Is information on Tripadvisor misinforming people over venues’ Covid safety measures?

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

12 August 2020

The review website shows that a mere 1.6% of bars, restaurants and pubs have implemented new health and safety guidelines in response to coronavirus, according to software firm Stampede.

This ‘unduly influences consumer choices, but fails hospitality businesses doing the right thing,’ says Stampede’s founder Patrick Clover.

Tripadvisor pointed out that information of this type listed on the platform had to be provided by venues themselves.

Stampede analysed the Tripadvisor data around Covid safety measures and found that across 66,000 venues in the UK’s 30 largest cities (by population) only 1.62% were listed by Tripadvisor as having implemented new health and safety features since reopening.

Hotels are the most likely to have implemented new health and safety features (6.92%) followed by pubs/bars (1.08%), restaurants (0.84%) and finally cafes (0.14%), the report claims.

Stampede says it believes that the hospitality sector is doing far more to limit the spread of Covid than is presented on sites like Tripadvisor and is urging venues to update their online presence and inform potential customers on the health and safety measures they have put in place.

‘In these strange times, sites like Tripadvisor are the go to source of information for people trying to understand which of their favourite venues have reopened and what kinds of changes to expect,’ said Clover.

‘Tripadvisor is trying to help, but it must improve these results and work with the hospitality sector to verify information before it is posted online. Right now it is failing the hospitality sector and thousands of businesses that have moved heaven and earth to reopen safely. There is also an onus on pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes to update their online presence immediately, otherwise they’re going to needlessly lose business to competitors who acted more decisively.’

In response, TripAdvisor told Imbibe that the 'criticisms are at best grossly misinformed and at worst damaging to an industry that needs solidarity and support now more than ever.'

'All a hotel or restaurant needs to do is complete a quick and easy checklist about the safety measures they have in place, which they can access for free via the Tripadvisor management centre, and that information will then be displayed on their Tripadvisor listing page.

'Clearly, we can only display information if it is provided to us, so if a hotel, pub or restaurant does not complete the checklist we are not able to showcase the cleanliness and safety practices they have in place. 

‘Over 80,000 properties have already engaged with the Travel Safe feature, and click-through-rates to their Tripadvisor listing pages have increased by as much as 25%, so it really is worth the small investment of time for UK hotels, pubs and restaurants to use the feature. We firmly believe that Travel Safe is a win-win for consumers and the UK hospitality industry, and it is something that any responsible industry partner should be supporting, not denigrating.’

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