Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, released the third edition of its Review Transparency Report, revealing detailed trends around review contributions and the steps taken to ensure the integrity of user-submitted content.
The report, which is published biennially, analyzed a full year's worth of community contributions - over 73 million reviews and opinions in total - to give readers a deep dive into global submissions. The report also reveals how review trends have shifted since 2020, when the previous edition of the report was published. Key trends include:
Strong growth for reviews and business listings
The report reveals a significant increase in the volume of reviews left on the platform during 2022 - up +20% from 2020 levels to 30.2 million - as the world's explorers returned in force following two years of lockdowns, and restrictions. During 2022, Tripadvisor also saw business owners respond to over 10 million reviews, while community members asked and answered more than 940,000 questions from fellow users.
As global recovery continued in 2022, the platform saw an influx of new listings created, with 1.3 million new businesses added to the site, leading to a record 11.1 million listings at year end, up +16% from 2020's total of 9.6 million. Regionally, two out of five newly listed businesses were located in Europe, while Asia and North America each accounted for about 23% of the total.
Success in combating fake and paid reviews
Only a fraction of total review submissions from 2022 (4.4%) were determined to be fake or fraudulent, totaling just over 1.3 million. Of these, Tripadvisor's robust detection and moderation processes prevented 72% of submissions from ever making it onto the platform, a significant improvement on the 67% prevented during 2020.
Reviews from paid review companies represent an even smaller proportion of fraudulently submitted content, but have the very real capability to negatively impact consumer trust. In total, Tripadvisor removed 24,521 reviews associated with paid review companies in 2022. Nearly half of these originated from just six countries: India, Russia, U.S., Türkiye, Italy, and Vietnam.
Once fraudulent content has been identified and removed, Tripadvisor takes a range of actions against offending businesses, including content bans, ranking penalties and for the most severe cases, red badges. The Review Transparency Report reveals that Tripadvisor applied a ranking penalty to more than 33,000 businesses for fraud and issued 341 red badge warnings in 2022, each of these enforced with a ranking penalty.
"Tripadvisor is built on trust, and we will never stop improving our systems to ensure our community has access to reliable content and the businesses listed can compete on a level playing field," said Becky Foley, Vice President, Trust & Safety at Tripadvisor. "The findings from this report show that our approach is working; we're catching a higher proportion of fraudulent content before it is published, with nearly three-quarters of fake reviews never even making it to the platform."
Progress in helping to keep travelers safe
During 2022, almost 600 reviews were posted by Tripadvisor's community that described a serious safety incident during a travel or dining experience. Listings associated with these types of reviews, are subject to additional measures, aimed at increasing awareness among travelers.
Tripadvisor is able to place additional filters on listings associated with reviews that contain warnings or serious allegations, helping users more easily identify potentially problematic businesses. And this approach is clearly working, with reviews that reveal a serious safety incident over 10 times as likely to be read, than reviews that do not.
"I'm incredibly proud of our efforts to shine a light on the more troubling review content submitted by our community," added Becky Foley. "Sharing details of distressing incidents requires courage and all those who have been brave enough to share their experiences will hopefully take heart from the fact that their reviews are being seen by others and are making a real-world difference."
The 2023 Tripadvisor Review Transparency report can be viewed in full at this link: http://tripadvisor.com/TransparencyReport2023