"It's on the internet so it must be true." Isn't that what so many believe these days? Our society reads posts related to politics or national news on the internet and assume that post to be relating facts. Some reads an article about some celebrity and again assumes it to be more factual than rumor based. When it comes to travel, someone reads an article related to safety and potential issues with some destination and again assumes it all to be factual solely based on it being...well...on the internet.
And never is this more true than when it comes to reviews. Many travelers will turn to the internet in search of peer or non-peer reviews before officially deciding on a potential hotel or resort. Unfortunately many make their decision based on faulty, biased or even in some cases, false or fake reviews. So how are we to know when a review is fake or false? Or what if the reviewer was completely biased? In other words, when you should believe a review?
We believe that each review reader should take the following things into consideration before taking any review at face value.
1. Consider the source. If you see a negative review on a site such as TripAdvisor and it was written by someone who only has written one review, then it is possible that reviewer is either a fake account or biased. Bias can come in when maybe the person is used to staying at a Motel 6 but then is writing a review of a Four Seasons and saying things like "over priced" or "waste of money" etc.
2. Consider the track record. If you see a hotel or resort that has an average of 4.8 to 5 (out of 5) star reviews, then maybe you should discount the one or two reviewers who gave it 1 to 2 stars and wrote a negative commentary. Maybe again the reviewer was angry that something was not given to them for free like an upgrade etc (which also goes back to reviewer bias).
3. Consider the scrutiny of the review site. It's a fact that sites like TripAdvisor and others are notorious for allowing unvetted reviews. This means they have no way of keeping fake or false reviews off of their site. And it is a fact that some hotels and resorts will hire ghost writers to write fake positive reviews for their own property and fake negative reviews for their competition. Some venues on TripAdvisor were even found to be fake (like this ONE).
When and if you take these points into consideration, it should cause you to turn to those who are in the business of helping clients make the best decision. Travel professionals who are really professional understand that client satisfaction is the very thing that keeps them in business, not ad clicks and internet revenue. That, in turn, means that each travel professional's goal is to provide the best and most reliable information to their clientele. Our reviews and posts are not geared towards clicks or generating ad revenue. You don't see our site laden with ads and banners. This is because we are in the business of taking care of our clients and that means we avoid sending them to biased or fake review sites and we offer professional opinions that are founded on things like a hotel's service, their amenities, their cleanliness, their location, etc.
So before you base an entire vacation decision on some review site or some other social media site, please reach out to your travel professional and let them give you their feedback and experience.