Just how reliable are those online hotel reviews?
Accor's general manager of communications has put TripAdvisor reviews into question again by acknowledging that he anonymously posted more than 100 hotel reviews on the site.
Peter Hook, an Accor general manager of communications based in Sydney, has been posting generally good reviews of Accor properties and generally critical reviews of its competitors for the past few years.
He was identified as Hook by Kwikchex, a company that sells online reputation management software.
A listing for the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, for example (noting this is his 137th review on the site), includes his comments, "As a first time visitor to Phnom Penh I didn't know much about the hotel scene so booked a brand I knew well. It turned out to be a good choice."
He gave five stars to the Sea Temple Surfers Paradise, saying, "I took advantage of a good price and really loved it from start to finish."
Hook acknowledged that he wrote the reviews under the name Tavare, and told a number of British newspapers that "every review I have written has resulted from personally experiencing the product."
Noting that he regularly reviews destinations, attractions, restaurants, and other non-hotel products, he said that "because I cover such a wide range of travel experiences, it would not be appropriate to review them as a company representative, hence the pseudonym. However, it is a fair to say that my professional position should have been mentioned in any reviews of hotels."
Hook said he will desist from writing any more hotel reviews.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013