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Tripadvisor gets bad reviews in Italian media

Federalbergi hotel association calls for investigation of scandal

Last weeks Italian media had upsetting headlines for Tripadvisor. Many of the main newspapers and TV stations were reporting cases of fake reviews of Italian hotels. The Italian hotels association, Fereralberghi is calling for an independent enquiry.

In Rome's Republica newspaper, Federalberghi, referring to reviews of a hotel closed in 2007, calls Tripadvisor "Yet  another hoax index" and refers to a Gartner report saying that between 10 and 15 percent of Tripadvisor reviews are false or paid for.

Other stories have appeared in Milan's Corriere della Sera, and Il Giornale, the story has also been covered by RAI TV and in the Resto del Carlino - a group of newspapers along the Rimini coast.

Federalberghi quotes one example of a client, who claims to have stayed at the Regency Hotel in Rome in March 2013, the client made a full report and commenting on the characteristics of the elevator, wi-fi system, and personne - even though the hotel was closed in 2007. The hotel organisation has already approached the Italian antitrust for competition to ask Tripadvisor to adopt urgent measures to prevent abuses to the detriment of consumers and hoteliers.

There have also been a number of accusations that potential clients have used the threat of a bad hotel review to reduce prices.

Tripadvisor comments: "We fight fraud aggressively and have sophisticated systems and teams in place to detect fraudsters, and we have penalties in place to deter them. The fact is, the scale of TripAdvisor means there is honesty in numbers - with 170 million reviews and opinions and 100 contributions a minute the community in itself is a self-regulating force. The Gartner research is two years old and did not include any internal or official TripAdvisor data."

"We have investigated the status of this hotel and as it has been confirmed that the business has permanently closed we have removed the listing from our site."

"Whenever we receive notification of a business' change of details, including closure, we will act to verify the business' status and update or remove its listing accordingly."

"The integrity of the content on TripAdvisor is fundamental to our success, and it is our top priority to ensure the content we feature is authentic."

Tripadvisor have recently announced an expansion of their self certification/ user generated content validated Greenleaders scheme to Europe, HERE 

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