Despite the report of fake reviews, Hentschel still trusts in TripAdvisor. “Tripadvisor has always kept a Chinese wall between its review department and advertising department,” according to Hentschel.
Hentschel elaborates that “TripAdvisor’s high traffic numbers mean it has always been able to have an independent review department. The site’s advertising sales have always been independently strong like Google or Amazon.”
Additional Tim Hentschel talking points:
- “This debate is very old in travel tech circles. Everybody has been trying to build the perfect machine to spot fake reviews, but nobody has gotten close yet.”
- “There are sites that make you verify a purchase before you can post a review, but those can be tricked as well, especially by a hotel or restaurant generating fake receipts.”
- “Up to a few years ago the general consensus in travel tech circles was overall rating is a good indication of the quality of the project, i.e. anyone can fake a few reviews, but if you have hundreds and thousands of reviews and they are mostly positive or mostly negative, then that is good sign of the overall quality of the product.”
- “A large problem are sites that charge companies a monthly fee to keep up positive reviews. Yelp is facing multiple lawsuits for this practice.”
HotelPlanner.com, the largest group hotel booking site in the world, was called the “go-to site” for travel planners by The New York Times.