It’s been coming, and now’s the time to splurge. Most, perhaps all tour operators in Rome, legal licensed, openly illegal who don’t even know that they need a license to sell tours on and offline, fly by night tour website owners and guides who make bank in summertime then jump ship in October, and all the merry rest do their level best to keep their customers happy. Most of the time. Sometimes there is no winning and plenty of losing to be had. Sometimes customers just don’t want to be happy, or they genuinely can’t be happy, are genetically programmed to be unhappy etc. Perhaps it’s a trait which only manifests itself when in Rome, or when on holiday anywhere else in the world. Who knows? Who cares… we care alot!

We are in 2012 and the internet guarantees everyone some anonymity, but not much. Every service provider in the business of tourism is held ransom by an unpleasant website called TripAdvisor. It allows the angry little man and the frustrated, headstrong individual to launch vitriol at hard working people for little, or no reason whatsoever. Moderated? Nope. TripAdvisor business account support? A joke.

The blanket fix would be if every tour operator, hotel owner, restaurant and limo driver closed their account and moved to the competition. Oh, wait, there is no competition. TripAdvisor have become the Google of travel and tourism, only Yelp! could help but they have always trailed far behind their nemesis and seem to be going backwards. However, TripAdvisor’s appalling reputation as a reliable source of information doesn’t seem to have put off the masses, they still rely pretty much exclusively on TA service reviews which are more or less written by property owners to quell vitriolic episodes.

While the majority use TripAdvisor to lavish praise on the deserving, others set out to ruin others. It’s unpleasant, a hidden war in some kind of perpetual stalemate. Does TripAdvisor care? No, of course not. They are rolling around in millions of dollars of advertising revenue.

It is clear that TripAdvisor has become the litmus test for tourism online, despite the fact that there is no real moderation of reviews in evidence.

Comments please!