TripAdvisor has warned hotels that it will penalise businesses that pay for reviews to be posted on the online review site.
The warning was made after the 19-bedroom Abadia hotel in Granada, Spain, advertised for reviews to be written on its behalf, in return for a payment of $5.
While the advert - which appears to have been drawn up by a third-party - requested that reviews "should not make any untrue statement, only facts", there appeared to be no requirement that the reviewer should have actually stayed in the property.
A spokeswoman for TripAdvisor said that it was aware of several companies which claimed they could submit reviews and boost a property's standing in the TripAdvisor popularity index.
"Attempts are extremely rare as the vast majority of hoteliers understand the tremendous risk to their reputation and their business if they attempt to use these companies to post fraudulent information on TripAdvisor," she said.
email@example.com if you have been approached by a third-party company who is offering to provide reviews about your hotel or restaurant to be posted on TripAdvisor.
By Janet Harmer
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