My top 10 moans

By | Category: Travel rumblings

© Dan Sperrin

Actually I have only one moan.

It’s about the number of travel and tourism stories that list five or ten things. Why is it so beloved of the industry that there has to be ten? What’s wrong with six or fourteen? Do the writers or whoever commissions these stories think we are incapable of understanding more than five or  ten items?

Look at any daily newspaper or magazine (or, I hate to say it, CD-Traveller occasionally) and at some time there will be 10 white water rafting places to visit, the top 10 beach fish and chip shops in Moldova or something like that.

Look at the Guardian website and there five different stories of this type and two on The Independent’s.
I am not interested in the top ten but the eleventh.

Think about it.

As soon as the ten are publicised, people visit them. Nobody visits the eleventh so they are less busy and able to pay more customer service attention to me. The only problem is I don’t know the number 11 and, if it was to be published, else will know too! So how do I find out about number 11? Without anybody else knowing?

And do I need to know. Who makes up these lists anyway? Is there some long, complicated mathematical formula that says this beach is better than another or that Lanzarote is better than Lossiemouth? No, it comes down to opinions and since everyone is an individual, theoretically, there could be 60 million different opinions – one for every person in our countries.

So why should we take any notice of these lists? Because we seem to like reading lists. Look at any travel website and I’d be prepared to bet that a top 10 will appear in the list of most viewed stories. What idiocy! We don’t even know if the person has visited these top 10, tried them out or even knows where they are. It could be that some public relations person who has never lived outside Watford has put together the list just to get some coverage for a client involved in wall plastering or some other unrelated tourism thing.

So among the top 10 things that I am not going to do in the future is read or run any more top five or ten stories.
After this one.

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