How important are recommendations whenever you travel? Would you rather hear one from a travel expert or from someone you know? Or are you interested in hearing a recommendation from someone with your same profile? Is there a compatibility index that you can actually rely on? Ever since I started traveling I have always been interested in hearing an opinion or suggestion about a dish, hotel or restaurant... I am one of those people that will almost always ask for the specials and let the waiter "sell" me something I was not thinking of eating. When I am traveling, I also like to hear what local people find to be a good choice to do.
I will never forget my first trip to Colorado where on the way from Denver Airport to Vail we stopped at a restaurant, and we asked for "typical" food and they served us nachos with cheese and guacamole. I guess that since we where a group of people talking in Spanish that is what they considered "typical" and I would like! My point is that a recommendation is always subjective to the person giving it, and to their perception of what they believe you will like. So when www.facebook.com and www.amazon.com recently started to incorporate an application that lets me see what books my friends like, what they bought or read I was quite happy, because there I saw a potential opportunity for travel information. If I could see or choose from a smaller set of options, that a simple sorting based on the characteristics of my "small world" would offer, I could probably avoid going to places my friends already considered "not interesting".
Clearly if you tell me NOT TO GO TO, or PLEASE AVOID THAT PLACE, I will surely consider it, but if you positively recommend, I might decide to go or NOT. So this situation leaves a great deal of pressure on the delivery side, as if more than 5 people "trash" your restaurant you will probably loose business, and guess what most companies are hiring freelancers to write positive reviews at sites such as tripadvisor.com , so that the negative ones, which sometimes are written by the competition loose weight.... So is this the end of the web 2.0 ? I like to see the positive side of things, so for me this is the beginning of the social web. If I see pictures of my friend enjoying himself in a hotel in Barcelona on facebook, I somehow want to join him, I don´t care about his reviews, I AM SEEING HIS REVIEW!!
At www.mondoexplorer.com we are working on this and many other interesting things because we like to travel and we like to have great experiences. So here comes my personal recommendation: Cas Gasi, in Ibiza this summer, a great small Bed and Breakfast or "Agroturismo", it is run by Margaret and I guarantee you will enjoy this part of Ibiza in August; you will be close to the action of summer madness and far away enough so you can actually relax and enjoy the last Grisham novel. Enjoy your summer!
Nicolás Visiers Würth, Editor.