Entries in TripAdvisor (4)


TripAdvisor App Downloaded 25 Times Per Minute

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- TripAdvisor has the world’s second-most-popular travel app, right behind Google Earth, according to 2011 download data from app research company Distimo.

Distimo tells ABC News the rankings are based on the worldwide downloads  for all applications in the travel categories in the Apple App Store -- iPad, Apple App Store, iPhone, Google Android Market and Windows Phone Marketplace.

TripAdvisor says its app was downloaded an average of 25 times per minute in January 2012 and has now surpassed 15 million total downloads.

“TripAdvisor is focused on delivering the best experience to travelers on mobile and tablets, and we’re delighted to see that TripAdvisor is the most downloaded travel planning app in the world,” Nathan Clapton, vice president of mobile partnerships at TripAdvisor, said in a statement. While Google Earth and TripAdvisor are both classified as travel apps, it’s fair to say the TripAdvisor app is used as a planning tool.

So besides Google Earth (No. 1) and TripAdvisor (No. 2), which other travel apps make up the top 5 travel apps in Distimo’s rankings?

3. GasBuddy -- Find Cheap Gas Prices

4. Google Maps

5. Yelp

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cornell Software Can Spot Fake Hotel Reviews

Getty(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- Want to detect if online hotel reviews are legitimate? Brush up on your patterns of speech.

Software developed by Cornell University researchers found that if an online hotel review uses a lot of nouns and is heavy on specifics like the size of the bathroom, it's probably genuine. If it is verb-packed and raves in general about how great everything was, watch out.

The researchers set up their study by having 400 separate reviewers each write one fake review of a leading Chicago hotel. They took another 400 actual reviews of 20 leading Chicago hotels from TripAdvisor, the top travel site.

Then three human judges -- Cornell undergraduates -- were each given 160 reviews to evaluate and decide if the reviews were real or fake. Two were right about half the time, while the most astute of the three was 62 percent accurate.

The software was close to 90 percent accurate at nailing the fakers.

"We didn't expect to be able to do that much better than humans," said Myle Ott, 22, a Cornell Ph.D. student in computer science who is a co-author of the study along with Claire Cardie, a professor of computer science; Jeff Hancock, a communication professor; and Yejin Choi. They presented their findings in June at a meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

The software the researchers devised was able to pick out the phony reviews partly by analyzing parts of speech.

Basically, the real reviewers talked about features they actually saw in the hotel, like the room size or the checkout speed. The fakers talked about external things, like going to Chicago with their spouses and having a fabulous time.

Punctuation was also a giveaway. Reviews that had quite a bit of punctuation, especially dollar signs, dashes, parentheses and ellipses, tended to be real.

TripAdvisor has its own fake-detection techniques, according to spokeswoman Karen Drake.

She said in an email that reviews are "systematically screened by our proprietary site tools" as well as by "our large and passionate community of more than 45 million monthly visitors" who also help report suspicious content. The site also uses quality assurance specialists.

Dr. Ott hopes the software can have wider uses.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


TripAdvisor Names America's Dirtiest Hotels

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Every year, travel information website releases a list of the Top 10 dirtiest hotels in America. The list is culled from reviews written by real travelers. The full list will be released Tuesday, but ABC News was given an exclusive preview of the top three hotels:

1. Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center -- Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
TripAdvisor Average Daily Rate: $49 to $334. Average Rate (via hotel site): $49.77.

A TripAdvisor member complained about getting "bug bites on my arms and legs." The hotel said that it is under new management and is working to restore the hotel to its former glory.

2. Jack London Inn -- Oakland, Calif.

TripAdvisor Average Daily Rate: $44 to $101. Average Daily Rate (via hotel site): $45.

A member wrote, "The rooms displayed a level of filth and discomfort that mere neglect could never produce." In a statement, the hotel's general manager called the review a "gross exaggeration" by "anonymous disgruntled guests." He said that the hotel is undergoing "a detailed renovation."

3. Desert Inn Resort -- Daytona Beach, Fla.
TripAdvisor Average Daily Rate: $66 to $189. Average Daily Rate (via hotel site): $49.

A member noted that "the ceiling was peeling, the walls were cracked, there were cigarette burns throughout the room."  The Desert Inn said it believed the listing was "unjust," that it has a "great staff and facility" and more than 70 percent of its guests are repeat or referral guests.

The top 10 dirtiest hotels in the United States had the lowest cleanliness ratings on TripAdvisor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The World’s Most Infamous Hotels

Courtesy - Getty Images(NEWTON, Mass.) -- From Rock 'n' Roll riots to a presidential assassination attempt, TripAdvisor has released a list of the world’s top 10 most infamous hotels, based on a measurement of overall traveler satisfaction:

1. Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin, Germany:

The hotel gained notoriety in November 2003 after pop legend Michael Jackson infamously dangled one of his children over the balcony.

2. The Mark, New York City, New York:

After actor Johnny Depp destroyed a $1,200 suite in 1994 following a fight with his then-girlfriend, supermodel Kate Moss, The Mark's owner thanked Depp's publicist for all of the free publicity.

3. The Mercer Hotel, New York City, New York:

The Mercer became infamous after actor Russell Crowe threw his cell phone at a hotel employee in 2005.

4. Sunset Tower Hotel, West Hollywood, California:

Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes and John Wayne all lived in the hotel's penthouse at different times.

5. Hotel Ritz Paris, Paris, France:

This was to be the venue for Princess Diana and boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed's final evening together before a car accident claimed their lives.

6. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec: 

The Fairmont is infamous for being the location where Beatle John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono had their 'Bed-in for Peace' in 1969. It was also where the song "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded.

7. Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, California:

The Chateau Marmont has been the backdrop for a number of infamous events. Led Zeppelin band members rode their motorcycles through the lobby, Jim Morrison hurt his back at the hotel while dangling from a drain pipe, and Britney Spears was reportedly banned from the hotel for appalling table manners in 2007.

8. Chelsea Hotel, New York City, New York:

Bob Dylan composed songs while staying here.  It's also known as the place where Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning in 1953.

9. Palace Station Hotel and Casino,  Las Vegas, Nevada: 

It was this hotel that O.J. Simpson reportedly entered with a group of men to steal various objects of sporting memorabilia in 2007, leading to his ultimate conviction on related charges.

10. Hilton Washington Embassy Row, Washington D.C., District of Columbia:

Just 69 days into the presidency of Ronald Reagan, there was an attempt on his life by John Hinckley Jr. at this hotel. The President was shot and wounded along with three others.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio