Hilton embraces ‘games-players’

It’s no secret in the hotel loyalty business that Hilton HHonors has been probably the least creative and attractive among the major programs in recent years. Fortunately, its management has recognized that weakness and begun to address it, albeit cautiously.

While competitors such as Starwood, which includes the Sheraton, Westin and other brands, and to a lesser extent the InterContinental Hotel Groups Priority Club, came up with various promotions quarter after quarter, Hilton’s strategy seemed heavily reliant on name-recognition and reputation…

The ethics of travel blogs

Do travel blogs influence your decision-making when booking a trip? Does it make a difference to you whether an airline a blogger writes about has treated him to a free flight? When it comes to ethics, should readers be less strict with blogs than with the mainstream media?

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs covering all aspects of travel — both from a business and leisure perspective. Most of them haven’t had a new post in months. As all initial enthusiasts eventually discover, maintaining a blog in any field is much more difficult than starting one. Many travel blogs are dominated by the author’s personal experiences on the road and feature numerous photographs of airplane seats, in-flight meals and hotel rooms…

Travel blogs keep watch on industry

Public relations departments of airlines can’t catch a break. Not only is their industry under constant scrutiny by the public and the traditional media, now they have bloggers to worry about.

Let’s face it — the news hasn’t been great lately. How do you spin reducing services while adding fees? Or keeping fuel charges intact when oil prices are three times lower than they were when those charges were imposed? Part of a journalist’s job is to “unspin” what businesses — or the government, for that matter — tell the public, but another part is to do so fairly and to present different sides to every story. Bloggers, however, have no such obligation. They are free to rant about any grudge they may hold against a company without worrying about bias…