After it was revealed that the site removed warnings about rapes and other serious crimes at Mexico resorts, TripAdvisor has now introduced a digital badge system that identifies hotels where cases of sexual assault have been reported.
According to the New York Times, the badges warn of “health, safety and discrimination issues in all of the website’s travel categories.” They advise anyone considering visiting the properties to “perform additional research for information” when making travel plans.
A TripAdvisor spokesman, Kevin Carter, said the badges were only temporary. They remain on the site for up to three months, but if the issues persist then the warnings will stay in place longer. The decision to add or remove a badge will be made by an employee committee.
“These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive,” said Carter.
Three resorts in the Playa del Carmen region of Mexico have already received the badges: the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. All are ranked in the top five best hotels in the area, and have received thousands of positive reviews.
Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on the story of Kristie Love, who was raped by a security guard at a highly rated all-inclusive Mexican resort in 2010. Staff refused to call the police, and TripAdvisor deleted her report of the incident from its site because it wasn’t “family friendly.”
Other posts describing rapes, sexual assaults, druggings, and robberies were also removed from the TripAdvisor, for reasons that include “second-hand information or hearsay.”
TripAdvisor, which takes up to 15 percent commission on booking, says that it changed its family-friendly forum policy three years ago and had apologized to Love.