Tourism operators are being warned against buying fake reviews to improve their online profiles.

A number of tourism businesses this week received an email of unknown origin offering as many as 20 false reviews on the TripAdvisor website for $297.

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand chief executive Martin Snedden strongly advised operators against purchasing fake reviews.

The association had reported the email to NetSafe and TripAdvisor and the latter said it would investigate, Mr Snedden said.


"TripAdvisor is an important source of information for travellers in New Zealand and it's vital that users are able to trust its reviews. We encourage TIA members to provide such excellent service and experiences that visitors will want to post great reviews about them."

Travellers should also be aware that TripAdvisor reviews were open to abuse.

"We suggest they should check a range of reviews and websites, as well as seeking advice from the likes of i-SITE visitor information centres," Mr Snedden said.