs and 90.1% for shelters, respectively.

The lowest performances  are recorded for camping sites (85,1%) and residences/apartments (84%).

The reason of these results is intuitive: as per reputation the winners are the facilities where the staff is able – due to the size of the facility and natural inclination – to keep a closer and more active relation with the guests.

People, relations, once more make the difference.

In a B&B the landlord prepares your breakfast and pampers you like she was a mother when you come back home to the village after a session of exams in the city, whilst in the residence you now enter with a pin that opens all the gates and you don’t see a soul for the whole length of your stay, if not other travellers wishing to avoid any human contact (and save).

In all this, hotels and Agritourism facilities keep being, anyway, the points of interest with most reviews, covering about 63% of the total of the reviews.

In the picture below:

Who are these writers?

In 2021, for 63.6% they are Italians.

For the rest, foreigners, but from close countries such as Germany with 9% and France 4.7%. We know the reasons: travelling by car this summer was easier than taking a plane.

For the same reason, we also see slight movement from other proximity markets, such as Switzerland and Austria.

Americans, who so much love and are loved from the coasts of Campania and Liguria regions, as well as from the art cities, have been really, just a few.

The degree of satisfaction expressed is down on all markets, compare to all markets, compared to 2020, excepted France, who appreciated Italy a bit more.

As usual, the most active types of travellers were couples, immediately followed by families.

For the reasons we know more than well (Covid and its consequences as smart working and difficulties to travel), business trips are the lowest of all.

The sentiment, even in the types of trips, records a decrease compared to 2020. Groups of friends are an exception, but they declare themselves more satisfied than the previous summer.

The most popular topics

We are not at surprised about the topics most covered in the reviews, which are:

  • Catering
  • Staff
  • Rooms


Let’s start with catering. We know that the eating factor is a fundamental key of the holiday, so there is a lot of chatters on the portals about this topic.

In the case of hotels, breakfast is the more discussed topic. Il general Sentiment is not of the highest (85%) and this means that the customers often complain about this aspect.

The reason is obvious: today the expectations for breakfast are extremely high. People in hotels expect to find a sumptuous buffet. The summers 2020 and 2021 saw a reorganization of the breakfast to adapt it to the requirements of the anti-covid protocols.

Where the buffet was kept, had to be protected with glass or plexiglass and, to go from do-it-yourself to served.

Other hotels decided to adopt the system of breakfast menus of your choice, served at the table.

In both case the perception of the guest was often something like: “This year there’s less food, less variety and there’s a queue”.

In both case the perception of the guest was often something like: “This year there’s less food, less variety and there’s a queue”.

The question of queues and therefore of waiting is not easy to manage. It essentially depends on two factors:

  • available space
  • quantity of personnel assigned to the service

To confirm the trend, here are Qualitando data on catering:

2019 –> 85,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 –> 77,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2021 –> 83,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

We noted that also the cluster “service”, strictly related to “catering”, follows the same trend:

2019 –> 85,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 –> 80,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2021 –> 83,3 % di ospiti soddisfatti

A decrease in 2020, for the reasons above explained, and a recovery in 2021 which, however, does not reach the high level prior to the pandemic.


In second place of the most discussed topics is the staff above all, understood as hospitality, service and welcoming. We know that in many cases it is the staff who ‘make’ the hotel and not the facility itself.

The sentiment is very good (93,2%) and this means that the hotels in Italy still emerge for the high level of welcoming and hospitality they reserve to the visitors.

It seems clear that our smile is genuine even under the mask.

According to the data collected from Qualitando qualitative questionnaires from the guests it emerges that the topic “reception” presents this trend:

2019 –> 91,3 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 –> 88,3 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2021 –> 88,3 % di ospiti soddisfatti

Another cluster similar to the “staff” topic is “entertainment” or  animation, which trend is similar to that of the reception:

2019 –> 88 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 –> 74,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2021 –> 78,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

In pre-covid times in general, the staff used to get very high scores.

We know that for the guest usually the staff corresponds to the people at the reception, the entertainers, and some waiter/waitresses, that is the figures who are in fact, most in contact with the guest.

With the pandemic and the  need to comply with distancing rules, many facilities have noticeably reduced their usual weekly entertainment schedule.

By reduction we mean fewer hours, fewer actitivies, especially indoors and, above all, the limitations of the number of participants admitted at the same time to games and workshops.

Many guests experience these protocol adjustments as a deprivation.

It was no longer possible to flock to the bureau, or stop for long chats with the secretaries, who, being compliant as they were, they had to tense up a little, being responsible for observing the new safety regulations.

Plexiglass and masks create a barrier also to empathy, this is clear for everyone, therefore, managing complaints has become more difficult.

Here’s explained the decreasing trend in 2020, with a lighter rise in 2021, but never to the levels of 2019.


Another very present topic in reviews, as we know, is the room.

According to data extrapolated from Qualitando, it is interesting to note the growing trend of the guest satisfaction over the past 3 years:

2019 –> 82,3 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 –> 83 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2021 –> 83,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

Over the last 2 years, due to the prolonged closures due to covid, many are the facilities that took advantage for small and large renovations, or simply to make those improvements able to transform an ‘ok’ holiday into a great one.

An example? Replacing mattresses, soundproofing, change of fixtures and fittings, a more spacious shower.


The topic safety is not among the most discussed and the related sentiment is among the lowest: 49,9%.

With the lowering of the guard and the vaccination campaign advancing, even the anti-covid rules, that until June recorded a good sentiment (85%), now show a decrease to 73%.

This data confirm that people want to be serene during their holidays, safely in a sanitized environment where the rules are observed.

Strictly related topic to the concept of safety is cleaning, cluster always present in Qualitando questionnaires. And here is the trend over the last 3 years:

2019 –> 88 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 –> 83 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2021 –> 86,6 % di ospiti soddisfatti

2020 recorded a decrease of the guest satisfaction, who, at the reopening of the season arrived at the hotel with a thousand fears and feeling of seeing the virus everywhere.

The normal, usual, even though deep traditional cleaning wasn’t enough any longer. Strict protocols that everybody know were introduced and the guests (understandably) could only trust the hotel guaranteeing the “sanitation” as, we know, viruses and bacteria are not visible to the naked eye.

The trend in 2021, rises again but it doesn’t reach the pre-covid levels. The accommodation facilities have correctly adopted the sanitation procedures that are no longer perceived as a novelty but as a habit.

However, the guest’s attention to maximum hygiene remains very high and the level of tolerance towards carelessness in cleaning the rooms is almost nil.

As regards as safety, anyway, the most recurrent word in the reviews is “Coronavirus”, followed by “mask” and “anti-covid rule”.

To conclude, our data tells us about another trend that should be noted:

Always considering the reference period of time from June to August, Tripadvisor remains the most used review portal, but over the 3 analysed years, 2019, 2020 e 2021, it recorded a decline that other portals did not have.

HolidayCheck and Local Guides are more and more stronger, while Facebook remains stabile.

This means that it is increasingly important to supervise all channels, which thanks to the support of Qualitando interfaces is simple and immediate.

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