Travel trade media don't offer sufficient opinions and analysis of key issues according to a debate which has been running on the Travelrants website run by blogger Darren Cronian.
It's good to see TTG, Travel Weekly, Travolution and Tnooz getting stuck into the debate and challenging us with what's possible in a business-to-business environment. But beyond the heated discussion about how journalists get news and then handle it with looming headlines, the core of the question intrigues me. Are we expressing our opinions sufficiently as well as talking about the facts of our industry? Are we opinionated enough?
When our new website launched last year with this gleaming new empty space to post up our own news and views I was uncharactaristically nervous. I've been in the travel industry for more than twenty years but I'm used to writing for other people, not for myself. But I believe I'm a microcosm of the liberating impact of social media. Now, as I'm reading other peoples' opinions I can (and do) leap into debates about issues in our sector - whether that is commenting on luxury marketing for TTG Luxury, expressing support for Tourism Concern in this blog, or quietly venting about Air Passenger Duty on Travelrants. I also adore the swift simplicity of Twitter and the opportunity it presents to follow and highlight opinionated ideas around the world - particularly to follow social media trends or to simply follow people in a region of the world we're promoting. It's a hugely useful research tool.
I also find social media an incredibly valuable tool for hunting out opinions during a crisis. When an issue like swine flu was breaking I set my google news alerts to return blogs because it's opinions, ideas and comment that I'm hungry for. I know I'll also absorb the facts from my traditional news sources.
So I've been inspired again by the Travelrants debate. My spring resolution is to be more outspoken, more opinionated about our industry. If you'd like to join me become a guest blogger here. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me on Twitter @bgbcomms. I'd like to share your opinions too.