Our hostels' bad online reviews
A SIMPLE internet search can reveal lots about the Bundaberg region — including hundreds of appalling reviews of our backpacker hostels.
Complaints range from bedbugs to abusive managers, and Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism (BNBT) chairman Greg Barnes said the comments had the potential to severely damage the local tourism industry.
“It has been an ongoing problem,” Mr Barnes said.
“It is a hard one to fix as well because the comments stay there for a long time and are available for everyone to read.”
Mr Barnes said while the comments were aimed at warning backpackers, they were still read by other travellers.
“This can give an inaccurate impression of the entire Bundaberg region,” he said.
Swedish backpackers Linn Windelius and Ottilia Tegstrôm arrived in Bundaberg about a week ago and said they always checked reviews in Lonely Planet Guides and online before booking a hostel.
“We wouldn’t stay anywhere that has a bad review,” Ms Windelius said.
“It is important to look at the things people are complaining about.”
Ms Tegstrôm said Bundaberg received a lot of bad word of mouth from backpackers.
“We have been travelling up from Sydney and lots of people told us not to come here,” she said.
“People make up their own minds though.”
The girls both agreed that all backpackers took notice of the reviews.
“I think everyone is checking online,” Ms Windelius said.
Grand Backpackers manager Andrew Innes said the hostel took notice of any bad reviews.
“If it’s a genuine complaint or something we find a lot of people are not happy with then we always take it on board,” Mr Innes said.
“Negative comments can be very damaging.”
“We don’t want the international market to get the wrong impression about us.”