Some friends feel sure I must be asking for freebies, discounts, backhanders, cash-in-hand or other special deals from businesses, restaurants, accommodation facilities, buses and other organisations which I comment on in my blog, as I pass along the Derwent River. No, I do not. I have not asked for, I do not seek for, and I do not expect to receive service or goods for free or cheaper simply because I have something to say about them in my blog.
I would not like to feel fettered by an obligation to ‘go easy’ on a business or product which was substandard. I would not like to feel pressured to remark on a particular product or service that I was not interested in, or I could not make relevant to the walk along the Derwent.
In the current environment when travel writers routinely have their costs covered and often have access to premium products and services for no charge, I can understand why some people might be surprised to learn I have not joined that gravy train. That way of funding travel is not necessary for me; to date, my only cost has been small local bus fares. I would like to be able to make any comment I prefer about Hobart’s Metro bus service and, therefore, I have not approached them for assistance.
Of course, the future is a different place and when I venture northwards, no longer will I be able to organise walks as one day events.
I will need places to stay overnight occasionally. In addition, I will be using different public bus services so my costs may be greater than those which I am used to. Despite the likelihood of increased costs, I view these walks as my ‘holidays’ and I am prepared to pay for them.
When I started the blog, one of my intentions was to inspire local people to follow in some or all of my footsteps. I want local readers to know exactly what the situation is and so my walks will not be doctored by special privilege.
Another matter concerns me. I hear rumours that a few tourism operators away from the main cities and towns are not always serving their customers in the hospitable contemporary way many of us feel visitors to Tasmania should expect. If I find some ‘bad eggs’ in the more remote parts of Tasmania, then I want to be able to expose their weaknesses or recommend possible improvements in my blog (and probably on Trip Advisor as well).
(Photo above ‘Fresh Start” from Dreamstime.com)
On the other hand, where I find excellent service, I want to reward that with the words and pictures of my choosing. On this basis, I see no reason to persuade people to give me a free night’s accommodation or meal or pay for any other expense which I might incur.
Hmmmm. Almost seems a shame to take this point of view! I wonder if blogger jenspen1961 from Cairns, when she sets off walking around Australia, will think differently.