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Why Do People Bother With Tripadvisor?

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The site is such a joke. Mixing ratings by 20 year old backpackers, middle class insurance salesmen from Dubuque with sophisticated, wealthy older travelers average out to meaningless numbers.

I just checked their ratings on where I live, which is a 3rd tier tourist destination, and a few paces where I used to live. The ratings were laughable. The top rated restaurants were half places that I never heard of and few if any were places that a local would consider a top restaurant in town. Out of the top 10, maybe 1 or 2 might make some local person's list.

On things to do, it's really laughable. Locals would bother with few if any items. Raters would putting things like those Dinner Theaters in the top 10. dinner theater. Even in big tourist cities, the ratings make no sense. Look at Venice, for example. Something called Interpreti Veneziani ranks #1. Huh? St Mark's is #10? Any rational individual would have it as #1. Meanwhile Musica A Palazzo is #3?

In sum, Tripadvisor just doesn't work. Numbers can't capture a placeThe whole thing is based on self selection. A small group with a special interest rate something high so it comes out on top. Or 20 years old think its just great and make it tops. Everyone else would find it dull.

Still, there are people who love to count and think that a the #4 place in Rome must be better than the #8 place. The numbers make life simple because now there is no need to think. Just follow the rail of breadcrumbs. I'd rather just read the free flowing type of discussion on Fodors. It's not as simple as counting numbers, but then planning a trip isn't simple

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