Spoiler alert: I’m a travel nerd too. I read all the blogs, newspapers and even watch some of those painstaking Youtubers too. I thought it was time to set up a weekly column for your Sunday browsing with a list of all my favorite articles of the week, from anywhere but GSTP. Here are the things I really enjoyed reading this week, and why…

Should Travel Brands Extend Elite Status?

Mark Ross-Smith is one of the brighter minds in travel and has run a major loyalty program for a major airline. He takes a deep dive into the pros and cons of an airline or hotel extending elite status for frequent travelers in light of the current virus.

Mark ran Malaysia’s program during the tragic crash and subsequent shoot down and his look at the psychology rings very true, and is nothing short of fascinating. You’ll probably say “yeah, that’s me”, if you take an honest look.

Read here.

Tourist Hot Spots Are Empty, And People Are Loving It

There’s so much f**king doom and gloom about Coronavirus, but for those who weigh their own risks and see it for what it is in regards to their own personal circumstances, it’s an opportunity. Despite what we here, people are still traveling, and most… are loving it.

Places you’d expect to queue for hours are barren from the Pyramids to the forests outside Kyoto. This Quartz article has some great social captures from people who are having the time of their lives while everyone buys counterfeit face masks, which actually make you more susceptible to the virus, by the way.

Read here.

Tiny Earth globe over the surface covered with the multiple bank note billsExpedia and Booking Spent 11 Billion On… Marketing!

There was a really interesting study we covered earlier this week, pointing to the fact that it’s often cheaper to deal directly with hotels, rather than online travel agencies. That’s because they take an average 15-30% cut on each room. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that Expedia Group and Booking.com spent a combined $11 billion dollars in 2019, on marketing alone.

That’s just a staggering number. People often ask why there aren’t many new and innovative hotel booking platforms popping up, and the simplest answer is that gaining any market share against that level of marketing and advertising is very, very difficult. There’s a good bit on their biggest competitor too…

Read here.

Exploring Hvar, Croatia’s Version Of The French Riviera

I’m a huge fan of going here, not there. Travel is such a game of being in the know enough to get somewhere before the masses, or before its ruined. You could say anything that’s in Departures mag is obviously not off the beaten path, but compared to Italy or France, it kind of is.

This article absolutely makes me want to check out Hvar, and explore more of Croatia. I’m a huge proponent of some of the riviera style opportunities in the area, including Albania’s riviera, but was never as drawn to Hvar as I am now.

Read here.

LAX Airport Caves Into Taxis, Not Uber

No one likes overcrowding or waiting in lines up to an hour just to get into or out of an airport. To tackle the issue and ease congestion, LAX ended all curbside pickups, with the exception of pre-arranged transportation, instead sending passengers to LAXit, a lot which requires a bus ride to get there, and then you can get in your Uber/Lyft etc.

LAX has modified their plans after lobbying from local taxi firms, which will see taxis able to pick up from key areas outside the terminal again. I just don’t quite see how this benefits the public in any way, and is yet another example of local fiefdom style governing – if you ask me. It’s effectively forcing passengers into cabs.

Read here.

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