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Reviewed date: Tuesday, 3 April 2012 - 12:03, By Jody Houton
Last month, travel site tripadvisor.com was forced to remove its slogan 'honest reviews you can trust' after it was found by a U.K court that it in no way could substantiate such claims.
In the past if you wanted to go abroad it was rather a daunting experience. Sure you could talk to an agent in your own country or flick through travel brochures, but all-in-all you had to go at it alone. So you picked a dodgy area and are staying at a hotel that you wouldn't feel comfortable leaving your dog in – tough luck, you've got to deal with it.
Nowaday-travellers have it easy, they have smartphones with gps maps showing them where to get their cafe lates from and Lonely Planet guides to point out what they must see. They have websites made by experts in every field who have no ulterior motive of giving advice other than by making year-on-year profits. The modern-day traveller can check restaurant reviews reviews and of course hotel reviews.
Last month, travel site tripadvisor.com was forced to remove its slogan 'honest reviews you can trust' after it was found by a U.K court that it in no way could substantiate such claims. Yet still, travel sites like tripadvisor.com and many more are incredibly influential and regardless of whether any such travel sites can be trusted or not, most restaurants and hotels very much care about the opinions expressed.
What's your next vacation?
This is very much the case in Phuket, where a few months ago a well-known news site revealed that a well-known hotel had contacted them to help balance out negative press caused by a well-known travel site.
what is the modern-day traveller to do when seeking the information they require?
The news site, of course, declined. Having positive information published on other media platforms is one way of evening out negative comments made on the site, another way of course is to have positive comments written. Verifying whether the comments were indeed written by guests/diners or in fact the hotel/restaurant owners is incredibly difficult and one of the main reasons that the UK government intervened and forced tripadvisor to remove its slogan.
So if the readers of such sites should err on the side of caution, what is the modern-day traveller to do when seeking the information they require? Although it is unnecessary to eschew all modern-day forms of Internet-based information gathering, there is something to be learned from alternative and more old fashioned methods of research.
In the past, a traveller would stumble across a great little coffee shop down an alley that he had got lost down, he'd find out about a lesser-known beach by chatting to a local family or perhaps a great restaurant through a recommendation by the neighborhood foodie.
There is much to be learned about an area and gained by trusting locals and experts in particular fields. These are the people with real experience, real knowledge and real references. The motivation is often not based on profits and revenue but because they are doing something they love, and are helping visitors see the beauty and opportunity that they see on a daily basis.
GotoPhuket is just one service and site you can trust on the island, but of course there are many more.
Although there are countless travel agencies on the island, Phuket-born Sana from …. Bluesky is passionate about assisting travellers in the old fashioned way of talking to them, giving advice and then recommending how to help the clients make the most of their holiday in Phuket.
At Phuket Weekend Market
Where to Stay at Patong beach