OK. I know Thailand is having terrible flooding, and that's a real tragedy for the people who live there. That's not what I am ranting about, though. What I feel compelled to gripe about is why EVERYONE who is going to Thailand, and specifically Bangkok, has to start their own thread on the subject? Right now, there are seven separate Bangkok threads on just the front page of the Travel Forum, all pretty much asking the same question: "can I get to my hotel?" People...LOOK at the forum questions before asking yours...you don't even have to do a search--they're right on the front page! You can just post your question right on the same thread as someone else's, and if someone on that thread knows the answer to the first question, they'll be able to answer yours too! OK, I'm done now.
Well, if it helps, other travel forums out there have the same issue. A lot of the posters are newbies who don't know how to read an ongoing forum, or the questions don't apply to the specific area they're going to. The big problem that I see is that planes are still flying; the international airport is still open. People can't get their travel insurance to pay for a cancellation as long as they can still GET there. If they'd just close the airport, a lot of this confusion could be avoided. I just answered one (leaving in a couple of days) who said as long as his road route is open, his insurance won't cover a cancellation. As water hasn't reached peak yet, there's no way to know if he can or cannot get to where he's going.
well it is the same when more long term members (as has been said newbies may not know) answering a question...The other day at least 5 said the same thing in maybe a slightly different way. in answer to a question. I can understand someone not wanting to wade through long pontifical posts but just a little perusal saves needless repetition.
Julie, I sympathise. As someone who follows the Thailand forums closely, in particularly, Bangkok, the exact same question has been appearing over and over again for going on 3 weeks now. One day I counted over 1 dozen simultaneous questions of "should I cancel" as well as (my pet peeve): I've got tickets to go to Bangkok next month - will such and such place be flooded then? I stopped posting and now roll my eyes. WHO CAN TELL WHAT THE WEATHER WILL BE IN 1 MONTH?!? I will sometimes cut and paste the link from a similar question in answer to theirs. Curt and expat have been doing a fantastic job at keeping people updated. These guys are stars in my book.
I was going to suggest VT starts a separate forum for worried Thailand visitors, and fills that page with the most irritating pop-up ads ever invented. There's one post right now asking "if it will be safe" on 28 November.
I'm not the world's most tolerant person, but I am pretty sympathetic to these posters. Most of them are new members who are preoccupied that their hard earned holiday might be ruined due to circumstances beyond their control and/or they may lose their money if they cancel, so I can understand it if it didn't occur to them to look at previous postings. We all have to start somewhere, and I know that after 18 months, I am still learning things all the time about this site. If the first interaction that a new member has with existing members is a curt 'read the bloody forum' response, I would imagine that it would make a rather poor impression and I'd certainly think twice about returning under those circumstances. It's the correct information, but even a creature with limited social skills such as myself understands that there are ways and ways of conveying the same information. In this regard, I read a very good response from ranger49 this morning that put this same message across very tactfully. I think that there is a good case for a travel advisory forum, so long as it is clear that this is posted by members and carries no liability for VT. I think back to when we had a fuel strike earlier in the year that could have caused chaos for self-drive tourists (who are the majority) and yet I really had no options on how to share this information, and that certainly would have helped.
>Curt and expat have been doing a fantastic job at keeping people updated. You got that right; stellar work there.
Slight side issue - tonights TV news carried a story about the flooding in Bangkok and they interviewed an Aussie tourist. With all the problems to the locals and visitors, his only concern was that there was no beer in the 7/11 - wonder if you can get travel insurance for that? (rhetorical question!!!!)
I agree with you Catherine. As I explained in an earlier thread, I know (for ourselves), we found ourselves questioning last year during our trip to Bangkok when the riots were taking place and parts of Bangkok were burning. I too am sympathetic and only wish that there was indeed a way to have an update or warning page.
i was wondering when a thread with this topic would be created...
Trip Advisor has one single post (among many) with a thread of 2,611 comments! Eshhh - how do you wade through that??? It started back on Sept 15th. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g2...
@sirgaw ... now that's what I call an Act of God and divine retribution ... time to go to confession, invest in a fragment of the True Cross and buy a few indulgences to make atonement (sorry, my Catholic roots are showing ... excuse me whilst I go and self flagellate!)
Lazy, newbies, what can I say...but as long as we keep helping these people out, maybe they will stay a while longer and tell us how their trip went and write their experience of their travels. and take pictures too. i like pictures. cheers tommy x
There have been many discussions and suggestions for VT to add a "Current Events" tab (or something similar) I have personally brought this up (and have been dismissed for it) as it was not felt necessary. Usually my examples were visa changes in Azerbaijan or political upheaval in Kyrgyzstan or other similar off-the-beaten track destinations. But this has shown a real need for an "Current Events" tab. The forum is inundated with the same question a million times over. With a "Current Events" tab, there could be a sticky notice (like on Thorn Tree) so that the discussion could continue on 1 thread, not 1,000 different ones.
I think Fluffy Bunnys current events tab sounds a great idea...might be a little complex to administrate but could create another dynamic strand for VT
We have a major alerts section on our The_Downunder_Mob page for Australia (A VT Group page) but how do folk know to go there. We have asked VT to think about this....Not much good if nobody knowsit is there .
fluffy bunny has a great idea and I second the motion!!!! I hope VT administraters read this and respone??????????????Need a spell chick button too we can make apps for that cheers tommy x
Think I already seconded it Tommy and you thirded it! :)
I'm pretty sure that a section for breaking news is in the plans - just not sure when they thought they could implement it? I haven't seen Thorn Tree's but agree that we need something for posting latest updates/gathering questions. Not sure that one long thread is the answer? I know I mentioned the TA Bangkok thread with 2,611 comments (probably more than that now)? Who is going to scroll through that many? And people will want to post questions pertaining to very specific areas that blanket alerts will not satisfy. The thing will also need to be closely moderated so one alert can be taken down when no longer relevant, and others put up as situations change. With multiple events going on throughout the world, and current status sometimes changing rapidly, this involve quite a lot of hands-on management. Might take some noodling to come up with the best way to do this with the least amount of staff involvement while ensuring that the information being posted is correct? The sources may be as important as the updates themselves: we do know that some individuals magnify inconveniences out of proportion where others are dismissive of real dangers. How do we know that what is being posted is always timely and accurate? Just thinking aloud here - might be a good conversation to have?
Over to MAG, Kate??
That's probably where it belongs, Julie.
I just took another look at that Trip Advisor flood thread (which is up to 3,468 entries now) and had to chuckle a bit at this response by one of several Bangkok locals answering the kajillion "should I go?" queries. Q: "Are you getting tired of answering the same questions?" A: "Ah.. it can get a little tiresome, but its human nature (especially here on TA) to ask a question without checking to see if that same question might have already been asked. But people don't change so we keep answering :)"
Its like that with me in the Morocco forum - I keep an eye out there for any action there and so many times its still the same questions and the most basic ones and so its an ongoing job to encourage esp new vters to go check out the info thats in the travel pages available...does drive you a bit nutty at times when even just scrolling down a question or two in the forum that will find the same question answered....