New research published by shows that the majority of British and Irish people place their trust in complete strangers online when it comes to researching and booking their holidays.

The Travel Trust Index reveals that peer reviews are growing in power, with one in six posting a review following a holiday and 71% letting their fellow travellers be their guide.

With over three quarters of consumers opting to research and book holidays cheaper direct on the net, trust in travel agents has ebbed. 90% of consumers said their pre-holiday research online was accurate and only 13% of people surveyed trusted travel agents and brochures above online reviews.

“We no longer need to meet face-to-face in order for trust to develop,” says psychologist Donna Dawson. “We can follow the reports of one or more fellow-travellers over time to see if their priorities are the same as ours.”

When it comes to who people trust when reading online reviews, those from down under top the Trust Index, with nearly one in three saying Australians offer the best travel advice.

Old rivalries still hold true when it comes to the summer sun lounger fight, with Germans not even making the top ten list of nationalities people would most like to meet on holiday. Again, the Australians seem to rule the roost, taking the number one slot as the most popular travel buddy.