TravelPulse Podcast: Fake Reviews, Real Travel Influencers, Holiday River Cruising and More

The TravelPulse Podcast is all new for another week with travel expert Mark Murphy sharing his take on the top trending stories in travel as well as his insider tips for today’s travelers.

In the ninth installment, Murphy provides an update on his recent rental car debacle and dives into a disconcerting report that as many as one-third of online reviews are bogus, revealing the many reasons travelers searching TripAdvisor and other sites should proceed with caution.

“My issue with review sites has always been that my five-star is not your five-star. My three-star is not your three-star. There’s no context,” said Murphy.

“If I was living in my RV and I got out to stay in a 250-square-foot hotel room with a shower that I could run as long as I wanted that would be like living in the lap of luxury. But if I’m used to living in a 5,000-square-foot house with six bedrooms and I show up at a resort that completely stinks I’m going to have a different perspective.”

Listen to episode nine of “TravelPulse: The Intersection of Travel—Where Politics, Finance, and Travel Meet” in its entirety below:

Later, Murphy reveals the truth about so-called travel influencers.

“A lot of these folks who have large followings on social media, a lot of those followers are fake. They actually go out and buy them,” he added. “When it comes to travel, everyone wants to be a travel influencer. Just keep in mind that when you see these influencers at a property they’re getting a free vacation in exchange for posting stuff in many cases.”

“The real travel influencers are the travel agents across the U.S. and Canada who can provide an informed recommendation, cut through the bulls**t and tell you what’s really going on,” said Murphy. “They have relationships with the suppliers, they’ve been to the destination and they’ve been to the property. Even if they haven’t, they’ve sent dozens of people there and garnered their feedback.”

Murphy also chimes in on last week’s mid-flight incident in which a heavily intoxicated passenger head-butted a flight attendant as well as Six Flags St. Louis’ intimidating 30-Hour Coffin Challenge.

Lastly, he shares why travelers seeking an affordable and equally memorable holiday getaway should consider a European river cruise this year.

Be sure to subscribe to the TravelPulse Podcast at Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn and Stitcher.

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