Have you ever been to an All-Inclusive (A-I) resort? I know we don’t like to admit it, but if you have kids and particularly if you are one of the few working people who can afford to have kids, A-I's are a good way of limiting the casual expenditure of an overseas and even home-based holiday.
I have never fully understood the economic theory behind this burgeoning hotel business. I think I accept the notion that it is a good way to attract custom, but what foxes me is the hotels’ almost demonic need to keep guests corralled within their confines.
Here in Crete, even in summer, tourists are hardly seen. However, we are told there are vast amounts of holidaymakers here. Obviously, the hotels are succeeding in keeping them in, restrained by a constant supply of food and drink.
A friend of mine went around nearby A-I’s to ask if she could put up notices to tempt guests to her local Mexican speciality restaurant. Out of eight hotels she visited, not one was interested. ‘Why do they want to keep people in?’ she moaned, ‘the more they stay there, the more they consume and the more it costs the hotels.’ I confess I do not see the logic of it, but it was the last throw of the dice for her; she had almost no customers and weeks later, packed up and returned to the UK.
She told me before she left, that the councils had tried to make A-I’s within two kilometres of other facilities illegal, but they never seemed to be able to pass the bye-laws. I wonder why? Could it be vested interests? We’ve all heard about these and money does talk, doesn’t it?
I hear now that the victor in the recent Greek elections, but sadly not the victor in the Battle of Brussels, one Alexis Tsipras of Syriza, the ultra-left, anti-capitalist hero of the moment (moments are short here in Greece) has proposed an outright ban on the All-Inclusive. Of course his ban will only be applicable to Greece, so devotees of the A-I will take their trade to Turkey, Egypt and Morocco leaving Greek resorts, beaches and tavernas even more empty than they are now, yet throwing thousands of A-I hotel workers on the jobless pile for no gain at all.
Of course, the global backers of the All-Inclusive will deliver their closure slap to Mr Tsipras’ policies before returning when they are ready to repopulate the empty hotels, probably with EU grants. What dear naïve Mr Tsipras forgets is that these people have been making a small fortune out of the hospitality business and a minor hiccough like Syriza will not stand in the way of their daytime job of making profits nor their night-time job of unbridled tax evasion.
As I mentioned in another post where a would-be leading European politician had his sights set on the foundations of the hospitality industry, failure is easily achievable.
I include a picture of a Cretan resort devoid of tourists but with the looming replacements for A-I’s already chalked up. Alexis will have to spend the next four years attacking and trying to close each of them. Now two things must be evident, firstly he has to remain in power long enough to work his way down the list and more importantly…does he really not understand that the industry has another ten ‘****sives’ waiting in the wings, should he be nearing his goal?
The moral of the story? Do not argue with big business, Alexis. Take your lead from your EU colleagues, do what you are told and invite big business to Greek soil to open up examples of the following new-style resorts:
The industry champions have asked a sample poll of people which of the above services they might be interested in, so that a report may be sent to those that would invest others’ hard-earned cash in the new ventures. I have heard of only one question thus far, ‘Will they build a sixth departure building at Heathrow called ‘Terminal Illness’ for the outgoing All-Conclusives? Only one respondent has asked about returns.
However, a cautionary tale for the future; watch out when your son and heir tells you he’s bought you an all-conclusive holiday to the sunny Mediterranean.
Which of these glowing options would tempt you? Do you have some suggestions for others that the industry could consider?
It’s three days now and she’s still not talking to me, so I guess she’s not been able to find any documentation that supports her view. We have an impasse. What do opposing sides do when there’s an impasse? They dig their holes deeper, speak to friends they know will agree and so reinforce the rhetoric. She’s now decided, after her self-imposed purdah, to win by stealth. Her latest edict is, ‘Okay, you find something that supports your view and we’ll do it your way.’
As far as I’m aware there is only one internet, unless China and North Korea have formed a consortium to build their own, so what chance do I have of finding the holy grail of ‘Header’ info when she already knows it’s not there? Cunning aren’t they...editors? Yes, well this one is.
It dawned on me that perhaps she had found that supporting information, but it backed my view, so I closed down Word with my latest novel in progress and went searching. I found a wealth of information on ‘Headers’ in my first sweep and am now a self-proclaimed expert on ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol’, which Wikipedia did its level best to try to make interesting. However, they failed, leaving me wondering why they bothered.
Then the internet led me to a different world of ‘Headers’ – tanks – not the sort used on the battlefield by opposing armies, but the type that sits in your loft holding water (you hope). These too are called ‘Headers’. Now I knew I was heading in the wrong direction.
“There are only two ways to do it,” my editor told me, “and yours is the wrong way.”
“How do you know my way is wrong? Point me to some learned study that supports your viewpoint and, all right, we’ll do it your way,” I said, one hand cold, the gauntlet thrown on the frozen ground between us.
To reinforce this view, I then discovered that Irish humour uses the word ‘Header’ to describe what I call a ‘nutcase’ or a ‘head-case’ or even a village idiot. It struck me that if an Irish ‘Header’ played football and used his bonce to bash the ball, would we have a double-header?
This brought a smile of satisfaction to my face and took me back to my childhood and watching trains where a double-header was what we called two locomotives on the front of train, as shown in the first picture of this blog.
Next, I unearthed some shiny illustrations entitled ‘Headers’. I thought I was on to a winner, until I realised our colonial cousins mean that part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that is nearest the engine...Now I’m bogged down by semantics, drowning in a sea of boots and trunks, hoods and bonnets, fenders and bumpers – heading for the bottom.
In case, like me, you are confused by the term ‘Header’ in the context I seek, I refer to that narrow strip of illustration at the top of a website or a social media page. Facebook’s, for instance, has a super-imposed square box where people post their latest selfies or daring photographs and some change them more often than they change their undies. However, I am not interested in this little box but in the big picture, well it’s not big, just the width of a page and not even half a hand deep. Anyway...
...After four hours, I have given up. I have decided, with her grudging approval, to seek inspiration from you. Yes, you, my audience. We have agreed to ask your opinion and bow to the wishes of the majority, which in itself will lead to dissention in the ranks because like us, both of you probably won’t agree either. Yet triumphant and conceited, I have wrung a concession out of her! I had to pay a small price for my near-unilateral victory by allowing her to wring one out of me as well. A trifling compromise, which made her glow with satisfaction: I have yielded on the issue of not telling you, which of us prefers which option and she has yielded to my demand that if there is not a clear majority for either course, we will stick with our decision.
We then realised what a tricky job those people that write referendum questions have. You may call them plebiscite posers, but no matter, it is tricky. However, we have settled on a simple question and hope for an answer: Static or dynamic that is the question. Clear as crystal isn’t it? Well not quite. Static is static – no problem there. But dynamic can range from something that is constantly on the move like the solar system to something less frenetic like a chameleon.
I wonder how corporations, weighed down by personnel on the career treadmill, ever make a decision when here are just two people struggling to agree. Somehow, big business reaches conclusions that appear to have the underpinning of debate and democracy. I really do not believe this to be true. Yet they have cultivated a corporate image that conveys unanimity, solidity and dependability, which jumps out at you from their business pages, ready to fight the corporation’s corner in a cut-throat world. I refer to the...logo!
However, it’s not merely this icon that speaks volumes, it may also be the house colours that themselves portray the corporate sentiment, along with the very business name and how it is spoken and perceived. Some representations have earned a place in our daily lives that is commercially invaluable; some have even become pseudonyms for the type of business or equipment itself. I need not list them, though in my immodest way, I would like to be able to have 'a piece of the action’.
Some symbols should rarely change or if they do, the alteration should be made so incrementally that nobody will really notice. Like chameleons changing their positions infrequently and their colours discreetly, we hardly notice the changes made by the likes of VW and Coca Cola with their updated logos. But what about websites and social media pages? Should they be just another barely changing form of successful representation or should they, in common with a very successful search engine, bowl the occasional ‘googly’? (A cricket term for a ball that causes the batsman surprise).
I am always impressed when the Google page topically changes. It, no doubt, brings pleasure or dismay to millions each time a new image presents itself. Is it just a bit of fun on their part or is it some fiendish subliminal advertising technique where the audience craves its regular fix of their transformation drug?
This is where you come in, my audience. You wander like nomads around the websites and social media pages seeking your fix. You know what you like. You know what you don’t like. I promise I won’t tell a soul about your cravings, but I need to cure the 'Header-Ache'.
Are page ‘Headers’ (those coloured letterbox-shaped introductions to websites or social media pages) best static or gently dynamic like the chameleon? Maybe you think an even more dynamic ‘Header’ would be better? On my Facebook author’s page, I have been experimenting with ‘Headers’ that change periodically to represent themes from my books and other things that interest me. I do not have the advantage of a corporate marketing team to slap me on the back with praise or laugh behind it with derision, so I seek opinion.
What do you think? Static or semi-dynamic? That is the simple plain English question. However, in order to assist in your deliberations, does the same old ‘Header’ become boring yet give comfort or should I bowl that googly and regularly change my ‘Headers’?
The word 'green' is today associated with almost anything that lends itself to being beneficial to the environment. Sometimes, the use of the word may stray beyond plausible boundaries; one such 'green' misconception is as applied to electrically powered transportation.
Electric trains have been extant for many years. There are two main types: the most common nowadays being those that take their power from high voltage overhead lines. Losing ground against this 'overhead' supply is the visually unobtrusive third or fourth rail supply at track level with a voltage of approximately 800Vdc. It is claimed, with some justification, that this latter system has no place in a safety conscious society. To some extent this is true, for there have been many deaths, not only of trespassers, but also of railway workers that have touched the 'live' rail, yet have we done enough to make this system safer, given the modern day switching systems now available?
However, should 'greenness' only be taken as limiting the amount of pollutants in our atmosphere? Perhaps visual pollution as illustrated, should also be a factor we take fully into account, particularly if we properly investigate some of the inadequately considered aspects of electrical propulsion. It is true that at the point of converting electrical energy to kinetic (movement) energy, be it a train or a personal transport application, there is almost zero atmospheric pollution, but are we deluding ourselves?
The electricity we use for trains and cars must be generated somewhere and, depending upon the generation method employed, be it coal, oil or gas, varying amounts of particulate pollution will arise and there are separate issues with nuclear generation. There are, sadly, some proponents of the green cause, noble though it is, that would brush some of these factors under the carpet, believing that renewable energy will come rapidly to the rescue. However, do we really want huge wind turbines marching across our once green and pleasant land and only to travel when it is windy?
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