5 Reasons Why Trusting TripAdvisor Hotel Reviews is Dangerous

June 28, 2019

Written By: 
Thomas Schneider

Hotel Reviews sound like a great idea, but aside from being completely unregulated there are larger concerns that we have with the truthfulness of these reviews.


1. YOU THINK YOU CAN SPOT FAKE HOTEL REVIEWS. BUT YOU REALLY CAN’T

According to a BrightLocal survey 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. However in the same study 86% of customers cannot always spot fake reviews, meaning that they are likely to fall victim to false advertising.

2. THERE ARE MAJOR DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN HOTEL REVIEWS ON TRAVEL SITES

One study compared ratings on two well-known travel sites: Expedia and TripAdvisor. Expedia only allows consumers to leave feedback on hotels they have booked, but TripAdvisor has no such barriers. Researchers discovered that several independent hotels have far more positive ratings on TripAdvisor than Expedia.

3. IT'S STATISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANYONE TO HAVE 1,000+ HOTEL REVIEWS

According to USAToday, in the United States, the average hotel will have 115 rooms. Assuming every room is booked every night that means 41,975 stays. Only about 15 out of 1,000 customers will ever leave any feedback, that means any given hotel would only have a maximum of 49 reviews per year. The hotel would have to be on TripAdvisor for 20 years to collect that many reviews. Too bad TripAdvisor only started the review buttons 14 years ago.

4. IT'S A PROVEN FACT THAT UP TO A THIRD OF ALL HOTEL REVIEWS ARE FAKE

Gartner Research estimates that fake reviews make up 10-15% of all ratings. A computer science professor at the University of Illinois believes that 30% of grades are false.

5. IT’S A KNOWN FACT THAT HOTEL REVIEWS CAN BE BOUGHT ONLINE, JUST THE SAME AS LIKES OR FOLLOWERS

One anonymous Cracked writer received about $10-25 per post. Some companies found even cheaper options and decided to buy reviews from offshore freelancers for as little as $1-10 each or buy google reviews from Fiverr. It is a minimal cost compared to the number of revenue companies hope to generate.

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