(Dive Travel Business News - April 9, 2012) -- Of the more than 2,000 business and leisure travelers surveyed by the IBM Institute for Business Value and its research partner, Frost & Sullivan in their report entitled "Travel 2020: The Distribution Dilemma," researchers said that while most travelers see value as most important in travel, less than half of leisure and business travelers believe they're getting a fair value for their travel dollar when they book online. The report's authors determined the underlying dissatisfaction with most online travel intermediaries - Online Travel Agencies and Online Supplier Booking Engines - is based on their focus on price instead of value. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - April 17, 2012) -- Dive travel pros take note: Pinterest, the social media scrapbooking site, might be the social media tool best suited to dive travel specialists and suppliers alike. Divers love taking photos and videos, and that is what Pinterest is all about: Pinterest is a social network that allows users to create digital collections of photo and video albums and share things they find interesting. Users “Pin” (collect) things they they like (or dislike) and set them up on various themed personal "Pinboards" (albums) for their Pinterest followers to see and share on Facebook, and other social networks.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is not about selling or telling. It's about showing, and creating conversations with pictures, which plays right into the strengths of how dive travel pros market their trips. Pinterest lets users tell their travel stories through photos rather than words. Keep in mind: Pinners are not on Pinterest to be marketed to. They are there to collect interesting things and share them with their friends. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - November 7, 2010) -- A British reputation management company, KwikChex, is gathering unhappy hotel owners and travel providers in a group to fight TripAdvisor: It's threatening to file class action suits in Britain and the United States for defamation and libel unless TripAdvisor changes its policies about posting user-generated hotel reviews.
The KwikChex group wants TripAdvisor to remove reviews that aren't verified but make serious charges such as crime, injury or illness. It wants other unverified insulting reviews taken down. As part of its anti TripAdvisor strategy, KwikChex might also attempt to identify individual negative posters and go after them legally.
The advent of online reader review databases has been a positive development: Most anonymous reviews like those found on TripAdvisor can be honest, accurate and insightful. These reviews can help travelers and reward the best travel providers. Reviews can also pressure hotels to improve their service quality and property offerings so everyone wins. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - July 14, 2010) -- A U.S. House of Representatives hearing hosted by the US Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Aviation will be held today that focuses on the proliferation and disclosure of ancillary airline fees. The hearing comes about four weeks before the close of a public comment period on a related set of rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Among other things, the proposed DOT rules would require carriers to provide GDSs with information about bag fees and optional services fees. Proposed rules also include details on tarmac delay regulations and data, disclosure of customer service plans, consumer problem rectification, oversales and advertising "full" fares.
"The proliferation of ancillary fees over a relatively short period of time has raised concerns over the costs and transparency of such fees," according to the subcommittee. "Often, consumers are not entirely aware of the range of fees that they may encounter in the ticket booking process, at check-in and at the gate." read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - June 14, 2010) -- In an effort to overcome the skittishness of travelers unwilling to commit to a beach vacation in Florida due to looming the BP oil spill that threatens Florida beaches, Orbitz is offering full refunds on hotel stays at participating properties.
Travelers who make a hotel booking (not an air/hotel package) at a participating Florida hotel via Orbitz for travel now through July 31, will be covered under the Orbitz "Open Beach Guarantee". This guarantee provides for a full hotel refund if a government agency closes a beach within 20 miles of the property or declares it dangerous.
Orbitz said in a press release that it is hoping to extend the guarantee to other Gulf Coast beach destinations. View terms of the Open Beach promo here on the Orbitz website. The list of participating properties includes many in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and other areas that so far have not been linked to the spill.
(Dive Travel Business News - June 4, 2010) -- The April 20, 2010 explosion and oil spill on the British Petroleum Oil Drill Platform Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico has caused concern for the diving industry, specifically in regions around the Gulf.
The extent of the environmental damage is not yet known, but in anticipation of damage occurring to the coastal areas and the potential for extensive economic damages concerning the diving industry, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) has put together an Oil Spill Assistance Planner to help dive businesses impacted by the spill to connect to contacts that can assist them. The Oil Spill Assistance Planner is available by clicking here. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - May 31, 2010) -- Nekton Diving Cruises ceased operations May 17, 2010. The Florida-based dive tour company operated two ultra-stable SWATH twin-hull dive boats designed for people prone to sea sickness.
The Nekton Pilot and the Nekton Rorqual, both designed to accommodate more than 30 scuba divers, offered one-week itineraries to the Bahamas and Belize. According to the owners, the vessels proved too costly to run as reservations declined in a down economy.read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - April 23, 2010) -- A November 2009 DTBN article, "Unlicensed Tour Operators Thrive on the Internet" discussed a trend in travel where the internet is now being used to persuate to buy from illegal agents by offering ridiculously cheap rates and empty promises. Now tourists to Malaysia are being advised not to buy tours from unlicensed operator or so-call "free lance agents" to avoid being conned.
Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) KL Tan reminded travelers that only bona fide tour operators licensed by the Tourism Ministry and registered with Matta are allowed to provide tour excursion packages read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - November 17, 2008) - Travel Mole.com - Tourism Concern has slammed CNBC International Property Awards for awarding what they call a “socially and environmentally destructive tourism development” two prestigious prizes.
Says Tourism Concern: “Bimini Bay Resort, Bahamas, is threatening the livelihoods of local communities and has had a devastating impact on the island’s fragile marine ecosystem. The resort restricts people’s access to their land and marine resources. Coastal land has been carved up, the seafloor dredged and lagoons filled with silt to make way for luxury condominiums, a casino and ‘mega-yacht’ marina. The siltation of important breeding grounds has caused fish and conch numbers, which are harvested by local fishermen, to plummet.” read more »
(DiveTravelBusinessNews.com - Nov 30, 2009) -- UK Telegraph reporter Gill Charleton recently caused a stir in the travel world when he reported that the popular TripAdvisor website was promoting questionable tour operators. While the ground tour operators cited were located in Florence Italy, the story raises questions about unlicensed tour operators using trusted sites on the Internet to advertise their services. These ground operators lack basic public liability insurance and should something unfortunate happen, travelers using such tour operators are usually not covered under their own travel insurance.
The source of the problem lies with reviewers at the TripAdvisor.com website, and travelers in general, who are unaware that many guided ground tours are operating outside the law and without insurance. Many of these tours are picked up outside a hotel, the traveler pays cash and the company works from a cellphone, not a bricks and mortar operation. Travelers should check to see if a company is legitimate and has insurance before booking.