The authorities of the state of Quintana Roo raised their voices against the practices of TripAdvisor. Joining the tourist industry, including hotels to launch a historic rebellion against the online travel site. They accused Tripadvisor of lying and of launching a “black campaign”. The Secretary of Tourism of Quintana Roo, Marisol Vanegas, and the director of the Tourism Promotion Trust of Riviera Maya, Darío Flota, launched the campaign.
“We find it very irregular that a platform of this size allows a (supposed) irregularity, reported by whoever, without any evidence,” the officials said. The Tourism Promotion Trust of the Riviera Maya and three affected hotels are proceeding legally against TripAdvisor.
“Different actions are being reviewed, one of marketing and others of a legal nature. The affected hotels are analyzing those alternatives because publicly accusing without foundation can incur serious responsibilities.”
At root is TripAdvisor’s system that allows unproven accusations against businesses to be published on their platform, followed by the site closing the forum to comments so that the accusations being made cannot be disputed in the public forum.
TripAdvisor’s practices have been in question for years within the travel industry. The system is easily manipulated by businesses to artificially increase rankings and many so-called area experts are business owners giving advise to travelers that lead to their personal profitability.
The officials acknowledge that TripAdvisor’s intention is not to cause harm to businesses or travel destinations, but errors in their platform have allowed abuse that hurt businesses and the company needs to find a solution.
TripAdvisor has lost 72% of its value since 2014 with an international rebellion against the company. Hostels and restaurants in Spain have regularly taped their ‘Certificates’ from TripAdvisor on toilets and urinals in protest.