TripAdvisor, the site that prides itself in offering a platform for “unbiased” reviews – attracting more than 50 million unique monthly visitors, across 19 popular travel brands from its own network (including TripAdvisor branded global TLDs and 18 others) – has recently announced reaching the 50 million reviews and opinions milestone. For a site founded in 2001, and based mainly on user-generated content, this is quite an accomplishment. Never mind that the reviews are not all that unbiased, and that some are questionable (to use a soft term), TripAdvisor deserves kudos for being one of the few travel sites in the world that, one way or another, accomplished to shape the way the hospitality industry does business online.
TripAdvisor currently publishes 25 new contributions every minute thanks to its traveler community of more than 20 million members worldwide. Some of these reviews may raise eyebrows, especially those that come from users who, aside that 1 review for that special restaurant or hotel, have never bothered to write an opinion about anything else. It would be quite interesting to learn how many users who only contribute one review are actually on TripAdvisor, but sure, these are stats that TripAdvisor is not interested in revealing.
Instead, you learn that the most reviewed property in the world is the Luxor Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, currently with more than 6,100 reviews. Then, a trivia fact that would make Tolstoy jealous: The total word count of reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor is equivalent to the word count of 9,420 volumes of the novel “War and Peace.”
The most interesting fact about TripAdvisor Media Group however, is that its properties generated $486 million in revenue in 2010. Wouldn’t you like to own a user-generated empire that brings you so much money? The only reason I mention this is because TripAdvisor hasn’t considered rewarding its top contributors in any way to celebrate this 50 million reviews milestone. Now that’s bad PR.