All content on Grantourismo Travels has been created by us – Lara Dunston and Terence Carter. We do not publish guest posts or any kind of content authored by anyone else.
We have complete editorial control over the content that we produce that appears on Grantourismo Travels, even when we work with travel partners.
We are opinionated and we write honestly and critically and you can be confident that we apply the same critical skills of evaluation to any destination, experience or property we are writing about, partner or no partner, paid for or hosted, incognito or identified.
We will always maintain the same ‘tell it like it is’ attitude and opinionated writing style that we’ve had throughout our careers as travel and food writers. We appreciate that doesn’t appeal to everyone. If you’re a travel company looking for advertorial, then you’ve come to the wrong place.
Here’s how we typical work: we travel to destinations on assignments for publications based on commissions for stories and photography. While we are active on social media and use Instagram and Twitter and might tweet about things we like (or don’t), do not we are getting paid to cut and paste hash tags and gush about everything. When we do work with airlines, travel agents or tourism commissions to travel to a place and experience it, they are never guaranteed positive coverage.
Tourism boards, airlines, tour companies, hotels, and restaurants will often host us, as is the practice in the industry when publishers do not pay expenses or fees that even come close to covering expenses. Sometimes we will also partner on a social media project that might involve being hosted on a tour or at a hotel. However, hosting us does not guarantee positive coverage, let alone any coverage. We are not influenced by a free meal or discounted room. If a writer is motivated to write a rave review by a few plates of food and bottle of wine then you have to question their sense of ethics and integrity.
Just to clarify: there is not only no promise of positive coverage, we never guarantee any coverage until we’ve had the experience and completed an assessment. If they the hotel or travel company is good at what they do, we will obviously include them in our story, do a photo shoot, and tell our readers and social media followers how wonderful they are, and recommend them when they are looking for travel tips.
If we don’t think a place is up to scratch, we tell the business, let them know why we won’t be covering them, and in some cases we will provide a detailed report. That doesn’t happen often because we do very thorough research first. However, when it does, most of the time businesses are grateful for the honesty, often acknowledging that they knew they had a problem, and welcoming our detailed feedback as it helps them to get back on track.
People often ask us why we don’t mention the ‘bad’ places in a story that we perhaps moaned about on Twitter. It’s generally a matter of word count and the fact that in places we don’t live in or specialise in, such as Southeast Asian countries, we can really only thoroughly research, experience and write about a handful of hotels, a handful of restaurants, and maybe a few cafes and bars. Editors do not want us wasting precious words on a place that we don’t recommend. And we have the same policy here on Grantourismo.
We do occasionally write negative reviews on Grantourismo when we think it’s necessary, such as a review of the holiday rental property we stayed in at Diani Beach in Kenya, where we spent a week. We couldn’t leave it out as it was our base for our safari experiences that we widely covered here. At the same time, while we found fault with it and knew it wouldn’t be for everyone, we acknowledged that it would suit some travellers.
Leaving out the bad stuff sometimes leads to people saying “you didn’t write about XXX restaurant” and by this admission asserting that we didn’t do a thorough job. On the contrary, 99% of the time we will have dined, stayed or imbibed at the venues that might be #1 on TripAdvisor or the ‘Author’s Choice’ in a guidebook. We just didn’t think they were up to scratch or were right for our readers.
If you have any questions or concerns about our editorial policy please don’t hesitate to contact us.