I have thought the same thing,but the cost does seem a little excessive especially in the current climate.

The thing that ticks me off about Tripadvisor is....... Your actual rating doesn't go on your review score that you recieve from your guests BUT from the AMOUNT of reviews good OR bad!! Surely this is just one more way to promote THEIR business, by using standover type tactics (pay for business listing so you can go up the ladder, and again ensuring that you are building THEIR business)
Unfortunately, the average Joe Blow thinks you are at the top of the list cos you are good at what you do, NOT by the amount of reviews you have acquired.
I believe for us non corporate motels, we will be viturally "FORCED" to use it or we will miss the boat, unless we can somehow advise the customer of the rating system, and that will be impossible!