Battle of the Review Giants: HolidayCheck vs. TripAdvisor
In the unfolding drama of TripAdvisor vs. Fake Reviews that has played out in various travel publications, HolidayCheck has upped the stakes by trumpeting its differences with TripAdvisor relative to the integrity of hotel reviews.
In fact, the Swiss-based online travel portal, Europe’s largest, wasted no time in setting out its marketing strategy. Its press release opens with: “ ‘No more reviews you can trust’ at TripAdvisor. Customers are angry, the ASA is investigating claims, and hotels are losing business. HolidayCheck is working to build up that trust again.”
HolidayCheck claims to have 20 million visitors a month, and since it’s available in 10 languages, it’s the self-proclaimed market leader in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Poland.
Like TripAdvisor, it offers a steady collection of hotel reviews, images and tips for vacations.
But as Ayesha Keller, HolidayCheck.com's spokesperson, emphasized, “each traveler should have the opportunity to gather up-to-date, and authentic (our emphasis) information about hotels before booking.”
So where do HolidayCheck and TripAdvisor part company relative to authenticating reviews?
• Both companies have automatic filtering systems, proprietary software, to detect fraudulent reviews. But, HolidayCheck says 15% of the company’s staff are “employed for manual quality control.”
Why is this important?
Automated systems can alert to fakes, but can’t determine if a review is actually a fake. Keller says their “fraud detection” department cuts down on fake reviews significantly.
• And it seems that when a hotel complains about fake reviews, TripAdvisor sends an automated email and the review is rarely if ever removed. I know this for a fact in at least one case.
• HolidayCheck gives hoteliers real people to talk to about suspect reviews. Those complaints are then passed on to the “Fraud Detection” team. The review is checked again, and if it’s found to be fraudulent, it’s taken down, and only reposted after it’s proven genuine.Continued on the next page