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Unusually high location reviews, what can we learn?

Two professors, Tom van Laer of the University of Sydney and Elif Izberk-Bilgin of the University of Michigan, published a research last December that showed reviews of sacred places like Mecca’s Grand Mosque, India’s Ganga Aarti, and Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre get unusually high ratings online. 

When we say “unusually high,” we mean…

  • Mecca’s sites averaged a near-perfect 4.96 stars out of 5 on TripAdvisor, compared to an average of 3.96 for Europe’s 200 highest-rated destinations. 
  • The combined average for what the authors call “spiritual places” on TripAdvisor was 4.63 stars. 

What can we learn from this:

  • Review quality and quantity varies per region.
  • Review quality and quantity varies per time of activities or events surrounding the locations reviewed.
  • Reviews can get “tainted” for many and various reasons out there.

What is your experience and findings with reviews? Feel free to comment below.

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