NEEDHAM, Mass., Sept. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TripAdvisor®, a chief industry proponent for consumers’ rights, applauds the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for seeking to protect travelers through their passage of the Consumer Review Fairness Act. If signed into law by the President after being reconciled with the version of the bill that was passed in the Senate, the legislation would protect consumers’ right to write online reviews about their travels on sites like TripAdvisor without facing the threat of retribution from businesses.
“TripAdvisor commends the work of Senator Thune and Congressmen Issa, Kennedy and Lance, and the broad bi-partisan efforts in both the House and Senate to safeguard travelers’ right to write online reviews,” said Adam Medros, senior vice president of global product, TripAdvisor. “We are also thankful for the work by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and groups like the Internet Association to protect consumer reviews. Bullying consumers into keeping quiet about their genuine travel experiences goes against everything we stand for at TripAdvisor, and denies freedom of expression. When businesses attempt to silence consumers with fine print, everyone is harmed. We will continue to offer our full support of the act until it is passed into law.”
Spearheaded initially by Congressman Daryl Issa (R-CA), a version of the bill was eventually introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD) for passage in the United States Senate. Congressmen Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) then introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and with the support of FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.
The legislation would protect consumers from disreputable businesses that try to muzzle dissatisfied consumers’ opinions and reviews through gag orders in form contracts that most consumers never recognize they agree to during their hotel stays or when participating in tourism attractions in the United States.
In addition to the bipartisan support from many members of Congress, the bill also received the robust support of the Internet Association in Washington, D.C., and other advocacy organizations like Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) and consumer interest groups. TripAdvisor would like to thank Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association, and Steve Shur, President of Travel Tech, for their steadfast support of this legislation.
For more than 15 years, TripAdvisor has offered a platform for travelers to share their candid guest feedback – both good and bad. The site now features more than 385 million reviews and opinions covering more than 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions in 48 global markets. It is against TripAdvisor’s policies for a business to include gag orders in its contracts with travelers. Businesses that violate these policies may receive a red badge on the site warning travelers about these practices.
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 350 million average monthly unique visitors**, and reached 385 million reviews and opinions covering 6.6 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide. TripAdvisor: Know better, Book better and Go better.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:
www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.citymaps.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl, and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, and www.virtualtourist.com.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, May 2016
**Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q2 2016
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