Monday, April 20, 2009

Tourism Thoughts

I have a great interest in tourism. Partially because I love to travel, but also because I'm fascinated by the decision making process involved with travel. I know how I like to travel and I know others have different styles.

Last week I participated in a blogger familiarization tour in Hutchinson. I had nothing to do with organizing it, and was just invited to participate as a kindness since I already write a lot about the area, but I was very impressed with the idea and the execution of it.

Convention and Visitor's Bureaus (CVB's) focus most of their efforts on groups and it's understandable why - it takes the same amount of energy to bring a group of 50 or 500 to your town as it does to bring one individual traveler. You don't have to be a math whiz to see the logic in that.

The problem is that there's a hole in the travel market. The tourist is no one's customer.

When you look at a visitor's guide for any city, you see beautiful photos, listings of things to see and do, and lots of ads. This is a system that has developed over time and has served well for some time. However, the "customer" for the visitor's guide is not the visitor - the customer is the advertiser, who's ads paid for the printing of it.

I want there to be - somewhere - someone who is serving the needs of the individual traveler. I also believe the individual traveler is where the potential growth is. Now, maybe when I'm 70 I'll think it sounds like a fabulous idea to be traveling on a bus with 41 other people, and having my luggage packed and outside my hotel door by 6:30 a.m. I cannot imagine that will ever be the case. I think that traveler is not going to exist in a few years.

Instead I think the potential growth is in the individual traveler - the people who write me to ask about Las Vegas, NM, because I wrote on the blog about eating at a diner there. Or to ask about the catacombs of Paris because I blogged about visiting there. Those people are the future growth of travel, I think.

And communities/states/countries on the front edge of that, encouraging those in the new media to write about their places - on blogs, twitter, or whatever - are going to see a significant benefit.

Interesting things to think about...
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All text and photos on this website are copyright Patsy Terrell, unless otherwise noted. None are to be used without permission. Thank you.

Oxy Clean is Amazing Stuff

Oxy Clean is amazing stuff, and I'm not getting paid to say so. I'm just telling you this for your own benefit, in case you hadn't discovered it.

At the MCC sale on Friday I bought this quilt. For $20. Hand quilted. Because it had a stain on it - a stubborn, ugly stain. You can see it here - right in the middle of the quilt, and on the lower portion in that same row. What you can't see in the photo is that it was present elsewhere, too.

I decided to take a chance that I could remove the stain, and knew I would appreciate the quilt even if I couldn't get the stain out. I brought it home and started it soaking in a mixture of oxy clean, borax and wisk. The first water was gross and disgusting. I tried some stain remover of various sorts and a few more washings. It helped, but the stain was still there.

So, I brought out the big guns. I sprinkled some oxy clean powder on the stains and sprinkled water over it to make a paste. It gets hot. Yes. Hot. I let it dry and it was hard as a rock. I wondered if it was going to come off. And, to be fair, this is not a recommended use of the product. This was just a Patsy thought. I guess that would be "off label" as they say in the pharmaceutical industry.

I had a moment when I thought I had made a big mistake because it wasn't peeling off the fabric easily. But, I got most of it off and the rest washed off in yet another washing. But, amazingly enough, much of the stain went with it. So, I repeated the process and the stain was all gone. Gone! All of it. A hand quilted, double  wedding ring quilt for $20 plus some Oxy Clean.

I have used it many times to soak linens of various sorts, but I've never worked on a stain like this before with it. I don't know what it was - I'd just as soon not think too much about that - but the normal stain removers didn't touch it. But, Oxy Clean took care of it. It wasn't like you see on TV, where they dip it in and it comes out magically clean, but it did work.

Needless to say, I feel like I got a good deal for $20.
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