Crowdsourced Travel Reviews – The Hotels Certainly Hate Them – But Travel Book Publishers Too?

Certainly, without a doubt, we all hate it when we have a bad travel experience – an airline that handles a flight delay incompetently, a hotel that is carelessly managed and staffed by untrained hands – it’s all quite terrible for as long as we go through it. But what about the way we feel about it when we come back home and regale our friends and family with how incompetent people can be? It’s an oddly entertaining thing, and most listeners are interested in your story right away when you have a bad travel experience to share. In fact, this weakness we all have for gossip about bad travel experiences could actually explain the blockbuster popularity of websites like TripAdvisor and FlightsfromHell that specialize in morbid travel reviews.Have you read some of the hilarious travel reviews on TripAvisor that throw wide open the doors to the truth about what even some reputed hotels can be like around the world? The inventive phrases reviewers think of to describe how disgraceful the hotels are that they stayed in are often real genius. “Cradle of filth” is how one traveler describes her bed in her hotel room; another woman says on TripAdvisor that her bed made her think of her own grave (at a hotel in England). There is even an insurance company called TravelGuard that gives prizes to the travel reviews that will tell the worst story ever.In an industry that profits from bandying bad travel reviews about, this summer season may turned out to be slim pickings. Flights aren’t getting delayed as much as they used to for one thing. A flight that gets you there on time somehow doesn’t lend itself to nasty reviews. When you tell someone about an overcrowded flight, trash in the seat pocket from the last trip, and rude stewardesses, it doesn’t quite earn you that much of a reaction when the flight isn’t delayed.The travel industry though complains that many of these stories are probably made up; and often by the competition. There has been article after article in the press quoting how hotel owners wonder about how they might deal with the raging venom they see in travel reviews on the Internet that describe their services. Websites publishing crowd sourced travel reviews like TripAdvisor and even, a new entry, have earned the ire not just of the services they run down – they are being dismissed as unprofessional by the established travel publication companies as well – for not being written by accredited professional travel writers.But can travel reviews on TripAdvisor really be manipulated? Certainly, a few people do try to game any system by signing up under different names and inserting bogus bad reviews; but the websites do have filters that guard the system from too many sign-ups from one computer or IP address, and no one person could possibly hope to generate enough bad reviews to balance thousands of happy customers (if there are any) out. The crowd sourced travel reviews business is an incredibly vibrant one, and it looks like it is the future. The travel businesses that are affected of course, would like to see this never come to pass.

CruiseOne Review – Travel Franchise Opportunity Review

CruiseOne is a franchise business opportunity in the ever growing travel business industry. For the entrepreneur looking for the work from home exciting opportunity could this be it? Here is a simple review.CruiseOne is a travel based franchise business opportunity for the entrepreneur looking to join in on the 11 billion dollar a year industry. The cost of starting this business with CO is a liquid investment of $9,800 dollars. Travel industry experience is recommended but not required for this opportunity. With the travel industry gaining ground towards the last part of this last decade this could be a solid business. CO currently has more than 450 Franchises and is expanding across the United States and are in the process of accepting qualified candidates to operate franchises in all 50 states.The CO opportunity does offer assistance with over 80 offices for all aspects of marketing, booking and sales to help the business owner. All business with this program and opportunity will be done via Internet and there will be some Internet marketing training available. However, most franchise opportunities teach pay-per-click and banner advertising. While these are good ways to market online, it is a fact that FREE methods of marketing once learned drive much more traffic as well as qualified traffic.CruiseOne is a solid and legitimate franchise business opportunity in a growing industry. There are new cruise ships being put to sea soon and cashing in on that through group packages would be a great money making opportunity. Learning how to effectively market online using such FREE methods such as social media, article marketing and video marketing will be a must to truly brand you and your product or services with this business opportunity online.

Travel in a Recession

The extreme volatility in the market place and fall in job security had sideswiped consumer confidence. The fall of asset prices have reduced household wealth for the first time in nearly 20 years. We have skidded into a “Cash is King” economy. The natural response to these conditions is to “spend less, travel less”, as travel is considered discretionary spending. As the main drive of travel and tourism is income, the outlook for the traveler is looking pretty grim. Or is it?Having said all that, I’m a firm believer in seeking out opportunities in the face of adversity, and for the global traveler, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Firstly, it is essential to focus on the value that travel creates in our personal as well as business lives. What one gains when one travels is so much more than the initial cost. When we travel, we immediately shift into a different mindset as we prepare for “exploration”. We are more present than at any other times in our daily lives, and this particular mindset inevitably leads to “discovery”, whether it is the discovery of different cultures, a reconnection with family and loved ones, business opportunities, or discovery of self. This is why I prefer to view travel as an investment. The key to traveling in a recession, therefore, is to cut cost without cutting the travel. This can be done in a number of ways.1) Check out flight and accommodation bargains via online booking.
The advent of online travel bookings has been a blessing to the frequent traveler, and it makes more sense than ever to simplify the booking process. The smart strategies for booking online are to look far in advance to take advantage of good rates and packages, and to be flexible with flights and accommodation in order to get the savings.2) Consider closer destinations.
Destinations that offer value for money with favorable exchange rates have an advantage as price becomes a key issue during times of recession. For example, Australians are now shifting their travel preferences from Europe and the US to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.3) Check out your own backyard.
Traditionally, there has been the perception that traveling within ones own country offers poor “brag value”. However, the recession is seeing more travelers experiencing what their own country has to offer.4) Look at Low Cost Carriers (LCC).
30 years ago, whilst stranded at an airport, Richard branson chartered a plane, sold seats to other stranded passengers, and in effect started Virgin Atlantic Airways. Today, the low cost carrier segment (LCC) owns one third of the travel market. from this year (2009), Air Asia (Asia’s answer to Virgin) will be flying Australians to Britain using Air Asia X through Kuala Lumpur. This route will be equally popular with Europeans heading to Australia. Air Asia is now Asia’s largest airline, with 79 mostly airbus aircraft heading to 72 regional destinations.5) Rethink your accommodation.
Check out “pensiones’, “hostales”, Bed and Breakfasts, and serviced apartments as viable alternatives to hotels. They can be very pleasant and they can lead to a more authentic travel experience. However, it is also becoming commonplace for 5 -Star properties to offer 3-Star prices, or to promote very attractive package deals. Search the net for accommodation deals before you make your booking.6) Take shorter breaks more frequently.
When your budget does not allow for a longer overseas trip during the year, do not underestimate the benefits of more frequent weekends away. After a couple of nights in rural surroundings, staying at a quaint “B & B”, eating a great meal at a local restaurant, you will come back home refreshed and recharged.7) Go Cruising.
Cruising continues to experience unprecedented growth as it provides great value for money, particularly for families. With an average duration of 10 days, one can visit multiple destinations on one itinerary, take advantage of a variety of cuisines and entertainment which are all-inclusive, and you only have to unpack once. Today’s cruises are not just huge floating resorts that cater to the mass markets; there are now so many types of cruises available.How long this downturn will last is anyone’s guess. But the frequent traveler is not ready to give up on their travel altogether, and taking advantage of the travel opportunities that are out there will make all the difference between feeling the pinch or the pain.