Archive for August, 2019

Cites & Insights 19:4 (August 2019) Available

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Cites & Insights 19:4 (August 2019) is now available for downloading at https://citesandinsights.info/civ19i4.pdf

The 42-page issue consists of a single essay:

Intersections: Open Access Issues pp. 1-42

Thirty-odd items in six subtopic groups, not including items for future roundups (“preditorials,” colors and licenses, DOAJ, and Big Deals including the UC/BigE situation).

If you have to ask…

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Way back in 2016, a Media commentary in Cites & Insights included my lament about not renewing Conde Nast Traveler, in part because the new editor had adopted the “If you have to ask…” policy–that is, eliminating all mention of hotel prices, since if you have to ask…

I don’t subscribe to National Geographic Traveler, which I suppose you could call a fellow Traveler, but my wife does and I read it. We’ll probably continue to get it. But I find that I’m frustrated by the same If You Have To Ask attitude: there are lots of mentions of hotels (and cruise lines, etc.), even roundups of them…and nary a clue as to how much they cost.

My reaction to IYHTA is to assume the worst: that hotels are probably $1,000 per night or more, that resorts are probably at least $1,500, that all-inclusives are $2,000 per night or more.

Just for fun, I took one recent issue, which as usual mentioned a lot of hotels, and did quick checks: jotting down the price if it took me less than 30 seconds to find one.

Not surprisingly, my worst-case assumption is unfair to many of the hotels–and I think it’s stupid and arrogant of NGT not to include basic price info. The usual three-hotels-in-one-city feature turned out to have prices of $112, $237, and one that’s not actually open yet. Much lower than I’d have guessed, especially since this was for a major European city.

Another article had one hotel, which turns out to cost $516. Another city feature had hotels at $134, $85, and $350.

Then there was a major feature on one class of resorts around the world–and from the descriptions and total lack of information I would have guessed $2,000 a day and up. In some cases I would have been right: $2,100; $2,250; $5,000 (all inclusive). But in other cases: $950; $769; $680; $450 all inclusive; $680; $490; $630; $930 all inclusive; $1,500 all inclusive; $360; $1,333; $303; $278; $1,430; $1,719; $631. That’s quite a range…and I would have wrongly ruled out a dozen of them because I’m not willing to pay $1,000 a night for a room.

Other articles? $360; $248; $266; $241 (both of these are much lower than I would have expected); $127; $169 (ditto these two); $263; $260; $232; $531.

The point? Many of these hotels are quite reasonably priced–but there’s no way to know that, given the If You Have To Ask attitude of NGT–and especially given prices for some of NatGeo’s own tours and cruises, and their branded lodges.

Too bad. I still like NGT, but it would be a lot more interesting and useful if it included just a little more information.