Power goes to travel pundits’ heads

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Remember winter nights spent leafing through glossy holiday brochures and Rough Guides, plotting next summer’s break?

No more. There’s been a revolution in how we choose a holiday. Now we plough through online and supposedly impartial reviews on websites like TripAdvisor.

Finding the right B&B or best-value hotel is tricky and no one wants to waste money. Reviews should be a great help.

Only, so caustic are some of TripAdvisor’s 35 million comments, they are bringing small businesses to their knees.

Attack Of The Trip TripAdvisor on Channel 4 on Monday highlighted some pretty irate restaurateurs and hoteliers. Some deservedly so, others, like Colin and Sarah Bowett, far too Basil and Sybil to be funny.

But far scarier were the obsessive ‘reviewers’ - the self-proclaimed consumer champions who see it as their mission to stop the rest of us from getting ripped off.

The internet is making naive, trusting fools of us. I wouldn’t make a friend of any of the self-appointed snoops, frustrated journos the lot of ‘em. Yet people hang their holidays on their anonymous poisonous pennings.

“It’s my job,” boasted one puffed up, pickily pedantic little prig. No it’s not. It’s your weird idea of a hobby.

The granny of another, who’d gone through life being told he wasn’t good at anything, summed up exactly why he was tripping on it: “He’s enjoying the power,” she said. And it’s a free world, you know; she’s entitled to her opinion.