Study Reveals Hotels Responded to Airbnb Pressure by ‘Posting Fake Positive Ratings’

High-end hotel customer reviews are influencing online purchases far more than promotional campaigns, according to a study published in MIS Quarterly. This has led to fake reviews as a competitive countermeasure.

An analysis of 2,188 Texas hotels found that in the eight years following the launch of Airbnb, high-end hotels were inflating their own reviews.

The study shows that the more Airbnb listings are available around high-end hotels, the more those hotels tend to self-promote by posting fake positive ratings.

Consumers should be wary of online reviews, note experts, especially on sites like Tripadvisor where anyone can post for free, as opposed to places like Expedia where only those who have made a transaction on the site can leave a review.

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