TripAdvisor has added new features to the platform enabling travelers to find reviews that include information around safety-related incidents.

A traveler safety review filter enables travelers to find reviews posted in the past year concerning sexual assaults and sexual misconduct by employees of a business. 

Other reviews with safety-related issues will be added going forward.

The filter also helps travelers surface new reviews concerning safety issues including assault, death, drugs, sex trafficking, armed robbery and physical assault.

A further new feature is a notice at the top of each review that includes safety information.

In a blog post, Lindsay Nelson, president of core experience for TripAdvisor, says:

“The need for better access to safety information while traveling has never been greater. Today’s culture of always-on news has made it increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction, while safety-related information about specific neighborhoods or businesses is often hard to find or non-existent online.”

The company is also planning user research going forward to establish what features would be most useful.

The new features could be in response to criticism that the reviews giant continued to promote hotels where sexual assaults had been reported.

The Bottom Line: 

TripAdvisor is already at the top of its game, as travelers’ #1 source of all things lodging, activities, restaurants, and more. However, the company has now even further expanded its reach, offering users the chance to report on the safety of a travel experience. The company will allow the public to provide reviews that help inform future travelers about how to best experience their destinations, in the safest way possible. The feature will also be monitored after its launch, to enable any needed changes and improvements over time. The organization reports that the new feature came about in order to fill a great need, as currently, safety information is almost impossible to find online.  

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Author: Shannon Cantor