Monday 27 January 1997
Travel Insight (http://www.compuserve.co.uk/ ukinsight/) is produced by two of Britain's most experienced travel journalists - Roger Bray (ex- London Evening Standard) and Jeff Mills (ex-Travel Weekly) - and offers a solid mix of news, reference material and features. There's a useful section on health and related risks around the world, which is enough to put you off leaving these shores at all, a few interesting features by Bray and Mills and a compilation of holiday bargains (intriguingly symbolised by a shiny dustbin). Whether your definition of a bargain will include a seven-night holiday in Norway costing pounds 790, I'm not sure.
The design is clean and clear but makes little use of the power of the Web. There are few pictures, no tricky stuff and no reader feedback; I found only a couple of external links - one of them to the Foreign Office site, where you can read even more dire warnings about disease and terrorists. Signposting and structure are slightly weird in places; only by clicking on "skiing" in the features section did I discover an excellent little ski news department.
The editors have hit on the spicy idea of commenting with statesmanlike authority on news items. Carrying this through sensibly looks likely to be a bit of a burden, though. At the foot of a piece about booking ski holidays in advance, we get this nugget: "Some commentators believe the pound will have to fall again before too long, so this could be a good year to pay up front." Well, call me old-fashioned, but there must be an equal weight of commentators who take a different view, or the value of the pound would not be sustained at its present level for a moment longer.
Travelmag (http://www.rednet.co.uk/travelmag/) is in its 20th edition, and claims to have won all sorts of awards from the usual arbiters of Web status. I'm at a loss to know quite why. The features cover tantalisingly exotic experiences and some are competently written, but others appear to be written by holiday-makers with no sense of structure or style. The "Regulars" section is composed with an eye more to amusing than to informing the reader.
What Travelmag does have is a fat links section, which is a great place in which to stumble around for an hour or two, perhaps dipping into some travellers' diaries as well as gathering information from the sites of tour operators, publishers, governments and so on. If you want to use the Web to explore the world without leaving your PC, this is a good place to start.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Life & Style blogs
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
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