Reports Must Be Factual & Accurate, not Emotional!

Feedback from travelers recently returned from Turkey: what's good, what's bad, what they found

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Reports Must Be Factual & Accurate, not Emotional!

Post by turkeytom » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:58 pm

The Internet age has brought a new openness to travel information. It is now possible for travelers to share their experiences, both good and bad, instantly with other travelers around the world.

This openness benefits all concerned: travelers get up-to-the-minute tips and advice, and travel business owners get feedback on their customers' feelings and information on areas of excellence and deficiency in their services.

Travelers' reports affect other travelers, and also the travel businesses concerned. If a traveler has a good experience with some business and publishes the facts of the experience on the Internet, other travelers may choose to patronize that business, helping the business to prosper. If the experience is bad, the traveler's experience may cause others to avoid the business, which costs the owner customers and money.

With the freedom and ability to publish reports of our experiences online comes the responsibility for accuracy. What we write and publish in online forums affects the lives and fortunes of others, both travelers and businesses. When you post a message to an online forum, you are not chatting with a friend you know; you are publishing your opinions to the entire world.

Although emotions affect us when we have both good and bad experiences, we must not allow emotions to color our public reports. These reports must be factual, accurate and dispassionate.

Travelers have different likes and dislikes, and we all occasionally have bad days, which is why it is important for travel reports to be accurate, factual and dispassionate. Just state the facts, eschew emotion, and let other travelers decide for themselves whether or not a travel business is right for them.

As for legal liability, it has been well established in law that Internet forum operators are not responsible for the uses made by the public of the communication facilities they provide, just as telephone companies are not responsible for the conversations communicated on their facilities. Although communications companies must not permit illegal activities, actions deemed illegal are the responsibility of those who act and of no one else.

I support travelers' rights to report on their experiences fully, openly and factually. However, reports colored with strong emotion, defamation, denigration, insults and unprovable statements or claims are not permitted, and will be deleted.

Facts! Just report the facts, please. And thanks for providing your factual reports for the benefits of other travelers and travel businesses.

Tom Brosnahan


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Post by suiko6 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:09 pm

Interesting... I do wonder though if it is entirely possible for emotions not to colour our experiences of a place. After all, any experience we have in life is essentially subjective - why should travel be any different?

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Emotions...of course!

Post by turkeytom » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:38 am

Of course emotions affect us at all times and in all situations. We love a hotel, we hate a restaurant....

The point is that in reportage, emotion must be distinguished from fact, and fact is exactly what you found.

For example, you can say "I hated that restaurant!" but that doesn't help others decide if the restaurant is right for them or not. One person may find a restaurant "stuffy, pretentious, overpriced," and another may find the same restaurant "high class, elegant, fashionable."

So say instead "There is a dress code: women must wear dresses, men must have jacket-and-tie. We waited nearly 30 minutes for our food to be served. Main course prices are about TL50. Our whole meal, for two people, with wine, cost TL200."

For a romantic couple out for a leisurely celebratory dinner, this might be just what they want. For two business people looking for a quick, informal supper after a long day's work, it might be awful.

Give the facts, and let others decide. Express your emotions, but tell others that that's what you're doing. Insults, innuendo, etc. are of no help at all.

Tom Brosnahan

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Have an odd one here ...

Post by Much2CnDeu » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:05 pm

Dear Tom,

If a hotel manager sleeps with hotel guests (in the hotel) and the hotel owner gives tacit permission by ignoring it - how does one disclose this information accurately and fairly?

This information is useful to a particular demographic, and thus the caution. I'm aware of the impact it may/may not have on the business. Could you please advise?

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Factual Reporting

Post by turkeytom » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:18 pm

I see several issues here:

1. Were hotel guests harrassed? If so, it should be reported to the hotel manager and/or owner first, and if they give no satisfaction, the guest could resort to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and/or online forums to report the harassment. (You state that the owner "ignores" this behavior. Are you sure?)

2. If hotel guests were not harassed or disturbed, and if a member of the hotel staff and a guest were sharing a room willingly, I don't know what to say. It may be unseemly (I would find it so) but, in a way, what two consenting adults do in private is nobody else's business.

If it's not illegal and no one was harmed, it's difficult to make a case for reporting it to the world. If I personally found it objectionable, I would probably just tell friends that I didn't like the ambience of the place all that much, and not specify a reason.

Tom Brosnahan

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Post by Much2CnDeu » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:52 pm

Given that you don't fall into this demographic, the question may appear to be more of an "announcement" to the world. Clearly, one's perspective is based on one's experience. And all of us on the forum know that you are sensitive to the concerns of all parties.

Of course any traveller (male or female) needs to exercise caution and judgement. All travellers are free to make their own decisions.

Many of us (in this demographic) have spent an inordinate amount time dealing with uninvited attention since our adolescence - not harassment and nothing illegal. And most of us would appreciate knowing what others have encountered. This issue well may be a factor in considering which hotel to select.

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Post by Al » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:32 am

>Many of us (in this demographic) have spent an inordinate amount time dealing with uninvited attention since our adolescence.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Then again, some of us wish we got more<G>.

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Post by steve » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:45 am

I tell, you what - that isn't such a bad observation. There are plenty of tourists that go on holiday with the express intention of getting laid. I have to say that they'd be unlikely to stray far from the glossy holiday brochures and equally unlikely to be found looking through these boards. However I think that the scenario alluded to, if not harassment, is at the same time both seedy…and none of our business.

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Post by Much2CnDeu » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:24 am

It's clear that a man's response is very different from a woman's.

Women travellers (perfect strangers) often meet by chance while travelling and share observations and recommendations. We caution each other. It is very common for women travellers to check in with others about this very issue. Women ask if they can expect to be left alone or will they be subject to some SOB who doesn't get it when "No!" is declared, repeatedly.

If you want to get laid, have at it. Shocking as this may be to some, many women want to be left the hell alone.

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Post by Al » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:30 am

OK, so much for adding a little humor here. A few years ago I was leading a small group of college students in Turkey, who all just happened to be women. Boy, did my group get stared at.

One man in Istanbul asked me "How many wives do you have?"
Image


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