What do travel writers really think of the places they visit?
Outside of Trip Advisor and other UGC websites, the world of travel is eternally rosy and full of wonder. Eye-staggering vistas, gastronomic delights and cultural experiences that enrich the soul are waiting for us at the end of a longhaul flight. In fact it's altogether rare to read a review of a new hotel or holiday destination that is downright arsebastard about it. The reason tends to be that it's tour operators, hotel chains and tourism boards footing the bills for the travel writers, in return for a more favourable review than might be deserved.
Not anymore. The Titanic Awards is a website that attempts to give the travel industry a much-needed shot of reality, by allowing travel writers to speak honestly about their experiences and conducting polls for the least satisfying holiday experiences. It's rammed to the rim with horrifying squalor such as this - a nominee for the world's worst toilet, discovered in China (yes, you can drive your moped right up to it):
Site founder and travel writer Doug Lansky says: "You see critical reviews of books, movies and plays in the media, but when was the last time you saw someone say a destination was awful? Or that they disliked a fancy new resort? This website is not attempting to fulfill the accountability gap in the travel industry; it’s more like a shot across the bow."
Have a read, gag a little and check the small print of your reservations to see if you're entitled to a refund.