TripAdvisor (trip) has added a badge to the hotel listings where sexual assaults have been reported, after the travel website was accused of deleting posts about serious crimes against tourists visiting Mexico.
A red banner will now span the top of the resorts’ listings on TripAdvisor pages, cautioning tourists the accommodation has had a case reported and suggesting travelers do further research. Three hotels in Mexico were badged on Wednesday, a TripAdvisor spokesman said.
“These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to 3 months; however, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge. These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive,” CBS quoted a TripAdvisor spokesperson as saying.
The initial investigation that sparked this new measure originally found that posts describing rape, robbery, sexual assault and druggings had been removed from the TripAdvisor site.
One site user, Kristie Love, said TripAdvisor had initially refused to post a review in which she claimed she had been dragged into the bushes by a hotel security guard and raped while staying at a Mexican Riviera resort in 2010. The website had even deleted earlier advisory warnings (from before Love took the trip) about the resort, on the basis that the reviews were not “family friendly.” At least two other women reported being assaulted at the same resort after Love’s review was taken down, according to USA Today.
TripAdvisor had said it had apologized to Love over the incident, and published her review.
Even that apology didn’t pass off without controversy. USA Today reported Love as accusing TripAdvisor Steve Kaufer of lying about it in a LinkedIn post in which he said the company was making improvements, and was horrified by what had happened to Love and others. Kaufer added that the company had “apologized to the victim for her experience.”
An outraged Love replied to the post, saying: “WHAT APOLOGY? I’ve yet to hear a word from TripAdvisor, and certainly not an apology!”
“Not receiving a single phone call or email from your company, my immediate thought was ‘hearsay,’ ” she wrote. “It was then brought to my attention this so called ‘apology’ was in the form of a Press Release dated Nov 1, 2017.”
USA Today reports that Kaufer did eventually call Kristie Love.