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 Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1986

martin December 1: EUROPE REVISITED II
Talk about accentuating the negative. Although the U.S. press, consumer and trade, has been reporting favorably on travel to Europe since late last spring, leaders of the European travel communities have continued their steady and unproductive bad-mouthing of the Fourth Estate. I heard it again, loud and clear, at an industry conference in Singapore in late September. Hardly statesmanlike.

November 1: EUROPE REVISITED
Europe is literally holding its breathÖabout the 1987 travel outlook, particularly from the United States. After invading the Old World in record numbers last year, Americans stayed home in droves in 1986, deterred by such factors as terrorism, Chernobyl and a sharply weaker dollar.

October 1: FIT AND FATAL?
I couldnít believe my ears, but the radio doesnít lie, does it? "Conventional wisdom and a good deal of medical opinion notwithstanding, he contends that vigorous exercise is not needed to achieve and maintain cardiovascular healthÖ" Who's "he"? Dr. Henry Solomon, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and cardiology at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

September 1: THE STATUE OF LIBERTY: OVERPROMOTED, UNDERSOLD
What is predictable is that the promoters of grandiose events donít seem to learn that the excessive, exaggerated hype keeps visitors away. Itís what happened at the Olympics in Los Angeles two years ago; it occurred again in July as we observed the centennial of a splendidly refurbished Miss Liberty.

August 1: HOT FOR HAWAII
Itís really no surprise that the Pacific community in general and Hawaii in particular have been among the beneficiaries of the summerís mass decision by Americans not to cross the North Atlantic. Hawaii has been doing quite well, mahalo, even before terrorism began to alter the face of the tourism map. I canít think of a better place to visit, for pleasure or business, at any time of the year.

July 1: SCOTT AND ZELDA ARE NOT VERY FAR
Maybe itís not quite the super-deluxe experience weíve been led to believe it is, and it is pricey, even in these inflationary times, but the reincarnation of the Orient-Express between London and Venice, with stops in Paris, Zurich and Innsbruck, is certainly worth the ride at least once. The itinerary, end to end, spans 1,066 miles and some 30 cars, most of which were built in the late 1920s.

June 1: TO TRAVEL OR NOT TO TRAVEL?
To travel or not to travel? That is the question that wonít go away, particularly when the conversation turns to discretionary travel to Europe and the Mediterranean. Fear of terrorism, hang-ups about security and a wishy-washy dollar that drives up costs are keeping Americans away.

May 1: TERRORISTS, TOURISTS AND THE PRESS
Lately I keep hearing that itís not terrorism, nor concerns over safety, thatís keeping American tourists away from Europe and the Middle East. No way. The villain, I am told, is the sensationalist and circulation-greedy U.S. press. Blaming the medium for the message is certainly not a new phenomenon, but blaming the press for the news they report is as ludicrous as it is self-serving.

April 1: WE'RE PROUD OF OUR STATS
We live in a society driven by statistics, finance, and figures. Scratch a marketing campaign and it rides on the stats provided by research, analysis, percentages, interpolations, projections. Probe or peek into any corner of our day-to-day activities and you know what youíll findóstatistics. Even sexual behavior is interpreted by stats, as are the more deviant or antisocial manifestations, such as crimes or recidivism.

March 1: TOP TEN ISSUES
The travel industry faces a deep undercurrent of consumer concern about the safety of travel," writes the editor of Travel Management Daily. "While the strong dollar produced a 1985 bumper crop of overseas trips by Americans, a continuing series of terrorist incidents and air crashes has produced an atmosphere of apprehension in the market."

February 1: IíVE GOT A FEELING IíM FALLING
Remember those lyrics from a long forgotten love song? Well, in this context I refer not to love but to the scary incidence of fatal commercial airline accidents last year, and the mounting public preoccupation with safety.

January 1: A GOLDEN ODYSSEY
I took this cruise last August, thirteen flawless days in the Mediterranean, thirteen ports of call--most of them jewels--under that hard bright sun. Even this jaded traveler was bowled over by the brilliant blend of itinerary, sunshine and salt breezes, an unexpectedly good gallery, and a ship that rode royally, even when the winds acted up.

Copyright © 1980-2007 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.