TripAdvisorWatch has arisen because I am among those who are simultaneously amused and frustrated by Trip Advisor and the other hotel/travel review sites. I really don’t know what to make of them, whether they are a ‘good thing’ or not.
But I do think that review sites could be improved. They are flawed in a number of respects, such as:
- the abuse of the “anonymous reviewer” system, both by other owners and by malicious reviewers
- opaque practices when it comes to checking reviews that appear fake/suspicious/malicious etc
- a refusal to accept any responsibility for the content of the reviews they publish
- a general inability to communicate in a timely manner other than by automated emails
- the difficulty of entering into any meaningful dialogue with the review sites
- the lack of a platform on which owners and other stakeholders can express legitimate concerns freely
Although it is not the only such review site, and others are equally flawed and open to abuse, TripAdvisor is so much bigger than the others that it is inevitable that the focus of attention should fall on it. Nevertheless, other review sites will feature here, as and when issues are raised in the news or by other contributors.
TripAdvisorWatch currently has one guiding purpose – to shine a light on TripAdvisor, Trivago and other review sites in the hope that they will take notice and improve their service to stakeholders – be they owners whose properties are listed, members of the public who post reviews, or anyone else with an interest in fair play and truth on the review sites.
If TripAdvisorWatch doesn’t succeed in that purpose then it may at least serve as an outlet where people can express their views openly.
Anyone with a relevant (and legal!) point of view on TripAdvisor, Trivago and the other travel review sites is invited to contribute – please contact me via the comments form on the Front Page. I can’t promise an instant response due to my main business commitments, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can – promise. And it won’t be an automated email.
These aims may shift focus – this is a young site and we’ll see how it develops.
March 30th 2010