Nine out of 10 people said they tell family and friends about their trip when they return from their holiday, according to the Thomson and First Choice Trends Report 2009.

Only a quarter of the 1,700 surveyed (917 members of the public, plus 800 Thomson and First Choice customers) completed reviews on independent forums, while a fifth uploaded photographs on to social networking sites or wrote reviews on holiday company websites.

However, the research reveals that while only a quarter write online reviews, about half of the public use them to research their holiday.

Before setting off on their travels, 48% of the 917 people surveyed, and 71% of the Thomson and First Choice customers polled, cited independent websites as their number one method of researching, while customer reviews on tour operator websites were used by 39% of the public.

TUI Travel UK and Ireland managing director Dermot Blastland urged more consumers to become online critics.

He said: “More people are reading than posting reviews, and we’d like to see this change and encourage more travellers to share their thoughts, whether they are good or bad.”

The report revealed 77% of the public “mostly trust” the reviews they read, while 83% of First Choice and Thomson customers do so.

Increased reliance on the internet has not been at the expense of traditional methods – 70% of First Choice and Thomson customers rely on brochures for advice, compared with 30% of the public.

More from the Thomson and First Choice Trends Report