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Shift

Hotel Reviews Become Big Business

Before booking their holidays, more and more people are checking the Internet to see how their dream hotel actually rates. But, increasingly, much of what's posted can't be trusted. Each year some seven million Germans consult portals like "Holidaycheck”, "Tripadvisor” or "Trivago" while planning their vacations. What many don't realize is that many glowing reviews may well have been commissioned by the hotel owners themselves. As good ratings almost automatically translate into increased online bookings, a "ratings mafia" has sprung up. It ensures that many hotels receive artificially high ratings or that the competition looks bad. Shift talks with a former member of this mafia.

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Each year some seven million Germans consult portals like "Holidaycheck”, "Tripadvisor” or "Trivago" while planning their vacations. What many don't realize is that many glowing reviews may well have been commissioned by the hotel owners themselves. As good ratings almost automatically translate into increased online bookings, a "ratings mafia" has sprung up. It ensures that many hotels receive artificially high ratings or that the competition looks bad. Shift talks with a former member of this mafia.