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Renovated hotels can erase old TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor’s allowing hotels that undergo top-to-bottom renovations to remove old consumer reviews that mention negatives from the past, a TripAdvisor executive told listeners of a ReviewPro webinar recently.

A change in ownership or a change in brand can also give hotels permission to start fresh, TripAdvisor industry relations chief Brian Payea told listeners of ReviewPro’s Aug. 27 webinar about climbing TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index. The review giant, however, sets the bar high before this can be done.

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“You must provide a lot of documentation to substantiate that the guest experience has entirely changed,” Payea said during the webinar.

Simply bringing in new management isn’t enough for TripAdvisor to allow a hotel to erase old reviews, he said.

On Sept. 4, Skift.com reported that TripAdvisor clarified its policy about erasing old reviews in July but that it initiated the policy last October. The goal was to address “hotel owners’ request for a fresh start following major renovations,” the article says.

The article refers to TripAdvisor’s Help Center, which cites details for how hotels can qualify. A property needs to submit “building permits, materials invoices, or press releases” to prove the hotel underwent significant change, the story says.

The newly renovated Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis successfully wiped its slate clean, Skift reported. The hotel re-opened this year after a five-month closure and $22.5 million renovation that revamped its lobby, guest rooms, gym and other spaces. When the old reviews were erased, the story says, the hotel fell to the bottom of its competitive set since large numbers of reviews help a hotel climb the rankings. Today, however, Skift said it’s ranked No. 10 out of 49.

Stay tuned on our blog this week for more information on this subject. Hotel online reputation expert Daniel Edward Craig, who moderated ReviewPro’s webinar, will address the many questions you sent in during the popular event.

Hoteliers: If your property meets TripAdvisor’s requirements, would you erase your hotel’s older, negative reviews?