We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

Ko Sichang...
Level Contributor
3 posts
35 reviews
Save Topic
Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

I have long been mystified by TripAdvisor's ranking systems – a restaurant with a 4.8 score from reviewers may rank far below another with a 4.7 score – but I've always been willing to believe there was some secret algorithm giving expert results that were more useful than members ratings alone.

Now I see that Bangkok's #1 attraction out of 219 in Bangkok is a role-playing game in a new shopping complex, Escape Hunt. Huh? You travel all the way to Bangkok, and the top of your must-see list is an hour-long session of playing detective in a shopping mall? How on earth did that get to be a more essential part of Bangkok than, say, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Jatujak Market, or a Chaophraya River cruise? After opening last month, to boot. Either somebody's gaming the system, or the system doesn't work.

(I'm also curious that Bangkok should have only 219 attractions. That works out to one attraction per 60,000 inhabitants, at which rate Bangkok is in contention for the World's Most Boring City award.)

Bloomington, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Bloomington
Level Contributor
8,493 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

Unfortunately I've seen this sort of thing too.

Won't go into the details, but there is on doubt in my mind the worst offender I've seen is due to a small for profit business either: a) making specific requests to their patrons to review them on TA, b) touting it via "fake users," and/or some combination these. I say this because the business appeared and then very quickly skyrocketed to the top of the TA rankings based on a large number of gushing reviews (mainly from one-post wonders who have contributed nothing since posting their review).

Now there is nothing (inherently) wrong with a business requesting customers to post reviews on TA (at least not from a TA guidelines standpoint) unless they are also offering some sort of incentive to post positive reviews, but I personally find it somewhat distasteful.

One of my other thoughts is that some of the problem is the way essentially generic business and major ("real") attractions have been simply lumped together in one category as "attractions" on TA. I'm not talking about a business that is semi-special or unique to a region (but these can be problematic too), I'm talking about a business that you might find just about anyplace in the world . . . say some type of role-playing game found in a mall?!?!? Should these sorts of things really be in the same category as major cultural & scenic attractions that can't be found anywhere else in the world (museums, major parks, things with historical significance, etc.)?

I suppose there is a small part of me that has a "fight fire with fire" attitude; this would cause me to think the proper "response" to businesses doing this would be for non-profit sorts of things (museums, parks, etc.) to start encouraging visitors to post on TA. Let the numbers of reviews these could garnish swamp the for profits which (in my opinion) are abusing/gaming the TA system/rankings. Well, that or getting the people who (based on the TA rankings) decide to patronize the business and are disappointed to start leaving bad reviews.

That's my $.02,

hlo

Cleveland
Level Contributor
10,853 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

This Bangkok rating obviously indicates a serious problem and flaw in TA's ranking system.

Cleveland, Ohio, "Things to Do" are pretty accurate IMO, luckily, although there are some things that I might quibble with -- locals touting their favorite local park would be high my list of complaints about our ratings.

However, I do like rankings of attractions, restaurants, hotels, etc. They distinguish TA from many other services.

I don't like them being manipulated by one-post wonders.

My biggest problem with TA's rating system is that apparently the same weighting is given to all posters. I believe that extra weighting, perhaps substantial extra weighting should be given to members who are DEs for a given forum, to DEs in general, to those who post substantial and material reviews, to those whose reviews garner a large number of recommendations, to those with a large number of forum posts.

TA shouldn't be a democracy or a popularity contest. It's goal should be to provide the most accurate ratings possible, which means overweighting those who are most informed and experienced, and certainly greatly underweighting those who may be gaming the system, such as one-post contributors.

HLO has a point about commercial activities being rated as top attractions. However, some tours may belong in top attractions. However, they often are relegated to activities, so I don't understand how a "mall hunt" can be considered an attraction.

In my experience, TA has developed a bureaucratic tendency to defend its system and policies even when they are detrimental to the purpose of the website.

Recently I exchanged a series of PMs with a TA about the policy of deleting excellent trip report blogs simply because there was insufficient information accompanying the blog link in a TA forum post. TA wants trip report blogs to be ancillary to forum posts, even when the blog links clearly are those of individuals and are not commercial. Anyway, that's another subject.

So I wouldn't hold my breath expecting a fix to this rating problem. It seems to be a long-standing problem with ratings, an obvious weakness in the system suggesting the easy ability to manipulate the ratings, but TA personnel obviously don't see a need to introduce a permanent fix.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
21,766 posts
Save Reply
13. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

NO NO NO. I reckon as many DE's would abuse it ,DE's are no more important than any other member on this website.

I was a DE for many years and before that a Local Expert and would never think that I should have more say on things than any other member.

Are you saying that your views are anymore important that mine .You have been a member for 4 years with 4599 posts and I have been a member for nearly 10 years with 16.450 posts, you have 16 reviews and I have 8 (though I removed over a 120 reviews).

I can feel the steam rising to my ears so I better shut up before I really let rip.

Tenerife, Spain
Level Contributor
17,099 posts
147 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

Same here Unclegus I was a Local Expert before DE's were invented, I remained a DE for a while but did not like the them and us that was adopted despite the fact that numerous DEs voted against the 'segregation' and once it was in place it turned out to be exactly as anticipated, so like many of the old/original DEs I left. It does not mean I offer less valuable information but I don´t need a badge to do it.

15. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 03 September 2013, 00:01
Cleveland
Level Contributor
10,853 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

Aguilas, I'm not certain what you mean by "segregation." The only thing that may be different for a DE is a title and perhaps some self-felt obligation to post when you really don't feel like it.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
21,766 posts
Save Reply
17. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

that is not the point ,you still want some posters to be treated differently form others.

I am now off travelling for a few days have a flight in just over 3 .5 hours.

18. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 29 August 2013, 15:35
Cleveland
Level Contributor
10,853 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
19. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

Unclegus, what I want is a system that improves the ratings. I'm confident that my proposal would improve the situation and eliminate the immediate complaint. What's your solution?

Eliminate rankings, which can be very useful, at least for some destinations, or continue to let users deal with the problem by reading scores of individual reviews? I.e., do nothing despite an obvious problem.

The purpose of the ratings shouldn't be to post the results of a stuffed ballot, but to garner the best possible ratings for TA members. IMO, those opposed to weighted votes in calculating the ratings, which apparently includes TA, don't agree with this thesis.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
5,625 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
20. Re: Bangkok's top attraction is a game in a shopping center?!

I get where Gus is coming from on this. I tend to think that TA is member driven, and that includes members that only post a handful of times. I don't want to see the site turn into a "Welcome to TA where your first 5 reviews don't count" type of deal.

I stated my ideas on possible solutions, and that's still where I'm at on it. From an attractions standpoint, Cleveland (or Pittsburgh, for that matter) may not be affected much. However, many locations feel it with hotels and restaurants. I'd rather do away with the rank altogether than continue some of the lunacy that I and others have pointed out, not only with gaming the system, but with the irrational faith in the #4 spot being truly better than #5.