85% of British hotels fall victim to fake reviews

Martha Elwell By Martha Elwell
3 weeks ago | Updated 3 weeks ago

UK: New BHA research reveals that 85% of British hotels have received malicious reviews

A new survey by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) reveals that that 85% of hospitality businesses have been the victim of fake online reviews intended to harm them.

The figure is up from 65% in the last survey two years ago. A majority of those surveyed by the BHA (71%) said that these platforms were useful for their business, with one respondent stating, "it's the only advertising worth having". But this number had declined from 2015 by 9%.

Respondents were also concerned about the impact of algorithms. More than 65% of respondents said that transparency was a problem with website rankings based not on reviews but on complicated algorithms that the consumer is unaware of.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: "Online reviews sites are hugely important for the reputations of hospitality businesses and allow consumers to make informed decisions. However, the relentless and largely unregulated growth of the digital intermediaries means that hospitality businesses in the real world - who often pay large commissions to these sites on bookings - are at the mercy of these firms. More must be done to tackle fake and malicious reviews and provide greater transparency provided in the ratings systems."

The British Hospitality Association is the leading authority on hospitality and tourism in the United Kingdom. It represents 46,500 member businesses, including hotels, serviced apartments and the private rented sector.

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