Wow, the power of the internet.
Just reading in The Times about hotel and b&B guests trying to make money by blackmailing the owners, by threatening to write bad reviews.
Understanding the impact a bad review can have, these nasty pieces of work/opportunists/consumer champions (depending on your viewpoint) are looking to get what they can out of owners who are worried about the damaging effect a negative write-up can have. According to The Times, “Industry experts say that a bad rating on the site can cost a hotel tens of thousands of pounds in lost bookings“.
At the same time, some hotels and b&bs are writing dodgy fake positive reviews, so you have ask how much people will trust sites like TripAdvisor. I think most will still use them as a major influencing factor when choosing accomodation, but the more scepticism we have about p2p reviews, the more we’re going to have to rely on judgement, intuition and other sources.