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This article was published on December 13, 2012

    USA Today launches HotelMe to beat the problem of fake hotel reviews online

    USA Today launches HotelMe to beat the problem of fake hotel reviews online Image by: Getty Images
    Andrii Degeler
    Story by

    Andrii Degeler

    Andrii Degeler is the community growth manager at Rockstart and a technology journalist with a particular interest in companies based in Cen Andrii Degeler is the community growth manager at Rockstart and a technology journalist with a particular interest in companies based in Central and Eastern Europe. He also runs a CEE-focused weekly tech newsletter, ProCEEd.

    USA Today Travel Media Group has announced the beta launch of HotelMe, its joint venture with District Hospitality Partners. The website offers users authenticated hotel reviews from people who stayed there.

    While many hotel booking websites already allow users to review hotels they stayed at, HotelMe is meant to be a platform where anyone can leave their impressions of a hotel, independently of how it was booked.

    According to USA Today, large hotel brands like Hyatt, Best Western, La Quinta, Trump, Preferred Hotels, Omni and Radisson have already signed on to join the service. The company claims to have invented a new authentication process (patent pending) to allow hotels to verify if review authors have stayed there.

    While all the reviewers at HotelMe are supposed to be verified, the company didn’t say anything about how it is going to address the problem from the other side. It is well known in the industry that some hotels would book fake stays and even pay a fee to an online booking service, just to leave a “verified” positive review.

    John Peters, president of the USA Today Travel Media Group, said that HotelMe is one of the steps the company takes to build a comprehensive information platform for travelers, including trip planning, news and hotel reviews.

    Image credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images.