So here we are in what I call the November lull, late autumn's answer to the summer doldrums in August. Cold weather is now established as baseball ends, except for the crowd celebrating the New York Yankees winning the World Series just outside my office in New York City, and I'm a Mets fan. Not being a huge NBA or NHL fan (as well as having the current misfortune of being a New York Jets fan), there's not a ton of topics about which I'm babbling these days, although I highy recommend seeing the film "Paranormal Activity" and bringing a clean pair of shorts with you when you see it.
Health care reform, swine flu, the "Twilight" phenomenon, and "Dancing with the Stars" have been gabbed about so much in the headlines and over the airwaves that it's all white noise to me now. Meanwhile, with Halloween and Election Day in the rearview mirror, it feels as if everything's skipping past Thanksgiving to head straight to the December holidays. We're used to the early holiday push which is, in my opinion, a little behind this year. Five years ago, the film "Surviving Christmas" (which I never saw nor had interest in seeing) came out the week before Halloween before disappearing (which will happen when Ben Affleck is the star).
Fortunately, some readers of TravelAgentCentral have had better things to talk about than the usual weather, politics and pop culture hoopla. So let's take a look at what was shared this week.
Cruise Company Credibility
It's never too late to question a company's merits, even if it comes seven months after said company won an industry award. Back in February, Crucon Cruise Oulet Plus was named Royal Caribbean's top partner. With backing from such an established brand as RCCL, one would assume that Crucon is a fine-tuned, smooth-sailing company, right? Not so, according to Maria Jones, who commented:
A charge of $50 for cancellations, when most TA's have none. Not opened on weekends and close early, hard to take advantage of price reductions, info or any other needs.
Anyone out there ready to back up or refute Ms. Jones claims? Otherwise, it's just a "their word against mine" scenario and it won't be any fun for me to pick people's statements apart for repurposing later every week. Someone please throw me a bone here.
More MLM Mania
Something must be going on with the month of February in our readers minds because another piece that was published back in February got some attention this week as ewll. Sure, YTB is the most famous multilevel marketing (MLM) company on this here site but that doesn't mean that TraVerus Travel can't join in on the fracas. George Dooley wrote an opinion piece about the company, investigating whether the company could be an alleged multilevel marketing operation. One reader, Mary Perez, is notably offended by Dooley's words, saying:
Were is the research? How can you compare other Mlm to TraVerus. TraVerus Travel is not a Scam or a Pyramid scheme. Hundreads of Agents had made a living with there very own Business. This is a real company with real results.
"If we were a scam or a pyramid scheme why we have the credentials like CLIA, IATAN just to name a few, since day one like a normal TraVel Agency?
Meanwhile, the ominous LISTMASTER doesn't care whether Traverus is an MLM or not, he/she just has advice for those wishing such companies would disappear, writing:
YOU CAN SAY EVERYTHING YOU WANT ABOUT AN MLM COMPANY, BUT UNTIL IATA, CLIA AND THE LIKES ACTUALLY CHANGE LAWS TO INHIBIT MLM's THEY ARE HERE TO STAY WHETHER YOU LIKE THEM OR NOT PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALY. THEY ARE LIGITIMATE UNTIL PROVEN BY LAW, CLIA , IATA, IATAN TO NOT BE. JOYSTAR WENT DOWN LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS, BAD PEOPLE AT THE TOP, NON-MANAGEMENT, THEY ARE IN COURT LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS. SUPPLIERS CAN DO BUSINESS WITH WHO THEY WANT, WHEN THEY WANT. IF YOU WANT TO STOP THE SUPPLIERS FROM DOING BUSINESS WITH A MLM, THEN BECOME A SUPPLIER AND YOU CAN STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH ANYONE YOU WANT.
Yes, he/she wrote it all in caps. In chat room terms, that is considered yelling. So Mr./Ms. LISTMASTER, I appreciate your objective and forthright statement, but please don't shout. Perhaps your insightful comments will not put some on the defense if you speak calmly.
Movies About Madrid
Last month, the Madrid Tourism Board enlisted the help of NYU students to create short films to promote the city as a top travel destination. And it looks as if there is some great work underway. Turismo Madrid left a comment and some links updating us on the collaboration, posting:
Greetings from Turismo Madrid!. Here you are the making of the 5 filmmakers week in Madrid. http://canalcamtv.com/embed.asp?id_video=425 They have just give their shorts-films to the judge. Do you wanna enjoy it? All the photos in Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/turismomadrid/sets/721576225
I went to the canalcam.tv.com and found the embed code to share with you below so that you don't have to leave our site. We wish all of the students as well as Turismo Madrid the best of luck in creating and judging the films.
A little note for next week, you readers will not be so lucky and it has nothing to do with Friday the 13th. I'll be in Aruba covering Hyatt's Travel Agent Rewards Event and will, hence, be too busy that day reporting on this year's winners. If you or anyone you know will be there and would like to meet up, shoot me an e-mail and we'll talk about the industry (a topic on which I can obviously learn something from you) or anything else you'd like to discuss (arguments about who wins in a fight between Robocop and Terminator are welcome).
As always, remember to log in to AgentNation to connect with your peers about any topic or trend in the travel industry. As the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, it's the place were the conversation and networking continues in real-time, 24/7.