TripAdvisor adding safety warnings to hotel/resort descriptions

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Before you book your next family vacation – you may want to check TripAdvisor first. The hotel ratings site is taking action to warn you about potential threats to your personal safety.

TripAdvisor is adding warning badges that will indicate if a serious crime, including sexual assault, rape, discrimination, or theft, has occurred or been investigated at a resort or hotel. The red badges say, “you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans.”

The badges are based on user reviews and news reports, and will remain on the hotel or resort review for three months.

TripAdvisor has been accused of deleting negative reviews, specifically some about crimes at hotels.

A woman named Kristie Love claims she was raped by a hotel security guard at a resort in Mexico, and she tried to write about her experience on the TripAdvisor website, but her posts were repeatedly deleted, after being deemed to have content that wasn’t ‘family friendly.’

“I would repost it immediately,” says Love. “I was posting it two or three times a day.”

The first four hotels to feature the travel advisories are in Mexico, however some U.S. businesses are expected to receive the badge soon.

Erika Richter with the American Society of Travel Agents says the badges are just another data point.

“Travelers shouldn’t make a decision based on user reviews, or an icon, they should look at the whole picture,” says Richter.

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