Expedia has launched an overhaul of its review systems aiming to boost trust in content left by travelers.
The online booking giant, which spun off its TripAdvisor review site into a different company last week, has relaunched its hotel database, emphasizing that users leaving reviews must have actually stayed at the hotel.
The new strategy is designed to counter criticism, most often leveled at TripAdvisor, that competitors and malicious customers can manipulate hotels' rankings and leave bad reviews on the increasingly influential travel review websites.
Expedia is now rolling out a new system that will restrict reviews to customers who made the booking and stayed at the hotel, reports USA Today.
A new search facility will also aim to add an extra level of 'use' to the reviews, making search more about passions than about traveler type -- instead of searching for family hotels, for instance, travelers will be able to select hotels in areas known to be good for food, nightlife or entertainment.
It's a functionality already embraced by several new startup sites such as Hipmunk's hotel search and the recently revamped Wanderfly service.
Like TripAdvisor, the platform will also be able to handle photos, Expedia says, but adding them won't be such a simple task.
To stop the malicious content, reviewers will be personally invited to leave a review, in the form of a follow-up email after the stay with a specific link to write a message of feedback for the hotel.