TripAdvisor has temporarily suspended reviews for the “Bude Tunnel”, a 70m plastic structure that links a supermarket to a car park, after it received more nearly 150 “excellent” reviews.
Thanks to some enthusiastic public support, this plastic tunnel became the highest-rated tourist attraction on TripAdvisor in Bude, a popular seaside escape in Cornwall. The tunnel is currently rated the second best thing to do in the town, known for its surf-friendly beaches.
The hilarious comments describe the tunnel as the town’s “crowning jewel”, “a modern Taj Mahal” and “a tunnel like no other”. Reviewers rated its panoramic views, space and careful design. The Bude Tunnel became so popular that it even starred on some postcards sold in a local shop.
While its original aim was to keep shoppers at Sainsbury’s in Bude dry when they walk from the store to the car park in poor weather, the tunnel has also found fame as a tourist destination: “a must-visit if you visit the south-west” and “a hidden gem”, with reviewers submitting photos of them posing in the tunnel. One reviewer even called for the structure to be listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
The “attraction”, which follows only a coastal walk as the top thing to do in Bude, garnered a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and 170 reviews – 146 of which were “excellent”.
TripAdvisor suspended reviews in light of the recent publicity. In a notice on the Bude Tunnel page, the reviews platform states: “Due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience, we have temporarily suspended publishing new reviews for this listing. If you’ve had a first-hand experience at this property, please check back soon – we’re looking forward to receiving your review!”
The tunnel first appeared on TripAdvisor in September 2017, when one user said it was a “convenient and fun” way to the supermarket while “avoiding getting wet”.
Earlier this week, a landmark legal ruling in Italy saw one fraudulent online reviewer sentenced to jail after the court ruled that writing fake, paid-for reviews under a false identity was “criminal conduct” in the first convicted case of “review fraud”.