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Arthur Frommer: Prosecution of Fake TripAdvisor Reviewer Raises Questions

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/18/2018, 1:00 PM

The defendant, in a recent criminal prosecution brought in Italy, was a man who operated a company manufacturing fake hotel reviews. Presumably hiring excellent writers, he apparently sent hundreds of fake recommendations to TripAdvisor.com, claiming that particular hotels (at which the writers had never stayed) were outstanding in their service and facilities. For this work, the defendant was app...

TripAdvisor to Begin Selling Cuba Travel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/01/2016, 4:00 AM

The latest in expanded options for travel from the U.S. to Cuba: Soon you'll be able to use TripAdvisor to book hotels, flights, short-term rentals, and cultural tours for your trips to that Caribbean island nation, thanks to a license granted by the federal government. The popular travel website expects to begin offering those services within the next few months, but your reason for visit...

TripAdvisor Adopts No-Touching-Wild-Animals Policy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/13/2016, 4:00 AM

As of yesterday, TripAdvisor is no longer selling tickets to attractions that allow customers to come into physical contact with wild, captive, or endangered animals.  That means no more swimming with dolphins, riding elephants, or petting tigers—at least not through the travel-review site's booking firm, Viator.  The move was welcomed by conservation groups and animal-welfare activist...

The Legality of Short-Term Apartment Rentals Remains Hotly Contested, But Numerous Additional Companies Have Now Begun Acting as Agents for Such Rentals

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/20/2016, 3:00 PM

Source: FreeImages.com/miro_penev      In all of travel, there is no topic more puzzling and contradictory, more challenging and debatable, than the short-term rental of apartment accommodations. In cities scattered across the nation, and overseas, various laws prohibit some such rentals or burden them with odd requirements, and innocent people have been prosecuted for running afoul o...

A Sharp Reduction in the Number of Important, Independently Owned Travel Websites is Threatening to Harm the Quality of Their Advice

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/26/2015, 6:45 PM

Based on the ground-breaking research and analysis of travel expert Reid Bramblett, I recently wrote in these blogs about the shocking consolidation of what used to be three large online travel agencies—Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz—into what is now only one immensely giant online travel agency, namely Expedia. In just as shocking a development, Expedia has now caused the airfares and hotel ...

In Sharp Contrast to the Thoughtless Acceptance of TripAdvisor in the U.S., the Europeans are Fining It Big Bucks for Allegedly Failing to Police the Posting of Fake Reviews

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 12/26/2014, 6:00 PM

      Five hundred thousand euros (or $610,000).  That's the fine recently levied on TripAdvisor.com by a regulatory commission in Italy. The famous website's violation? The alleged failure to police its hotel reviews to prevent totally fabricated critiques from appearing. Throughout Europe and Great Britain, numerous public watchdogs and private groups have brought major accusatio...

Southwest Airlines Boots Family Over a Complaint Tweet About Gate Agent: Businesses Strike Back Over Online Reviews

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/23/2014, 9:30 PM

  Last Sunday, a man was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight because, he claims, he left a bad review of a gate agent on Twitter. The man, Duff Watson, was upset because he felt his elite status with the airline entitled him to treatment he wasn't receiving. In anger, he sent a tweet naming a gate agent who had refused him early boarding access with his children, aged 6 and 9. ...

Property Gets Around Bad TripAdvisor Reviews By Creating a Second Listing, and TripAdvisor Shrugs

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/04/2013, 4:15 PM

Frommer's reader Dave Wyner ran into a troubling problem on the website TripAdvisor.com: A place he stayed had posted two listings to double its exposure. Wyner told us: "Several months ago, in anticipation of a trip to Spain, I began looking for vacation rentals - using TripAdvisor. I found an ad for an apartment in Madrid—it had a couple of "very good" reviews.  We rented the place....

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