Is a guide to spotting fake Tripadvisor hotel reviews really necessary?

By Frank Barrett

A team of researchers at America’s Cornell University last week claimed to have devised an almost foolproof way of identifying fake reviews on user review websites such as Tripadvisor.

Apparently the fake reviews contain a lot of gushing superlatives in the hotel descriptions. Who’d have guessed?

Ever since it was revealed that a property in Cornwall was offering guests a 10 per cent discount on future bookings in return for a rave Tripadvisor review there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the value of sites such as Tripadvisor.

Wailer and gnasher-in-chief in the UK is Adam Raphael who, it has to be said, has something of an axe to grind as he runs The Good Hotel Guide.

The coming of on-line review sites has had a drastic effect on conventionally published guide books so it is not so surprising that Mr Raphael’s review of TripAdvisor is devoid of any gushing five-star recommendations.

While TripAdvisor has its faults, I refer to the verdicts of TripAdvisor when I’m researching hotels much more frequently than I consult The Good Hotel Guide.

Actually I don’t have a copy of The Good Hotel Guide which might explain why.

And why don’t I have The Good Hotel Guide? Because it is largely a listing of country house hotels called The Old Rectory run by Felicity and her wine-expert husband Bob who used to be a hedge fund manager – the jolly couple welcome dogs to their boutique property but ban children under 12.

There are certainly made up reviews on TripAdvisor but as the Cornell researchers have discovered you don’t need to be Miss Marple to spot them.

The fact remains that TripAdvisor is the least worst hotel review site on the internet – and we should give daily thanks for its existence.

Read this article on Mail Online

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Posted on September 1, 2011, in Hospitality Digital Marketing Services and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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