May 10th, 2011 06:24:08 pm
So, the last two days were filled with adventure writers. In conjunction with the Phoenix & Scottsdale CVB, 360 Adventures hosted a group of travel writers. Here's how this gig works - our local Offices of Tourism and Convention & Visitors Bureaus (CVB) contact a bunch of travel writers and invited them to Arizona in the hopes that they'll write something nice about Arizona.
It's well known in this world that if you wine & dine someone they'll think nice things about you - usually. The tourism industry is no different. So, hotel bed taxes are collected, put into a jar and divvied up between the cities' tourism offices; they use that moola to bring in a gaggle of over-smart, under-paid travel junkies hoping they'll like us enough to pitch a story to their nicotine laced editors. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Here's how it REALLY works . . . a CVB staff member comes up with a great idea: "let's host an adventure based FAM (familiarization) tour". Due to the miniscule funding they get from the treasure troves they're forced to beg, plead & promise lavish stories to the providers (restaurants, resorts, adventure guides . . .) by these wordsmiths. But in order to get something written about you, you must provide said service for free . . .nada, zip, zilch. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Let's fast forward to my rounded point. Yesterday and today 360 Adventures was the guide service vendor that was asked to provide some . . . uh, adventure. We didn't get paid, but we DID get invited to dine with the writers as some oh-my-God-this-is-fantastic restaurants. USUALLY we get to babysit a group of can't-do-so-I'll-write-about-it weenies. You'd be surprised how many adventure writers AREN'T adventurous.
This time was a complete departure from the norm. I'm not kidding - this group was as fun as taking a bunch of friends out for some adrenaline laced adventure! I'm going through withdrawals right now because I'm done with my portion of this FAM. So, instead I'll drink some wine & clean some gear.
So, what's my squared-off point? Adventure writers aren't adventure guides. They're people that LOVE adventure and are really good at bringing you into the moments they were lucky enough to experience, through words. They decided long ago that they weren't interested in the monetary benefits of "work". They wanted to travel, experience, live & tell. To me that's one hell of a responsibility. Otherwise, how would we know what there is out there? The regular media?
Pick up a travel magazine. READ it . . .don't just look at the photos. Dream and escape.
Go get familiar with the outdoors!