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TripAdvisor to Let Renovated Hotels Delete Old, Outdated Reviews

Here’s a piece of good news that may prompt hoteliers and hospitality executives to raise their hands and say, “Hallelujah!”: if you renovate your hotel, TripAdvisor will delete your old negative reviews.

This is one of the new review policies being implemented by the popular travel reviews aggregator. According to the TripAdvisor Help Center, your hotel’s old, outdated reviews can be wiped clean in exchange for proof of major renovations. (Check the screenshot below.)

hotel reputation monitoring

To give your TripAdvisor listing a fresh start, you’ll have to prove that the changes and renovations you made are structural in nature. (Sorry, new carpets and wallpapers don’t qualify.) And to prove that your hotel has, in fact, been renovated, you must submit one of the following to TripAdvisor:

  • Online press release with the publication’s letterhead documenting the renovation
  • Notarized copies of building/work permits
  • Notarized copies of the trades’ invoices for materials and labor
  • Notarized letter from city officials or Tourist Board verifying the scope of renovation and duration of the closure

We all know that online reputation and online reviews make a significant impact on booking decisions. So, the ability to remove negative reviews is something that any TripAdvisor-listed business owner will be glad to have – even if it means investing resources in property renovations and major structural changes.

(Check out: “TripAdvisor Shares More Awesome Tips on Online Review Management”)

In an interview with travel news site, TripAdvisor spokeswoman Alison Croyle said: “We understand that as part of running a successful hospitality business, sometimes significant renovations are made in an effort to modernize or simply remodel an establishment. With this in mind, TripAdvisor will remove a property’s reviews and photos that were posted prior to completion of a major renovation.”

According to Skift, TripAdvisor will also remove old reviews if a property is taken over by a different hotel brand or chain. So if, for example, a Sofitel in Manila suddenly becomes part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, then old TripAdvisor reviews of that hotel may be wiped clean.

The deleted reviews will no longer be factored into TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index, which incorporates user-generated ratings to determine overall traveler satisfaction at a given hotel or property. Obviously, for hotels and properties with bad reviews, the removal and the clean slate can boost their hotel reputation monitoring and management efforts.

What do you think of TripAdvisor’s new review removal policies? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.


  1. Fed


    Are there any examples of what consitutes “significant refurbishment”. For example we have refurbed one of our hotels recently though would like to know what the chances are of having our request to tripadvisor successful

  2. Maxine Summerhayes

    About 5 years ago we got a great review of our restaurant – one of our first reviews probably but the picture the reviewer put on is not a good example of our food presentation now – and it appears as the 1st picture !! Is there anyway we can remove or change that picture?

    • Migs Bassig

      Hi Maxine,

      Have you tried to upload your own photos of your business location, facilities, storefront, etc? Typically, TripAdvisor listings feature management photos first (before photos uploaded by guests). To upload management photos, just visit your TripAdvisor Management Center. Let us know if that works for you!

      • Lucy

        I am having the same problem – an image of the old chef’s food (which is no longer representative of what we now serve) is coming up as the main hero image when guests click on our Tripadvisor page. I have added lots of ‘management photos’ and added one Primary Image, but it still makes this guest image (from 2011) the largest, primary image the guests see on landing.

  3. Maura

    Hi we have done up our kitchen as it was to small ,
    we have never signed up to tripadvisor as we are not a restaurant but a bar which service bar food for 6 weeks a year , in summer the other part of the year open weekends in the bar for drinks no food , I would like to know how to delete photo and some reviews .
    we open kitchen on the last week in july , and now with new kitchen will change menu

  4. Richard Bedenham

    We have a number of properties listed on Google that also have reviews. Does Google offer something similar whereby you can get the reviews removed if a property goes under renovation?

    Any ideas?

    • Migs Bassig

      Hi Richard,

      We’re not sure that Google offers something similar. As far as we know, Google only removes reviews if they have been flagged as inappropriate. We’ll continue to look into it and let you know if we find anything that would be useful in your situation. Thanks!

  5. Sabina

    Sadly, tripadvisor is not being honest to their reviewers.
    I did write a bad review about “Elephants At Home” in Chiang Mai, Thailand, whose selling point is that they treat the elephants nicely in their natural environment. What is the reality? Scared elephants with chain, blooding wounds, scars, painful legs which they can’t even stand on!
    It was extremily surprising how nobody ever reported these dirty happenings on tripadvisor… soon I figured out the reason. I have posted an honest review and proved it with 7 photos. However, Tripadvisor removed it all without any notification. I did put it up again, then they removed all the pictures. With no comment and no obvious reason, one only contained an elephant on chain with the place’s logo in the background, no people, no disturbing blood. A friend of mine also posted a review with photos about the same place but that has been removed too with no explanation.
    Could be any other explanation than tripadvisor is paid by dirty business owners in some cases?