Pub in ‘limbo state’ after TripAdvisor listing change

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Location, location, location: TripAdvisor said its policy is to provide the most accurate information possible to users
Location, location, location: TripAdvisor said its policy is to provide the most accurate information possible to users

Related tags: Tripadvisor

A publican has said her venue’s future has been thrown into question after it was re-labelled on review site TripAdvisor to be too far outside a city to appear under searches for it.

The Hook & Glove, Farley, Wiltshire, used to appear under the site’s listing for Salisbury, appearing on its top restaurants list.

Operator Fiona McKie says the change has thrown the pub’s future into doubt and questioned the platform’s reasons for the, effective, de-listing. 

TripAdvisor said a review found the pub was incorrectly listed as located in Salisbury between June and September 2019, having been previously listed in the village of Farley.

McKie said the change was the reason for January takings being down an average of 55% on the three past years.

She was set to retire at the start of next month with her chef planning to take over the pub. However, now he is having doubts about continuing the business. 

Can't carry on

McKie said: “At the end of the day, we are probably going to close this pub because I can't carry on in a village this size without tourism.

“We are in a limbo state where we really just don't know what we are doing.”

Tourists enjoy coming to the rural pub to experience a real British village pub, McKie said.

She added: “They look at Salisbury and they come out here deliberately, they don't say ‘we didn't know you were six miles outside’, they say ‘this is wonderful’.

“Everyone who looks at TripAdvisor can see a map, it tells people where you are.”

McKie said Salisbury had been treated unfairly and that top restaurant lists for similar-sized cities, such as Winchester and Exeter, featured pubs farther out of the main city than hers. 

The re-listing was the only change she had noticed in the business that could explain the reduced takings, she said. 

Official relationship 

TripAdvisor spokesperson Emma Shaw said: “Our policy is to place a listing in the most specific destination possible.

“In order to provide the most accurate information possible to travellers, TripAdvisor strives to list all accommodations, restaurants and attractions in the actual physical footprint, so listings cannot be moved to a different town than where they are physically located.

“There are occasions when we will associate a smaller town with a larger city if there is official confirmation of that relationship from city officials. 

“We have confirmation from Salisbury City Council that Farley is not one of the associated villages or towns within the district authority’s boundaries.”

Several of the Hook & Glove’s regulars have written to the website about the listing, pleading them to change it.

McKie said: “Customers are absolutely fuming and they are very sympathetic.”

The pub was almost closed before the operator it took over six years ago, with villagers fighting to prevent it from being bulldozed. 

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