Before booking a holiday, it is common practice for travellers to check out reviews on booking sites. The reviews that people read are believed to be from real travellers, but what if they are not? This “what if” has sparked a huge investigation by the Italy Competition Authority into travel rating services.
TripAdvisor is one of the groups being investigated. The competition commission in Italy believes that its website. If this is the case, the reviews are misleading and in clear violation of competition regulations and consumer rights. The Italy Competition Authority said that this investigation was sparked by a number of business and consumer complaints.
Of course, it is not just TripAdvisor that is under investigation. Other booking sites such as Booking.com and Expedia are in the hot seat right now. However, these sites are being investigated because concerns have started to creep up that the booking sites are keeping consumers from getting the best deals that they could be getting. This might be due to partnerships or deals that these travel sites have made with certain hotel groups.
That being said, these travel websites are not going down without a fight. In fact, TripAdvisor was very quick to defend its business practices. A spokesman for TripAdvisor said that it is extremely important to the company to fight any kind of fraud that might be on the website. Right now, TripAdvisor is extremely confident in the system that it has in place to prevent fraud.
The spokesman for TripAdvisor added that every single review that gets put on the site goes through what is called a tracking system. This system helps to map out the where, what, when and how each review came to be on the site. Unfortunately, all travel websites have to deal with the issue of fraud. That being said, if people cannot trust the reviews that are posted on TripAdvisor, they cannot tell which hotels are worth their hard-earned money and which ones are not.
Even Expedia was quick to snap back, saying that it is overly convinced that they are in “full compliance” with the current laws and regulations that are in place. It is not the least bit worried about the current investigation.
At the time of this writing, Booking.com had yet to respond back to attempts by the media to get a comment. However, it is very likely that Booking.com will also vigorously defend itself in the wake of this investigation.
For those who do not know, TripAdvisor is what the travel industry calls a very influential site. Millions of travellers from around the world visit this site to seek out both positive and negative reviews about businesses that are related to the travel and tourism industry.