Tripadvisor to mark hotels where sexual assaults have been reported

Travel review website TripAdvisorhas launched a new warning "badge" system to identify hotels and listings where sexual assaults have been reported.

TripAdvisor also said it was rolling out "a "badge" notification to apply to businesses to alert consumers of health and safety or discrimination issues at that business reported on within the media or other credible sources of information". "Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans", the badge reads.

Three resorts in the Playa del Carmen region of Mexico were those flagged by TripAdvisor, including the hotel ranked at No. 2 by users, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya; the hotel ranked at No. 4, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya; and the fifth-ranked hotel, the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

It has so far put the message, which it calls a "badge", on the pages for three resorts in Mexico.

"We have chose to introduce a new badge notification that will be displayed on a business's listing page when an issue relating to that business is reported on by credible media sources", Tara Lieberman, a TripAdvisor spokeswoman, tells Vogue.

The popular site has begun marking hotels where sexual assaults have been reported with red badges, which urge site visitors to do some additional research before booking their stay.

The new feature comes after a lengthy investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel documented repeated instances where TripAdvisor removed posts warning of alleged rape, assault or other injuries at some Mexican resorts.

At least two other women reported being assaulted at the same resort after Love's TripAdvisor warning had been removed.

These hotels were under scrutiny after a woman claimed that she had been raped by a security guard. The report also suggest one TripAdvisor user said she reported being served tainted alcohol, but her review was deleted after being called "hearsay". "These badges are meant to be informative, not punitive", TripAdvisor spokesperson said.

And, he said, the company has "apologized to the victim for her experience".

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. "We'll be monitoring news coverage moving forward".

As part of its new policy, TripAdvisor will try to be more clear about why reviews are rejected. A simple search of TripAdvisor will show numerous reviews from travelers over the last several years who wrote about their first-hand experiences that include matters of robbery or theft, assault and rape.

"In that review there's a line about a doctor making a medical diagnosis".

  • Eleanor Harrison