Travel News: Fake Hotel Reviews Can Land You in Jail, Christmas Flight Booking Tips, and the World's Best Wine List Is in Tennessee

Iphone with TripAdvisor app and laptopAn overhead view of an iPhone with the TripAdvisor app and a laptop
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There’s a great big world out there, and our latest “news you can use” may inspire a trip you never knew you needed.

From the shadier-than-you-thought world of online hotel reviews to expert data-driven strategies for nabbing holiday flight bargains to an award-winning restaurant wine list in an unexpected place, this week’s travel news is all about surprises that may change your travel assumptions.

FAKE HOTEL REVIEWS CAN LAND YOU IN JAIL

We’ve always known that writing fake hotel reviews is wrong. But now somebody is actually going to do time for it. The owner of an Italian company, PromoSalento, that accepted money from hotels to post fake reviews on TripAdvisor has been sentenced to nine months in prison and fined more than $9,000. TripAdvisor has been investigating and removing fake reviews by PromoSalento since 2015. If TripAdvisor notifies a hotel that it is engaging in fake reviews and the hotel fails to act, users are warned that the hotel may be manipulating its reviews. The jail sentence for writing fake reviews is the first of its kind.

CHRISTMAS FLIGHT BOOKING TIPS

With fewer than 100 days until Christmas, we reached out to our data-crunching friends at Skyscanner.com, the global travel search engine, who have collated and analyzed data from its more than 60 million monthly users to deliver the 411 on holiday air travel:

  • Best week to buy domestic Christmas flights: This week (September 17 - 23), with potential savings of 15 percent.
  • Best month to book domestic Christmas flights: September
  • Worst weeks to book domestic Christmas flights: December 17 - 23.

THE BEST WINE LIST IN THE WORLD IS IN TENNESSEE

The World of Fine Wine, in association with Gaggenau, has announced the 2018 World’s Best Wine Lists Awards winners, and we were psyched to see that the winner of the Wine List of the Year 2018 is The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee. The awards are based on a wine list’s “breadth, depth, interest, quality, value, clarity and accuracy.” And while you might assume that the world’s finest wine list might be developed in, say, Tuscany, the Loire, or Napa, Blackberry Farm’s list of more than 9,000 selections was developed in the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee.

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