TripAdvisor has introduced a traveller safety review filter to its listings, giving travellers access to critical safety information concerning sexual assault and misconduct.
Lindsay Nelson, president of core experiences at TripAdvisor, broke the news that the company will introduce a mechanism on-site allowing travellers to more easily surface reviews concerning safety issues.
When Travel Weekly reported that TripAdvisor was still listing hotels and destinations accused of sexual assault, the company did not have safety-search capability. At the time, a traveller’s best bet of finding reviews related to sexual assault and misconduct was to go looking for them.
With the latest announcement, trawling through reviews to assess the safety of an experience is a thing of the past.
“Together, we feel it’s our responsibility to empower our community with safety information that keeps them travelling,” Nelson said.
“The need for better access to safety information while travelling has never been greater. Today’s culture of always-on news has made it increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction, while safety-related information about specific neighbourhoods or businesses is often hard to find or non-existent online.
Often, something tragic must happen in order to engage in a dialogue about traveller safety, which by then is far too late.”
In the past, TripAdvisor told Travel Weekly that it relied on its own team to monitor safety-risks by monitoring news databases.
However, this meant that something bad had to happen, or that it had to have been covered by the press, before it was posted on TripAdvisor and stamped with a specific media alert flag.
TripAdvisor has told Travel Weekly that this flag is still in place for listings that do not have reviews but have been covered in the press; however, if there are reviews about a safety incident on a listing, the new filter will surface this information to users.
With the introduction of a specific filter that sorts reviews relating to safety concerns from TripAdvisor users, they now have the ability to control the flow of reviews as opposed to sorting reviews or waiting for TripAdvisor to notify travellers.
With the introduction of the safety review filter, TripAdvisor has also left the door open for businesses to respond through its Management Response feature.
In keeping with its policy of not removing or endorsing its listings, TripAdvisor will allow businesses to keep travellers informed of safety concerns and to notify them whether issues have been resolved.
Nelson said that these solutions are just the start of its commitment to elevating safety information.
“I’m committed to creating a conversation among the TripAdvisor community that is preventative and empowering so that generations to come can experience the liberty of the open road, free from harm,” Nelson said.