A new review site has been launched in the UK promising to help protect hotels from fraudulent and malicious reviews.
Vinivi.co.uk, which has been operating in France for five years, claims to operate a strict verification process whereby 80% of reviews are certified and are guaranteed to be submitted by genuine, recent guests of the property.
The remainder of spontaneous "posters" are subject to email authentication.
All reviews are read by Vinivi consultants prior to being posted and hotels are given the right to reply to any negative feedback.
Vinivi.co.uk is not a booking site but provides links to external reservations services.
The site features over 41,000 accommodation providers in more than 225 countries, with more than 100,000 user-generated photos and 2500 videos.
Ratings from certified reviewers are weighted to ensure that their credibility makes them the most influential.
Founder Gilles Granger said: "Increasingly hotels are under threat from reviews posted by unscrupulous competitors, companies paid to post fake comments, and from individuals who choose to offer undeserved criticism of properties of whom they have never been a guest.
"Whilst allowing for freedom of opinion, Vinivi"s transparency principle ensures that consumers are not being misled by the spite and dishonourable behaviour which we estimate can drive up to 20% of uncertified reviews.
"Recent Vinivi research suggests that 78% of internet users are more likely to trust the opinions expressed by a certified reviewer, even more than the opinion of someone they know."
By Bev Fearis
Wednesday, April 6, 2011