Photo: Francesca Saraco
Travel website TripAdvisor is known for being a one-stop shop that lets you book flights and accommodations, find good places to eat and read reviews of events and activities, but it's also adding a new feature that's helpful in a more significant way. The site will now place a special badge on the page of any hotel or resort where a sexual assault has reportedly happened.
The decision comes in the wake of several assaults reported at resorts in Mexico. According to the BBC, three hotels in the Playa del Carmen region have now been flagged with a red badge at the top of their listing, which reads: "TripAdvisor has been made aware of recent media reports or events concerning this property which may not be reflected in reviews found on this listing. Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans."
"Going forward, we will continue to issue the badge any time we believe there is a current health, safety or discrimination issue relevant to travelers as reported on by either our traveler community or by news media. As always, we encourage consumers to do additional research outside of TripAdvisor," company spokesperson Kevin Carter told ABC.
"These badges will remain on TripAdvisor for up to three months; however, if the issues persist we may extend the duration of the badge. These badges are intended to be informative, not punitive," he added.
The decision marks a big step in holding tourist establishments accountable. Several reports of sexual assaults in Mexico, like one published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Dallas resident Kristie Love, have involved employees at resorts, hotels, and restaurants recommended by TripAdvisor.