Unscrupulous authors of fraudulent travel reviews are obviously well aware of our human nature. Unmoved by a genteel approach to why we should or shouldn’t stay at a given hotel, they now appear to be baiting us with the cursed words potential visitors fear most.
Bed bugs and rodents.
When I read hotel reviews, I need only hear these words mentioned once to immediately go to the next accommodation choice without looking back.
TripAdvisor’s unscientific research
TripAdvisor analyzed its January and February U.S. hotel reviews, and found that reviewers mentioned the word “rat” 31% more times than a year ago. As USA Today’s Barbara De Lollis pointed out, this was far from scientific. That having been said, however, it got me thinking about whether the rats were of the rodent or human variety.
Beat of Hawaii’s unscientific research
I searched for the term “rat” on Tripadvisor.com and found 72 pages of results in the past year compared to 26 pages in the prior year. That indicated an increase of nearly 300%, rather than the 31% shown above.
My attention then turned to bed bugs. I did the same search for that term and found 44 pages of results. In the prior year, there were only 8 pages of results for “bed bug.” I can only conclude that the problem or reporting of hotel bed bugs has either increased by 550% percent in the past year, or that professionally crafted fraudulent reviews are making great use of our worst hotel fears.
On a side-note, I was surprised that not one comment on USA Today even alluded to the possibility that the problem was with rats of the human kind. That seems to say that while the travel industry is well aware of the review fraud issue, it has still not become widely known outside the business.
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I see you’re not all too pleased with trip advisor. You’re right about the fake hotel reviews but the problem is bigger.
Many of the travel articles that were initially written were/are fake as well. They were written by content writers. People who had never been to a place, rather copying from other sources.
Many forum posts are fake. Initially some were trip advisor’s doing, baiting with bogus vacation questions to infiltrate the search engines. Not any more, today the fakes are reviewers building cred so that their hotel reviews look better, or trying to illicit reviews for a business, or getting the word out on a business. Fine for trip advisor though. Content volume is the bottom line.
Condo resorts have more fake reviews that hotels. Condo owners are a much huger problem than hoteliers. Condo owners will go after hotels who compete with them and go after other condos. There are 200x more condo owners than hoteliers.
Having said that, it’s not all bad. There is good information on there if you know how to sift through the crap. Isn’t that true of many web sites?