With internet advertising on the rise many
hoteliers, private owners of vacation
rentals, cruise lines etc. have found ways to
skew ratings on travel sites such as
Tripadvisor and other high user travel
websites to their favor.
As a travel professional I have seen this
happening for many years, however, just
recently I read an article in a travel trade
publication that stated sites such as Cruise
Critic and Tripadvisor are saturated with
Granted Tripadvisor does post warnings on
certain comments they deem fraudulent,
however, one has to wonder how many more
reviews are posted daily that are not valid
and truly unbiased opinions of past guests.
I know of and have heard of some individuals
and hoteliers rewarding past clients with
monetary incentives to post favorable
reviews. So not only does Tripadvisor have a
problem with integrity, they have a problem
with biased opinions and where does it end?
In the quest to get the highest ranking
possible from Tripadvisor, advertisers are
willing to do whatever it takes to be number
I have always stated to my clients that the
internet is an amazing research tool - but it
is just the jumping off point. When I
research a destination I search dozens of
websites, read literature on what I am
researching, and employ the help of my
colleagues as I know they are professionals.
I still use various sites on the internet to
view comments about properties, however, as a
travel professional I don't stop here in my
analysis in determining if I will send a
client to a certain property or not.
I advise clients when utilizing these sites
to view the comments with skepticism, as
travel is personal and now it is clear that
comments can be used to favor a property or
private home for the benefit of that property
and not the traveler.
|2010 Oberammergau Passion Play
In 2008 my sister and I were fortunate to
have traveled to Oberammergau, Germany. In
our visit it was clear to us that to attend
the Passion Play would be a once in a life
time event as it only occurs once a decade.
It makes sense to travel to this beautiful
region no later than mid October, and as you
will see there are many dates for the play.
If you travel during the “season”
you can add on visits to Mad King
Ludwig’s Castle Linderhof, which is
just a ten minute drive from the town of
Oberammergau. Plus in order to view
Hitler’s Eagles Nest you must travel
before mid October, before the snow flies!
|Now's the time to...
- Check out the great cruise rates
we've secured for you for 2009 cruises to Al
Baja and the Exotic Mexican Riviera
here to view Tahiti, Hawaii, the Bahamas
and Mexico specials
- Have a travel question? Ask Endora!
here to view more unique journeys!
- Central America is on SALE and HOT as
a destination, call for incredible
- With the economy all over the board
this year, it is imperative that you check
with us to see if a special is really that or
just a hook to get you to call! We know what
prices are, have been and should be - we will
tell you the truth, whether it is music to
your ears or not!
- Amazing offers for cruising abound
for 2010 Now is the time to reserve, what
have you got to lose?
- Passion Play 2010, reserve now before
it is too late. Check
it out now.
- Europe is discounted this year by
more than 30% over last year! Call Joyce
Craddock for more information (888-729-6899)
out our travel deals to Caribbean, Europe and
other Exotic Ports of Call!!! Savings are
I am used to visiting the Caribbean and the
water there is quite warm. I am traveling to
Hawaii this September and was wondering what
Greg - New Jersey
I am excited to share news about an August
Seminar-at-Sea I am attending on a 14-day
cruise to Northern Europe on Oceania Cruises
Regatta. This adventure has a wonderful
itinerary, allowing me to visit Tallinn,
Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki,
Finland; cruise the Baltic Sea; Gdansk,
Poland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin, Germany;
Kiel Canal Transit; Amsterdam, Netherlands;
Bruges, Belgium; and London, United Kingdom.
|Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze
As I was putting together this month’s
newsletter, in the sweltering Northern
California heat, I came across this mouth
watering recipe once again courtesy of Bon
Appetite magazine. It is officially
summer and this is the perfect way to kick
off the season with something refreshing, and
locally grown and available!
Perched on a mountainside one mile from
the water, Lake Arenal Lodge offers the
finest accommodations and a breathtaking view
of Arenal Volcano. Surrounding the lodge are
landscaped gardens, an inner patio solarium
features, tropical plants, ferns, flowers and
orchids. The lodge, built in contemporary
ranch style, has 12 junior suites, 1
luxurious master suite, and 6 standard
doubles that can accommodate up to 42 guests,
and includes such amenities as a fireplace, a
game room complete with pool table, library
and bar. The Lodge was built for comfort and
relaxation, and caters to anglers,
naturalists, volcano enthusiasts,
birdwatchers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Hanalei Bay Named #1 Beach in America
Finally this fabulous two mile stretch gets
the recognition it deserves. Dr. Beach, who
chooses the top ten beaches in America every
year, has given top honors to infamous