I have seen this first hand as violence has been growing in the Cancun area. A post comes up regularly linking to a Mexican newspaper discussing a new shooting or violence in the area and within a couple of hours it is deleted. Travelers should know that drug deals and shootings about turf happen on the beach.
TA however wants to be a place to promote tourism and make money off of it. Anything which makes a place looks bad is bad for TA and they find their reasons to remove it.
Same for the entire South Africa forum. I used to live there, I absolutely love it there and return for vacations most years. SA has a really hard reputation to overcome (high crime rate, and when it happens it's usually something shocking, not just street pick pocketing or petty theft) and so of course tourists are nervous to travel there and want some good safety advice. But the 'destination experts' on the forum just decimate and mock anyone who asks how to keep themselves safe. They don't provide any usable information, just reassure everyone it's as safe as Disneyland and the few times I've seen someone post a real first-hand account of a crime, the 'dest experts' mock, accuse and bully them mercilessly and ultimate get the posts deleted or locked. It's impossible to get any tourist safety info on there.
And the sad part is, SA is an awesome place to vacation, truly amazing - but it does have its own crime profile, and it's important to know how to avoid it the best you can. And the poor folks that go there for info don't end up with any real safety advice or recommendations at all. I naively posted a few real safety tips there that directly relate to the kind of crime that happens in certain places based on my experiences living and vacationing there and they had my post removed within minutes.
I used to use TA for travel advice but it's the last place I would go for advice now. Just so many travel agent shill accounts, businesses affiliated with trip advisor where you'll simply never read or be able to post an honest review, period, deleted info, apparently deleted or blocked safety advice and warnings, and then naive people just trying to plan a nice vacation who can't wade through the muck to figure out whether they should stay at place A or B. It's terrible, I'm so glad they're exposing this now.
They are also behind the wave of “neighbor spam” calls, where they spoof the first 6 digits of phone numbers to get you to pick up the phone. Had one from Go Cancun, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor.
Blocked my review of the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York. So did Booking.com. Worst hotel I ever stayed in.
TIL; If you want news regarding a particular region of the world visit a news site, not TripAdvisor.
I don't know what I think about this. It feels conflicting.
**I do think** that if people have experienced rape, threats, violence, drugging, etc. at any destination that it needs to be filed with the authorities.
> Many people told the Journal Sentinel that TripAdvisor had deemed their posts to contain hearsay
**I also think** that if Trip Advisor does receive such reviews before there is any proof of the allegations in said review, it can also pose a potential case for libel/defamation and they could get themselves into some serious doodie.
**I don't think** it's *necessarily* up to Trip Advisor to be the middle man/advocate when it comes to travel warnings and bad news. Nor do I think that's what they signed up for when they created their business, but their initial intended business plan is not really within my scope of knowledge.
**I do think**, however, that having accessible information regarding safe travel destinations is important and desirable.
Toward the end of the article it does sound like they're really trying to review and improve their policies. In no way do I want to sound like I'm standing up for them, but I am just trying to see it realistically from both directions here.
They should make it clear that they hide posts about alleged felonies and try to send the posts to the proper authorities, but that's about all they could reasonably do.
Otherwise, overly competitive business owners and angry former employees could cyber bully businesses by posting fake felony allegations.
Allegations about dead bugs and bullet holes, or a general sense that a property is unsafe, might be harmful to a business owner, but allegations about crimes could lead directly to police investigations and lawyer bills.
So.... I have had an active restraining order against a dude who violated the restraining order AT THIS LOCATION. Dude literally followed me to this location. When I reported this to the manager on duty I showed him my restraining order and the manager refused to escort my rapist off of the premises claiming it wasn’t his place to enforce a restraining order, and then told me I was more than welcome to leave. I then called the police who then also refused to enforce the restraining order because he was “only following me around and not physically contacting me”. I’m sadly not surprised that this happened at this location. :(
What do they gain from doing this? Their service is supposed to help travelers, not the hotels.
I’ve been to Cancun many times. The right hotel will always be very safe. But you need good recommendations to know which hotels are safe. In some countries you can’t take chances. Or anywhere, really. Tourists can be vulnerable to many things in any part of the world. This is why these reviews matter.