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Poll: Hoteliers want government-regulated review sites

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The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s daily briefing of news clips, the SmartBrief, recently ran a poll asking hoteliers if they think there should be government standards to ensure that negative reviews on TripAdvisor and other such websites are posted by legitimate travelers rather than competing hotels.

According to AH&LA, Germany already has such standards, so it put the question to its readers: "Do you feel such standards are necessary?"

According to the daily SmartBrief, 79.12% said, "Yes. The system makes it too easy for competitors to unfairly tarnish or destroy a hotel's reputation."

The remaining 20.88% said, "No. The system is democratic and the number of legitimate reviews will nearly always outnumber the bogus ones."

It would appear that the hoteliers have spoken. Despite the kind words they have for the social network sites, a substantial majority appear to believe that some controls are called for.

End of story? Not quite. Now we’re wondering how many hoteliers voted twice. Do you suppose we need government standards for SmartBrief polls?

-- Bill Poling

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