In a report by The Guardian, hotels and services that have been connected to allegations of sexual assault have reportedly continued to be promoted on TripAdvisor. This is despite the fact that the popular travel website has been ureceiving complaints from former guests to warn others of past attacks allegedly carried out by hotel staff.
Two women recently came forward to the British news outlet alleging they were raped by staff members who work for hotels listed on TripAdvisor.
One victim, known simply as “K”, shared that she contacted TripAdvisor to disclose that she was raped by a tour guide who was being promoted on their website. She had already reported the tour guide to the police and to the hotel where he was employed and wanted to warn others on the website.
However, after contacting TripAdvisor about this traumatic experience, she was advised to just leave a review detailing her assault on the website.
On top of that, it was revealed that TripAdvisor actually does not remove businesses from their website if rape or sexual assault allegations against staff surface, even for internal reviews. They also shared five reviews from other users who details the sexual assault and rape complainants experienced at a number of hotels to show K examples of how she could compose her negative review. She was quoted as saying,
“I was in disbelief. Am I seriously being asked to recall the humiliating details of my own sexual assault? Was this global company pushing me to relive my trauma on their forum for everyone to see and comment, or worse of all for the perpetrator who is still out there, to respond to me, troll me? It left me feeling shattered, hopeless, and alone.”
In another case, 44-year-old Christine from Toronto, Canada, also revealed to the news outlet that she was raped at a hotel while she was on holiday with her family in the Caribbean. She stated that detailing a personal account of rape or sexual assault was of no use as such reviews would quickly get “drowned” by more recent reviews as time passes. Christine recommended a different review system should be in place to make these more serious complaints visible.
What’s perhaps even more disturbing is that The Guardian managed to find 40 reviews describing sexual assault, harassment, and rape by staff members of highly-rated hotels and services on TripAdvisor. Only 14 of these reviews were addressed by the hotels and services in question and just one stating that they would take disciplinary action against their staff member who allegedly committed the act.
However, TripAdvisor has previously tried to address these problems in the past. Back in 2017, the website reportedly added tags to hotels in order that had “health, discrimination, and safety issues”. These badges, however, will only remain on the hotel’s profile for up to 3 months before being reevaluated.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor stressed that reviews were very helpful to travellers looking for accommodation and places to visit. On the warning tags, the website stated that these were not used to confirm events of harassment, but to encourage travellers to do more research into flagged hotels or services outside of TripAdvisor.
Read The Guardian’s full report here to find out more.
What do you think of this issue? Let us know in the comments section below.
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