New UK review site ‘vets’ reviewers to protect hotels

The latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) from Hotels.com claims New York was the most popular destination for UK travellers in 2010, despite it being one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Britons continued to flock to the Big Apple undeterred by a 12 per cent rise in average room rates to £166 a night.

The city was one of five US destinations in the top 20 along with Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orlando.

European locations closer to home were also popular. Paris was the second-most popular overseas destination followed by Dublin, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona and Berlin.

Other cities on the HPI® list included the Far East attractions of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore.  

David Roche, President of Hotels.com, said: “New York’s popularity with UK travellers continues undiminished even though the city is comparatively one of the most expensive in the world. Those travelling also seemed prepared to spend more on upscale accommodation. Occupancy in luxury properties in the US is running between 10-15 points higher than in the lower star categories.”

Ten of the cities featured in the top 20 were European and there was good value to be had in places like Dublin where prices fell seven per cent to just £68.

Meanwhile, a new hotel review site aimed at the UK market is combatting the trend for fraudulent and malicious reviews by ‘vetting’ its reviewers.

Vinivi.co.uk operates a verification process and claims it results in 80 per cent of reviews being certified and guaranteed to be from genuine, recent guests of the property. The remainder of spontaneous ‘posters’ are subject to email authentication.

Vinivi consultants proof reviews prior to then being posted and hotels are given the right to reply to any negative feedback. The site does not take bookings but provides links to external reservations services.

Gilles Granger, founder of the Vinivi system which has been operating in France for five years, says: “Increasingly hotels are under threat from reviews posted by unscrupulous competitors, companies paid to post fake comments, and from individuals who choose to offer undeserved criticism of properties of whom they have never been a guest.“

Vinivi estimates “spite and dishonourable can drive up to 20 per cent of uncertified reviews”.

Do you have a news story for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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