TripAdvisor labels hotels involved in sexual assault cases

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

In line with this recent concern and increased awareness, TripAdvisor has added a feature on its site that will notify users of major health and safety concerns - including whether a hotel or resort has been the location of a reported sexual assault. The New York Times reports that the badge, which reviews properties for health, safety, and discrimination, is the company's third to ensure the safety of both its consumers and resorts. They advise anyone considering visiting the properties to "perform additional research for information" when making travel plans.

TripAdvisor's decision to use a digital badge will probably receive pushback from hotels and resorts who advertise and pay for high placement on the website.

The badges will be added or removed based off an "employee committee", and TripAdvisor will never take down a business listing, regardless of the number of complaints.

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"If the issues persist, we may extend the duration of the badge", Carter said.

Three hotel resorts in Mexico were flagged with the new warning tag yesterday. Staff refused to call the police, and TripAdvisor deleted her report of the incident from its site because it wasn't "family friendly". According to the report, "more than a dozen travelers from across the country have said TripAdvisor muzzled their first-hand stories of blackouts, rapes, and other ways they were injured while vacationing in Mexico".

Kristie Love told the publication she was dragged into the bushes by a security guard and raped. "These badges are meant to be informative, not punitive", TripAdvisor spokesperson said. "We do believe the first version of this badge is created to be a catalyst for consumers to do additional research outside of TripAdvisor if our reviews may not readily communicate issues related to health, safety and/or discrimination issues, and spur a traveler to do a keyword search in TripAdvisor reviews". The badge does not detail exactly what has happened at the accommodation, but encourages users to research before making a booking.

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The company has since vowed to clarify why certain reviews are rejected.

The Journal Sentinel reports that after TripAdvisor deleted Love's post, at least two more women were sexually assaulted at the same resort complex. "So, our new email communications will clearly articulate the phrase or sentences that are in violation of our policy, inviting the reviewer to make edits and resubmit their review", the TripAdvisor rep told The News. "We recognized then that our previous guidelines went too far in preventing information like this from being shared", the statement reads.

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