Why Do People Bother With Tripadvisor?

Old Mar 25th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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I find that many TA forums are dominated by those with a vested interest in the locale. I don't trust hotel recommendations from someone who may turn out to have a financial interest (or family relationship). I would rather wade through the reviews and as others have said discard the one-ofs, nitpickers, etc.

Especially useful for small hotels or newer ones that haven't bubbled to the top in the forums. In some cases the guide books don't ever cover the places I go to.

Don't think their reviews of restaurants are particularly useful, but then I feel the same way about Fodor's.
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Old Mar 25th, 2014, 03:19 PM
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<I find that many TA forums are dominated by those with a vested interest in the locale>

Not true on the 6 different forums I frequent.
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 02:57 AM
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I have mixed feelings about this. Firstly I do use TA and find the reviews give a general idea of what to expect from the hotel or attraction. On the other hand, I used to work in a hotel and realize that there are some unfair reviews that don´t fairly reflect the hotels, often from people who don´t know anything about the place before they booked. I have met people who booked the first hotel on a booking website because it was the cheapest then turned up to our budget hotel expecting hilton! They then are so angry at what is their own fault, they then write a bad review on TA. So yes, TA is great but try to ´read between the lines´when looking at reviews.
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 05:33 AM
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The TA forums are very helpful and I do like to use the hotel reviews also as well as reviews on other sites. As far as the reviews go, I look for general themes and specific information about the hotel. I tend to discount reviews that either seem way too negative amongst generally positive ones or are so overwhelmingly enthusiastic I wonder if they are written by relatives of the owners. If most reviews indicate the hotel is in a noisy location, has lackluster employees or is in sore need of maintenance, I tend to look elsewhere.
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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I find the TA forums very helpful too. And I haven't found too many instances of people with vested interests gumming up the works - a few here and there, but not a lot.

I also find the hotel reviews to be helpful too, but you can't just go by ratings - you have to read the reviews. If a place has a lot of reviews and the distribution of reviews is fairly positive, then it looks like a promising place. I read the negative reviews to see what people are complaining about - you can usually tell pretty quickly if there was an actual problem or just a generally unhappy reviewer. And I read the positive reviews to see what people liked. This helps me decide if the place is for me or not. I can say that I have never had a negative experience with a hotel that I chose this way.
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Old Mar 27th, 2014, 04:23 AM
  #26  
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The biggest problem with all sites is a massive overrating of almost overrating of everything. This stems from:

1. self-selection. People rave about a place because it fits their special interest while most people who be bored or hate it and wouldn't bother to go there.

2. Cognitive dissonance. "I'm on vacation so it must be fun." Or, "It's a foreign country so it must be better than back home." (A common version of this is "I wouldn't think of going to an art gallery or museum at home, but I have to see everyone in Florence.") Or, "I'm getting say from my terrible stressful job so anything that means I don't have to into the office is wonderful."

3. I'm a guest. A lot of people just seem to go brain dead when they travel and accept crap from foreigners that they wouldn't tolerate for a second at home. I've never understood that viewpoint. When you travel, you are a customer, not a guest. Guests don't pay, you do.

4. Women just are not as critical. (And Save the hate email. It's true.) I generally ignore opinions that are obviously posted by women. They are easy to spot - just look for words like "fabulous." How many guys every say that "the food was fabulous!!!" I also ignore posts by anyone who uses the word "awesome (must be under 25) or "amazing".

Also, I don't think that Fodors and Tripadvisor discussions are the same quality. Tripadvisor is the big name, so it it the place where the great unwashed post. Fodors is more for people who have a special interest in travel.
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Old Mar 28th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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<<I generally ignore opinions that are obviously posted by women. They are easy to spot>>

Then you'll only be able to read about 10% of what's posted here on Fodor's.
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Old Mar 28th, 2014, 04:58 PM
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Popov: You do post a lot of stoooopid 'stuff' on the forums (York is a boring tourist trap, The Prado is boring, and other equally inane 'advice')

So I'm not surprised you ignore information posted by women - - -
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Old Mar 28th, 2014, 08:43 PM
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But popov uses a lot of big words. He must be really smart.
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 01:22 PM
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I too love TA and usually will look up hotels, and things of interest before I travel somewhere new. No, the reviews do not sway me one way or the other, I do realize it's different strokes for different folks however I do find the site helpful. If I come across multiple bad reviews for a hotel I may look elsewhere but usually the mix of reviews helps me make my decision. I too have contributed to TA, giving what I perceive to be a fair and accurate review, in my opinion. So will agree, some disagree.
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Popov
you are showing your age -not amazing but "amazeballs".
I am a senior contributor on TA and a woman so I guess you dont read my stuff anyway.
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Old Mar 31st, 2014, 08:22 AM
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I'm a woman and far more demanding and critical then my better half. I thought that was the norm!
And I do use amazing if I find the word fits though I am well past 25!
Yes, I have found the rankings on TA to often be misleading so now I read/go by the reviews and cross check them with other sites. I too find it useful to be able to email a contributor directly and ask for details. And most people have been very helpful and informative.
The room tips also help me in deciding on a room type.
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Old Mar 31st, 2014, 05:09 PM
  #33  
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The difficulty of knowing whether a review is real or was written by a paid reviewer is a problem. I used to look and see if the highest-rated reviews came from a person who'd only posted one review. But then I realized that there are people who work for "review services", who get assigned to different places. So they end up writing lots of reviews, which makes them appear more credible.

I actually find the photos the most useful feature. Since many of the people taking the pictures don't know the tricks of making a place look better than it really is, you can often get a truer feeling of how a place looks than you will from travel sites. In fact, it will probably look even better than a lot of those photographs!

Also, the photos can be useful in understanding things like how large a hotel room is, how crowded a place might get at a certain time of day or year, etc.
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Old Mar 31st, 2014, 11:49 PM
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I love the hotel reviews.. yes I can read them with a careful eye and I do pm posters, . and I love that they include visitor photos.. not just the professional hotel shots.

I have used them and posted them for over a decade now. and never hit something I did not expect.. at least 20 or more hotels , Europe, Canada and States. I find fodars not super helpful for that.
I love the destination forums too. I love that there are more locals and expats .. people who can really help with some tough questions.

If I was only allowed to be on one forum Ta would be the one.

As it is I use it and three others. All are good for some things.. but TA is best for finding specific information on a specific destination.

Sorry.. just how I feel.
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Old Apr 1st, 2014, 07:49 AM
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I agree. If there was a limit to one travel forum, Trip Advisor is where I'd be.

I also agree about the hotels photos from people themselves instead of what the hotel puts out there... "worth a 1000 words" and all.
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Don't confuse SUBJECTIVE with OBJECTIVE.

Asking a question on a forum for which there is a factual answer should get you exactly what you want. ie. 'Are there luggage lockers in the Interlaken Ost tran station?' Yes or no.

Whatever forum you prefer to ask that question on is SUBJECTIVE. Some like one forum vs. another for whatever reason. They don't prefer one over the other because they get a better answer to an OBJECTIVE question though do they.

Reviews on the other hand are all SUBJECTIVE. Asking, 'what is a good restaurant in Interlaken' will get you nothing unless the person answering knows you and your food tastes extremely well.

When anything is SUBJECTIVE, it is pointless to say, the reviews don't reflect reality. They each reflect one person's reality.

So if 10 people think restaurant A is number 1 in their opinion does it mean you will? No of course not. Did anyone say YOU would consider it number 1? Actually, yes, some of those 10 who do consider it number one are actually stupid enough to think that if they say it is number 1, you will too.

But it is equally as stupid to say that because in your OPINION a restaurant, attraction, hotel, or whatever is not number 1 that TA got it wrong in their rating. They got it RIGHT in terms of the simple math used to determine number 1 based on the reviews that have been posted.

That you don't AGREE with it simply means you should ignore reviews and ratings by other people. But then, anyone with half a brain would know to ignore reviews and ratings by total strangers.
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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<<<<<<. But then, anyone with half a brain would know to ignore reviews and ratings by total strangers. >>>>>

So how about book reviews, theatre critics, music critics, editorials, opinion pieces in papers.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:19 AM
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As if you needed any more evidence that tripadvisor is worthless, here it is. I'm planning a trip to Toronto and looked at their restaurant recommendations.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...o_Ontario.html

Then I looked at a list of recommendations from one of Toronto's top food writers and resturant critics

http://www.postcity.com/Post-City-Ma...100-2013/List/


Guess what? There is virtually no overlap. The tripadvisor recommendations are a joke. The top restaurant in Toronto is a gelato place that no one who lives there every heard of?
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:33 AM
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could be that people who write reviews are travellers or tourists, and not looking for Toronto's top 100 places for fine dining.

Does not make TA useless - just means that you have to use a modicum of discretion, and maybe interpret the reviews with some care. I ignore the ratings mostly, and read the best and worst reviews. The worst reviews can be very amusing.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:33 AM
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I don't consider the restaurant reveiws reliable. Fewer people write real restaurant reviews so its easier for restaurant owners to skew the ratings with false reviews.

I disagree that hotel reviews are useless.. I have used them many many times.At least 20 times in States and Europe.
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