The research released by CHOICE, whose head of Media Tom Godfrey said that the boom in hotel review sites has given rise to the practice of 'astroturfing' or the writing of fake reviews by companies to promote their own accommodation, news.com.au reports.
According to the report, in the United States, the New York Attorney General recently levied hefty fines on 19 companies that wrote fake online reviews and created fake online profiles for businesses.
The report found that although the rate of fake reviews has risen, people still trust user-generated content more than editorial content, advertisements, marketing and government tourist websites.
CHOICE's tips for spotting fake reviews:
‚EuroĘCheck reviews about the same business from different sources.
‚EuroĘKeep an eye out for telltale signs of fakery such as a sudden increase in positive or negative reviews over a short time frame that is out of synch with earlier reviews.
‚EuroĘBeware of reviews that are allegedly from different people but are suspiciously similar in tone and style.
‚EuroĘA one-star rating by a reviewer for a five-star hotel should be regarded with suspicion.
--ANI (Posted on 11-11-2013)