Fake review offer spurs warning

New Zealand tourism operators are being warned by the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) against a service offering to provide fake reviews to improve their TripAdvisor profiles.

A number of tourism businesses around the country received an email last week offering as many as 20 false reviews for $297. It is unclear whether the email originates from New Zealand or elsewhere.

Association chief executive Martin Snedden said he ''strongly'' advised operators against purchasing fake reviews.

Mr Snedden said the association has reported the email to both NetSafe and TripAdvisor and the travel guide website said it would investigate the email.

''TripAdvisor is an important source of information for travellers in New Zealand and it's vital that users are able to trust its reviews,'' he said.

''We encourage TIA members to provide such excellent service and experiences that visitors will want to post great reviews about them.''

Travellers also need to be aware that TripAdvisor reviews are open to abuse, Mr Snedden said.

''We suggest they should check a range of reviews and websites, as well as seeking advice from the likes of i-Site visitor information centres.''