Tripadviser’s Sri Lanka forum is never short of interest. Some of the advice provided on the forum is excellent, other opinions offered we heartily disagree with. What is certain is that the Red Dot Travel Blog always keeps a close eye on the latest trends.
Tripadviser, by and large, has been good for the travel business. It is at its best when travellers share information and honest opinions. It has kept travel companies and accommodation suppliers honest and responsive to customer needs. That has to be beneficial.
Occasional postings, though, can be a cause for concern. Anybody travelling to Sri Lanka must be careful to sift honest, knowledgeable advice from bogus information provided by less reputable sources.
We were taken aback by one allegation made on Tripadviser’s Sri Lanka forum this week. It suggested that “a tour guide and tout from Kalutara” was posting on Tripadviser under a variety of psuedonyms to drum up business.
The theory of how this works is simple. One example: the first alias asks if anybody has ever heard of this particular tour guide. A second alias says yes, he is wonderful. And the poor old Tripadviser reader, thinking they have received impartial, independent advice, rather than relying on the supposed evil of a traditional travel company, rushes to book the services of somebody who might well be pulling a fast one.
Tripadviser is at its worst, like all blogs, when a minority of people — a disturbing minority nonetheless — misuse it for acts of revenge or malicious attacks, or in this case for allegedly working a con. In this case, the danger is that professionals are merely replaced by disreputable amateurs.
Our advice is that whether you travel independently or with the help of a travel company you sift your information carefully.