We have just turned down an all expenses paid trip to Doha in Qatar.
Two airline tickets for seats aboard Qatar Airways new A380 service from Heathrow to Doha where offered to us along with a free five night stay at the Dohar Marriott hotel
Many travel journalists would try to move heaven and earth to gain such opportunities but not all of them would look into the implications and calculate the true cost of the offer in terms of time and responsibility.
As a team of professional travel writers we have built up our reputation as journalists who gain coverage for those who host on travel trips abroad. It is our belief that we have a symbiotic relationship with those who facilitate our travel. They seek press coverage and we need the stories to sell to editors.
When it works well it’s a win win, but when we cannot sell a story, we believe it is better to be honest with our host and refuse to accept their hospitality even if many of them say to us it does not matter. We simply think it is the honourable thing to do.
As writers it is our job to research and then report. When we travel it is difficult to write and research at the same time so inevitably we need time back at our base to write up the features.
We are just freshly returned from Fort Lauderdale and next week fly to Mallorca for another assignment. Travel writing is not always quite as glamorous as it seems and while we have no complaints about the hours we work or the lifestyle we lead it is important to keep the balance right and accept only those assignments we can justify accepting the kind hospitality of generous hosts.
So this time no blogs about Doha but hopefully on another occasion we will be able to offer coverage to our would be hosts and when that time comes it will be our pleasure to accept their hospitality.