TripAdvisor doesn’t even pretend to be trusted anymore.
I simply do not trust TripAdvisor. Maybe you feel the same way. Trouble is, many of your clients do trust TripAdvisor. In fact they may think it is their best source of travel information.
I have been thinking for some time that maybe I should write something to set the record straight. Fortunately, someone has done the hard work of doing the research and locating the “smoking guns” that prove exactly how unreliable TripAdvisor really is.
Heather Stimmler-Hall operates the website Secrets of Paris and knows the City of Light like the back of her hand. She also can smell a rat.
She has written a lengthy article that unmasks TripAdvisor in all its unseemly glory. I urge you to read it and share it with your clients. You can also use it to educate prospects who are uncertain about the advisability of using a travel agent.
Here are few tidbits to whet your appetite:
A Tunisian hotel just received TripAdvisor’s coveted “2016 Traveler’s Choice Award” even though it has been closed since last summer when 30 guests were killed in a terrorist attack. Oops.
TripAdvisor started out as a much-needed alternative source of information, but has unfortunately become a hulking leviathan giving a disproportionately large and powerful voice to masses of anonymous reviewers spreading unfiltered misinformation and contributing to cultural misunderstanding. And that’s assuming the reviews are honestly written by actual travelers.
Outright lies? “We never have and never will give our advertisers or anyone else preferential treatment.” says TripAdvisor on their Content Integrity Policy page. And yet their own promotional videos state that hotels who pay for a Business Listing fee get preferred placement and “access to traffic” on TripAdvisor as well as their full contact information (website and phone) displayed, whereas those who don’t pay have no information except an address.
But enough. Just read the article. And share it with your prospects and clients.
As a side note, Ms. Stimmler-Hall’s tour business in Paris does not work with travel agents.