If you have ever been frustrated when researching for some descent travel info, you will be wondering why it is so difficult to get real insightful travel advice. Indeed, it seems so hard to find trustworthy information in a sea of unhelpful reviews. So, what is wrong with reviews on traveling sites?
In order to understand what the problem is, one needs to understand who is writing these reviews:
1. Related Parties: From managers to owners, people who are somehow involved with an establishment or have some incentive to gain, offer their opinion on public sites. This is by definition biased and unethical.
2. Business Rivals: People who are related to a competitor`s business in the same field and have something to gain from dismissing an establishment. Again unethical and biased.
3. Relevant parties to the hosting site: People who may work at the site which hosts the reviews, sometimes add "empty" comments. Their comments are supporting what everybody else is saying, only to echo a voice that has already been heard. they usually follow the trend of the real comments with the relevant ratio. For instance, if there are 4 to 1 reviews in favor of the restaurant or hotel, there would be approximately 4 to 1 repetitive comments.
4. Reviews by "unlucky" travelers. It is no secret that bad things happen even in the finest establishments; accidents, bad days, sickness etc. A restaurant is a living, breathing organism and may suffer from all of that. When these bad days happen to a guest, no matter how frustrating that is, they could be categorized as isolated incidents and they could not be the real reflection of the restaurant`s value. It is hard to spot the difference but if the restaurant is based on a "solid structure", then an isolated incident could be overlooked. It is not only the mistake that has to be taken into consideration, but the way it is handled as well.
5. Reviews by people with unrealistic expectations. Every restaurant has its own routine, its own motto. If the restaurant is casual, and service is informal, customers shouldn't go in expecting to be served hand and food. If the service has a charming attitude, it has to be appreciated for what it is. A comparison with a formal restaurant is at least irrelevant.
6. Real reviews by unbiased travelers: All the useful information from both sides of the spectrum comes from unbiased travelers.
So, travelers should share their experiences in an honest and unbiased manner and support all the hospitality professionals who are doing a fine job, to continue doing so.