TripAdvisor “Makes Nice” With Hotels
At least that’s what most observers think.
Or they believe the move is a reaction to Google's increasingly strong forays into the travel space.
The relationship between hoteliers and TripAdvisor has not been a happy one.
Successful hotel managers or innkeepers like Dick Pabich of the popular Salem Inn in Salem, Massachusetts, have been burned by false and exaggeratedly negative reviews on TripAdvisor all too many times. “It really drives us crazy,” he says. “We accept not all our reviews will be positive, but some are outright lies.”
And the review giant has been burned by investigations in the UK relative to “bought” reviews.
Travel Weekly, the travel industry publication of record, recently noted that TripAdvisor may be subject to”legal expenses related to claims ranging from defamation and libel to negligence.”
But TripAdvisor has always tried to do the right thing and ultimately values its relationship to the hotel and travel industry, so its new Widget Center is a bridge-builder.
It enables hotels to add critical reviews, ratings and even regional attractions to a hotel’s website.
The addition of the Widget Center could also be a reaction to Google’s rapid expansion of its presence in the travel space.
The giant search site recently pulled third-party user reviews from Google Maps and Google Places, which, among other things, significantly reduces content exposure of review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Google claims it has no intention of entering the booking stage of the travel space, but, according to Nigel Huddleston, head of Google Travel UK and Ireland, it plans to play an increasing role in the sharing and experiencing stages of travel.
We tend to think once in, Google will find it difficult to not fully engage in flight and hotel search technology.Continued on the next page