New Feature on TripAdvisor Flags Concerns for Sexual Assault

Media Center | Press Releases - TripAdvisor

Users who browse hotel listings on TripAdvisor will notice a new digital badge, which the travel website will use to point out hotels where a sexual assault took place.

"Going forward, we will continue to issue the badge any time we believe there is a current health, safety or discrimination issue relevant to travelers as reported on by either our traveler community or by news media". They advise anyone considering visiting the properties to "perform additional research for information" when making travel plans. Carter also notes that though badges can be added or removed by an employee committee, listings of all ratings will always remain on the TripAdvisor website. Company spokesman Kevin Carter told the New York Times that the badges will not be removed after a complaint.

The three resorts where sexual assault was reported were: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

A red banner will now run across the top of TripAdvisor listings, cautioning tourists that the accommodation has had a case reported and urging travellers to conduct further checks before booking.

"A few years ago, we changed that policy to allow more descriptive reviews on the site about first-hand accounts of serious incidents like rape or assault", the statement said.

A news release referenced a USA Today network article regarding a woman's online report that she had been sexually assaulted at the Iberostar Paraiso hotel near Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

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"I was contacted by the parents of a 19-year-old girl from New Jersey who was also raped by a security guard at the same property while on vacation with her family". TripAdvisor later issued a public apology to Love.

This is a temporary measure, following a backlash the company received when it was accused of repeatedly removing a review in which a woman stated she was raped at a hotel. "These badges are meant to be informative, not punitive", he told the paper.

Amid a continuing deluge of reports detailing just how pervasive sexual harassment and assault are throughout U.s. culture, TripAdvisor is taking steps to protect its customers. TripAdvisor replaced the comments with a generic explanation that the posts were "inappropriate" and "off-topic".

As part of its new policy, TripAdvisor will try to be more clear about why reviews are rejected.

Love has insisted she was not apologised to personally.

"In that review there's a line about a doctor making a medical diagnosis". A search engine is available on TripAdvisor for customers to search a page's reviews, but keywords such as "rape" and "sexual assault" yield no results.

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