A fake town

Letters to the editor

Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2004

I began sorting through the piles of catalogs, sales fliers, and subscription requests received today. Like most days, 95 percent of the marketing barrage found its way to the burning barrel. However, one prospect caught my eye. It was the winter 2004 free issue of the "Bottom Line." These folks claim a "readership of over 2 million, making it, by far, the largest circulation newsletter ever published. It covers the hot topics of investment advice ... raising children ... buying and selling a home .. building careers ... and much, much more." If it had not been for a single- page article, their circulation claims and newsletter would have made the burning barrel also.

The article was titled "9 Tourist Traps to Avoid ... Plus 12 Delightful Alternatives," written by (get this) an anonymous travel writer. About mid-way through the article the writer highlights Alaskan cruises. Here is what follows: "Sadly, the ports of call have become fake places that are designed to take as much money from tourists as quickly as possible." I have lived in Juneau for 40 years and really love this place. It makes me feel bad that others would say such things about my town. However, this anonymous travel writer has pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Since I don't know how we go about reversing this image, I would be curious if others can offer constructive comments. How do we make our city a better place to visit? A place where visitors leave feeling a positive "Alaskan" experience and that their money was well spent.

By the way, the suggested alternative to the Alaskan cruises was "cruise ships and schooners sailing the New England and Canadian coasts or the spectacular fjords of Scandinavia."

Jeff Hill


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