Online reviews can make or break a resort's business, not to mention your vacation. So what mega-popular Trip Advisor is doing has travelers and their potential destinations talking.
"It's a great heads up," said one flyer in an interview at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The website is the first to add an ominous red warning prominently alerting internet surfing tourists to a hotel or resort flagged by media or guest reports over concerns for health and safety, with reported sexual assaults often the prime reason for the flag.
We quickly found a handful of resorts near spring break hotspot Cancun with the designation no hotel wants.
Other passengers heading out of town told us, "I wouldn't go," when asked if the flag would deter them.
Another was a little more forgiving, adding, "I think it's a double-edge sword. I think it's good to inform the traveler, but at the same time, if it's an isolated incident, I don't think it necessarily reflects negatively on that location."
A number of the resorts flagged are fighting back, saying unsubstantiated allegations, crimes or assaults shouldn't hurt their image.
We've learned Trip Advisor's business practices are now being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. So the fairness of all this is currently up in the air.
Trip Advisor refused our request for an interview.
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