Responding to what one travel expert categorized as "a wake-up call", TripAdvisor has begun placing symbols next to hotels and resorts that have been identified as locations of sexual assault and other major concerns.
Tripadvisor will issue the badge when it believes there is a current health, safety or discrimination issue relevant to travellers, as reported on by either our traveller community or by news media. These badges are only temporary, however, and last for a three-month period.
He said an internal committee is responsible for making the decision on which properties and establishments get the badges. "However, if the issues persist [they] may extend the duration of the badge".
Recently, we reported on a case where a woman contacted TripAdvisor about whether to book a hotel that had a sexual assault warning attached to it.
TripAdvisor, which takes up to 15 percent commission on booking, says that it changed its family-friendly forum policy three years ago and had apologized to Love. Other users claim TripAdvisor deleted their comments, which included first-hand accounts of rapes or other injuries caused by hotel resort employees.
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"Our vetting of news reports continues, and it is likely more businesses will receive this badge as more information is reviewed", Hoyt said.
Then, the next day, she saw a statement on LinkedIn from Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, saying the company was making improvements, was horrified at what had happened to Love and others and that travelers should be aware of the incidents.
"When we were made aware that this user's post had been removed, we republished it in line with our current policy and have apologized to the victim for her experience", Kaufer wrote in a November 3 LinkedIn post.
"In particular, limiting or removing reviews that detail unsafe conditions could put future travelers, who look to TripAdvisor for accurate information, at risk", she wrote.
Along with this change, the company will also be working to let users know exactly which part of their review was flagged. TripAdvisor has since republished her forum post. In 2015, another guest was sexually assaulted at the same hotel and her comments were also rejected because the company claimed that a line about her doctor's diagnosis constituted "hearsay" by a third party.
Complaints of sexual assault on travellers are not new, and there are many posts on TripAdvisor written by travellers who say they were raped in various countries.