Not only do hoteliers pay attention, they sweat blood and tears over what's said about them on the popular and influential user-sourced website.
TripAdvisor hosts more than 125 million reviews, and most of them concern the 750,000-plus hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs featured on its all-seeing website.
What those reviews say about a property can have a substantial impact on its revenue.
The more diligent hotel management teams will often respond, thanking those who show their appreciation and, much more importantly, addressing those who complain.
Knowing the influence that the site commands, some hoteliers attempt to game the system, fabricating identities to post positive reviews of their own property, or hiring an agency to do it on their behalf.
They might also post disparaging reviews of the competition.
Some will encourage guests to post positive reviews of their hotel, offering instant cash or other inducements. For hotel guests, TripAdvisor offers a potential blackmail weapon.
If a tantrum won't get them what they want - a room upgrade, a free spa treatment - the threat of a negative review on TripAdvisor might.
This strategy often works, since hoteliers complain that TripAdvisor offers them limited opportunity to have an unfair complaint redacted from the site.
For the punter looking for quality accommodation at a decent price, TripAdvisor's reviews are useful, but - like a racing tip from a stranger down the pub - scepticism is required.
- FFX Aus
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