Opinion: Don’t Become a Travel Critic

Because we all are passionate in what we do, and travel is a passionate experience, we have to learn to control ourselves. It is easy to tell a client why you don’t like a given destination, cruise line or resort. We all love to tell that disaster travel story and how we were stuck somewhere—and last time I checked we haven’t been able to master being beamed around like Captain Kirk from Star Trek. He didn’t go to any nice places anyway.


John McMahon
John McMahon


So things happen along the way and it is in your interest to set expectations for your clients.

Recently, a good friend of mine asked me about a resort for a vacation. At first I thought this property wasn’t a good fit. This person is very wealthy, flies around in a private jet and can buy the resort if he wanted to. Instead of shooting my mouth off and becoming that travel critic, I asked a lot of questions. I came to realize that this was a good fit and told him so. He stayed at that resort and upon check-out he booked the same week there for next year.

It always amazes me when I read TripAdvisor reviews and find how guests’ opinions can be so drastically different from one another. It just shows that your opinion doesn’t really count. What does count is your ability to match your clients up with the best product for them. 

One person’s chop meat can be someone else’s filet mignon—and opinions are not facts.

We at Travel Agent magazine strive to do the same with our editorial content and how we represent ourselves in the market. And that is probably why you are reading this column now.

By the way, we recently held our management team meeting at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, where we kicked off our opening night with an elegant dinner poolside. I want to take this opportunity to thank once again our hosts, Dario Flota, director of the Riviera Maya Tourism Board, and Lizzie Cole, the board’s marketing director. They were great and gave us wonderful facts on this beautiful part of Mexico