Travelers to Costa Rica should beware of a travel website calling itself TripAdvisorCostarica.com, creating possible confusion with TripAdvisor.com, the travel website providing directory information and reviews of travel-related content.
TripAdvisor.com was an early adopter of user-generated content. The website services are free to users, who provide most of the content, and the website is supported by an advertising business model.
Tripadvisorcostarica.com appears to be trying to cash in the Tripadvisor name and doesn’t appear to have any affiliation with the U.S. based brand.
Confusing the issue is a report, in Spanish, by Costaricaon.com of January 16, 2014, alluding that the Costa Rica site is part of the US site. “Tripadvisor tiene sitio web exclusivo para Costa Rica” (Tripadvisor has an exclusive site for Costa Rica), reads the headline.
A domain check shows that the Costa Rica site is registered to Y2K Webs with a Miami address, a similar address used by expats and nationals to have U.S. correspondences forwarded to Costa Rica. (In fact, the address is an old address used by a local mail company). See screenshot below of Godaddy Whois.
An email to the site administrators has yet to be answered.
Q readers are being asked to beware of sites like this, although not necessarily being a scam, it may be confusing in that travelers may erroneously think they are dealing with the real thing.