TripAdvisor to flag hotels where incidents of sexual assault, thefts occur

After years of removing posts that women intended to be security warnings to others concerning safety at popular resorts located in Mexico, Trip Advisors has been under fire by the media. In response to the publicity and in an effort to better inform the public, Trip Advisor has started applying a security warning badge on the pages of hotels and businesses where rape and other safety incidents have been reported.  The symbols are meant to alert guests of prior safety and security events and encourage them to do more research before booking their stay. Malaymail online, reports some of the circumstances surrounding the decision.


A new TripAdvisor policy is to add a banner in red warning travellers to perform ‘additional research’ about certain properties. — AFP pic


NEW YORK, Nov 10 — TripAdvisor will be adding alerts to identify hotels and resorts where health and safety issues have been reported, after the travel review site came under fire for removing a post in which a traveller wrote about being sexually assaulted at a Mexican resort.

“In order to better inform consumers and provide them with even more information about their travels, TripAdvisor is creating a ‘badge’ notification to apply to businesses to alert consumers of health and safety or discrimination issues at that business reported on within the media or other credible sources of information,” reads a statement.

Earlier this month, the world’s largest travel review site was lambasted for deleting a review posted in 2010 for the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort, in which a contributor wrote at length about a sexual assault involving a security guard.

When the resort failed to fire the security guard accused of assaulting the woman at her request, Kristie Love wrote about her experience as a warning to others.

“I feel it is now my responsibility to inform other travelers of the lack of protection this property named ‘Hotel Chain of the Year 2009’ provides its guests.”

But as reported by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, TripAdvisor moderators repeatedly deleted the posting, deeming that it violated the company’s “family-friendly guidelines.”

The following year, another woman, 19, reported being sexually assaulted at the same resort by a security guard. In 2015, the incident repeated itself, this time involving a mother of six, the Journal Sentinel reported.

In their statement, TripAdvisor issued an apology to the victim and has restored the review in full.

Currently, the page for the Iberostar Paraiso Maya — which has a 4.5 out of 5 bubble rating among its 5,000 reviews —  features a red banner with a message from TripAdvisor that reads: “TripAdvisor has been made aware of recent media reports or events concerning this property which may not be reflected in reviews found on this listing. Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans.

The company also says they’ve revised their policy and will post reviews about first-hand experiences that include incidents of theft and assault.

“We believe any first-hand experience should be posted to our site as a means to communicate to other consumers looking for information on where they should travel.”

Other resorts flagged in the Playa del Carmen region in Mexico include the Grand Velas Riviera Maya and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. — AFP-Relaxnews.




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