DISHONEST: Trip Advisor Removes Scathing Panhandler Review of St. Augustine by Recent Tourist - Who
They tried to censor it, but it was too late. Last night it was reported that Trip Advisor pulled this scathing review from their site.
The VCB has received its fair share of blowback from locals, after their decision to spend nearly a quarter of a million dollars to attract tourism in August and September, instead of putting that money back into the local economy. The Anti-Tourism Council is expected to roll out their latest plans to combat the extended tourism season within the next few days.
It's been speculated that officials with the TDC or VCB may have been behind the removal of the review. What is for sure is that there is a process you can go through to have reviews removed from the site, and someone locally is presumed to have went through the steps to have it removed. But not before it was caught by Historicity.com
It's been suggested that utilizing sites like this may work as an effective option of deterring tourism, as well as holding politicians accountable if used properly. Should a site like this get a large quantity of bad reviews, it may take a wile to clear some, if any. Many other popular review sites however can be very difficult, if not impossible to remove bad reviews from.
According to Historic City, the following was reviewer Everythingirl1's account of her experience here in town:
“While panhandling may have existed in the past, it was like nothing that we observed this past weekend,” the visitor wrote on TripAdvisor. “Just about every single block had 2-3 panhandlers – either sitting on benches or on the floor.”
“Many were holding signs and being quite aggressive such as making comments or walking towards you if you did not give them money or ignored their calls to you,” she wrote. “Quite a few looked high or intoxicated. I was traveling with children and women, and we frankly did not feel safe in the outer streets of the historic Square, which are not usually very lit or very populated after about 6:00 p.m.”
I do wonder however, if thousands of people just happened to leave scathing reviews on trip advisor, I don't know... Maybe right now and made sure to take screenshots of them, how many would they be able to delete? Anyone willing to test it?
If you want to have a more direct impact on tourism in St. Johns County, just visit the Anti-Tourism Council section of this site, and sponsor a city to run discouraging ads in! Trip Advisor can't censor those!