Searching for a hotel for a business trip or vacation online is hardly our idea of a good time. Although the outburst of user opinion associated with Web 2.0 has been great for discovering great places to stay, it's still difficult to trust many online reviews. The AP reports that TripAdvisor, one of the Web's biggest travel review sites, is warning travelers that some unscrupulous hotels are using the site to post fake reviews to improve their own image or hurt competitors.
TripAdvisor has reasonable cause to believe that either this property or individuals associated with the property may have attempted to manipulate our popularity index by interfering with the unbiased nature of our reviews. Please take this into consideration when researching your travel plans.
TripAdvisor spokesman Brooke Ferencsik told the AP, "The 23 million reviews and opinions are authentic and they're unbiased and they're from real users." In June, BeatOfHawaii.com, a Hawaii-centric travel site, found over 90 hotels sporting the warning label. Currently, only 16 of the warnings remain. Jeff Tucker, co-author at BeatOfHawaii told the AP, "I'd really like to see TripAdvisor deal with the public in kind of an openhanded way, talk to people [about] this issue."
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