Review portals and consumer protection

29/09/2016 - Who benefits from hotel review portals on the internet? Are the ratings fair, or does too much information simply confuse the customer?

How can we tell that the ratings are honest and authentic? And does the review portal industry need political regulation? Experts discussed these issues at a policyLOUNGE debate organised by the TUI Group and the German Travel Association (Deutscher ReiseVerband/DRV) at TUI’s Berlin Office.

Thomas Ellerbeck, member of the TUI Group Executive Committee, talked to Ulrich Kelber, German MP and Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Mechthild Heil, German MP responsible for consumer protection in the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Norbert Fiebig, President of the DRV and Georg Ziegler, Content Director at HolidayCheck AG.

The debate at TUI’s Berlin Office focused on the consequences for the tourism industry, changes in consumer travel behaviour and opportunities for consumer protection. Thomas Ellerbeck emphasised that TUI takes a very positive and proactive approach to customer feedback: "We’re always delighted to receive positive feedback, and negative feedback helps us to correct our mistakes and continue improving our products." Ellerbeck suggested that we should trust consumers and the internet’s self-regulatory mechanisms. TUI is committed to transparency in corporate communications, political activities and travel products. This transparency strengthens the consumer’s position and encourages competitors to raise their quality benchmarks.