Over 300 hotels are now involved in a potential legal action against TripAdvisor, a figure which has doubled in just four days after the initial group was first revealed.
The group is considering the action on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean after growing increasingly concerned about alleged defamatory reviews appearing on hotel pages on the user generated content-driven site.
A British reputation management service KwikChex is fronting the action on behalf of the hotels and confirmed today that over 300 had now applied to join its service, a prerequisite for getting support for any action against TripAdvisor as part of a larger group.
KwikChex CEO Chris Emmins says the company will be carrying out "some background checking" before taking on a business or submitting a grievance, "but the signs are good".
TripAdvisor stated earlier this week that it would not comment on "threatened or pending litigation".
The identities of the hotels in the group are currently undisclosed but the majority are believed to be located in the UK and the US, thus the reason for a dual action in both countries.
The subsequent publicity around the issue since earlier this week KwikChex and a string of articles and broadcasts due to appear in the coming days in UK and US media is expected to see an "increasing surge" of interest, Emmins claims.
A process is now in place to identify what KwikChex believes are the most serious incidences of defamation ahead of formal contact being made with TripAdvisor within days.
"We have decided to present TripAdvisor with a list of the worst specific cases, plus a general call to correct certain aspects next week, together with a formal notice of action which means that we will add to the list as we clear them."
Many hoteliers, despite TripAdvisor’s policy of allowing a hotel the right to reply, are angry because they believe comments in reviews are untrue and damaging to their business, or “legally unsubstantiated”.
Emmins has a string of additional complaints against TripAdvisor which may be incorporated into the potential legal action, including a demand to see the algorithm behind the rating system for hotels and issues around a bulletin titled Hotel Horror Stories which reproduces negative reviews of hotels and circulates to TripAdvisor members.