A well-written article (with accompanying video interview) by Scott McCartney in The Wall Street Journal on the trouble with TripAdvisor and other hotel review sites concludes with a wonderful quote from the estimable Arthur Frommer:
“Of course, trying to influence reviews and ratings is a time-honored tradition in the hotel and restaurant industries. Travel-guidebook legend Arthur Frommer said he began printing reader letters about hotels in the 1960s. After about five years, he realized that hotels were writing him letters about themselves. ‘I was being gamed,’ said Mr. Frommer. ‘Hotels are so dependent on reviews that of course they will generate their own. They would be crazy not to.’
“As for online reviews, which have replaced guidebooks for many travelers, Mr. Frommer has disdain. ‘It’s a vast buzzing, blooming confusion.’ ”
Watch the video interview and read the full article here.