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…

Gay travel endures amid recession

The travel industry seems to be engaged in a curious courtship. Its targets are gay travelers. During a recession, they apparently are the one group that doesn’t change leisure habits too much, so airlines, hotels and tour operators are trying to win their business.

Courting gay customers is nothing new, of course. A few years ago, the creators of the popular Showtime series “Queer as Folk,” Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, told me that, during their research for an episode, they had discovered that gay Americans had hundreds of billions of dollars of disposable income. So the fight for shares of that income has been going on for a while — many airlines and booking engines have created dedicated pages on their Web sites for gay travel…