Recently I wrote an article for Skift pondering whether US travel media has a “blindspot bias” against picking Russia as a “best place to go” in those annual travel lists. I also talked about the subject on This Week in Travel, the most enduring and endearing travel podcast out there. (It begins at the 19:00 mark.)
This story has been building in me for several years. So I studied eight major US-based travel publisher lists and found that countries that host an Olympics or World Cup are 67% likely to be included.
That is, unless you’re Russia, when the rate drops to 12.5%.
I’m not asking that you or anyone go to Russia. (Though, as Wooderson says in Dazed & Confused, it would be a lot cooler if you did.)
I’m only asking travel writers and editors to consider if we have a blindspot for the world’s biggest country. (Or if writers who pitch “best of” entries simply don’t know Russia because they’ve not been offered free trips there.)
Travel, done right, fills gaps in perception that traditional journalism cannot fill. Feels like a missed opportunity, by travel experts, at a key time when Russia/US relations could use a reminder that, yes Sting, we all love our children too.