Travel Web sites, such as Priceline.com Inc. and Expedia Inc., are clamping down on fake online consumer reviews of hotels, which could undermine a growth area.

Trustworthy sources of information are sometimes difficult to find on the Internet, and user reviews have become a way for many sites to offer apparently unbiased opinions - at a low cost to the Web companies.

But the authenticity of the opinions has not always been reliable.

"We have certainly seen instances with other properties where insiders have put reviews up for a particular hotel or a particular thing and it's not a legitimate review," said Jeff Boyd, Priceline.com's Chief Executive.

"It's somebody who's in effect been paid to make the property look good." Boyd said, speaking at the Reuters Hotels and Casinos 2007 Summit in Los Angeles this week.

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