Trip Advisor can be a nice tool to use when visiting a new city. As I mentioned in my post on making travel itineraries, TripAdvisor is one of the tools I will use. Here of some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Trip Advisor:
Trip Advisor gives a good idea of the main sites and things to do in a city. It is easy to check out what there is to do in a city you might be unfamiliar with. You can read reviews by people who have visited the sites to get an idea for a plan when visiting a new city.
Restaurants can be sorted by price and other categories. For example, you can sort by seafood or by Indian food, and you can search for fine dining or cheap restaurants. Trip Advisor will rank restaurants both overall and by category.
Trip Advisor has changed its format, apparently in an attempt to look and function more like Facebook. In my opinion this is a step in the wrong direction, and just makes the site come across as less organized. I think they should stick with what they do well and leave social media feeds to social media sites.
When using only Trip Advisor some great places can be missed, because unfortunately the majority is not always right. Also, while you can search by category, it is not always specific enough. For example, some coffee places might be rated highly for their pastries instead of their coffee. So someone looking for good coffee might end up at a place with below average coffee but good pastries (that they may not even want).
Some establishments have been known to pay for positive reviews of their establishment. They have also been found to pay employees to write fake negative reviews about competing establishments. Also, many restaurants seem to dislike Trip Advisor, and prefer to use word of mouth or other methods to grow their businesses.
I like to use trip advisor to get an idea of a place, but it is only one of a number of resources I use when planning a trip. Also, it is important to check the dates of reviews, because restaurant quality and menus can change over time so a review that is very old may be obsolete. However, using Trip Advisor can help when planning a trip to a new place.
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