Scallywag

The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.

~ Paul Tillich ~

Why TripAdvisor Isn’t Quite Your Friend

February 3rd, 2014 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 32 secs

"But they got a good rating on TripAdvisor"

“But they got a good rating on TripAdvisor”

Hands up all those who have used TripAdvisor to find good places to go, stay, and plan things to do? It’s a popular website, with millions visiting annually to get the goods on where and what is worthwhile. Such a pity then that it’s seriously flawed.

If you haven’t been to tripadvisor.com, I recommend at least having a look. Once there, you just type in your potential destination and it should give you plenty of information in the form of interesting traveller reviews. You can use it to explore accommodation, activities, and a whole lot more.

So what makes a popular, long running advice website with so much going for it, defective? It boils down to one thing and it’s called fraud.

Competing companies and venues themselves also deceptively provide reviews, supposedly provided by well-intentioned travellers. Through false identities, competing hotels can disparage competition. This means that places can be poorly rated for no real reason and high rankings can be nothing more than manipulative fiction.

Like Amazon book reviews, which have long been the target of false appraisals, TripAdvisor suffers from manipulation at the hands of dishonest people. This means, you can’t completely be sure which reviews are true.

The popular concept of free advice on the Net from people like you and me is sadly open to rampant scamming and it pays to be aware what is going on. While this problem is common knowledge amongst the travel industry, others will be unaware. That’s why many thousands of travellers happily use TripAdvisor to plan their travels and commit their cash with the best of intentions, never thinking that these reviews merely deserve to be the start, not the end of their assessments.

Personally, I will keep using this site and I still recommend TripAdvisor and other review sites for the benefit they provide in generating ideas. But do take every tip with a lump of salt, and be willing to widen your research. Because if you don’t know who the author of those comments is you never can tell what is true and what’s not.

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