TripAdvisor versus Australia's richest man: A juicy headline, though not quite true but there's no question TripAdvisor's credibility as a review site will be on trial when Meriton Serviced Apartments, owned by billionaire Harry Triguboff, challenges Australia's competition watchdog in the Federal Court of Australia next year.
The case comes at a delicate time for TripAdvisor as the US company struggles to transition to a meta-search booking business model while persisting with its controversial and clandestine review process, prompting calls for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to drop the Meriton action and take on TripAdvisor instead.
On the commercial front, TripAdvisor does not generate significant sales for Australian hoteliers, no real emotion or allegiance there, but mention reviews and it pours out – they still hate the fact that anyone can review their properties on TripAdvisor whether or not they've stayed there. The lack of recourse also burns.
Meanwhile, travel consumers may still be posting reviews in huge numbers but unfortunately for TripAdvisor they are spending less per head . This has to be connected in some way to site navigation, which has become worse with the focus on promoting hotel sales above all else.
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