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It is, admittedly, an impressive collection of reviews from travelers. But anyone can submit feedback, and my hunch is that a significant percentage of them are by friends or enemies of the place being reviewed. I find more and more small hotels offering a free breakfast to people who promise to write kindly about them on TripAdvisor.
If you own a small hotel needing to rent rooms via the Internet, you now feel like things are out of your control. To be listed by any of these services, hotels are pressured to pay fees…hotels not to advertise or sell rooms for less than the price promoted on these booking sites. While a few hotels refuse to be controlled by online booking services (and don’t play the Internet booking service game), most find it’s the only way to stay in business.