1. I think while there is a valid concern about the Swine Flu and the potential for a pandemic that could sweep across the planet, the media’s coverage in general seems to border more on sensationalism than pure reporting and analysis (…just ask VP Joe Biden).

The media’s over-reaction in turn instills a near-panic mentality among travel consumers, which in turn has a deleterious knock-on effect not only on travel to / from Mexico, but on the worldwide travel industry at large.

2. I also think that it is precisely in times like these – when the media, the travel industry and the public are all in a state of panic – that by putting their talents to work, the truly creative and clever travel affiliate marketers can make a lot of money.  As the old adage goes, ‘one man’s crisis is another’s opportunity’…how true.

3. I remain stymied in understanding why the cruise industry (with the major exception of Carnival Cruise Lines) neglects affiliate marketing as a viable distribution channel.  The potential industry-wide savings on distribution costs is enormous.

4. I think American travel suppliers and travel affiliate marketers can enhance their business performance, marketing capabilities and vendor-affiliate relationship management skills by embracing some of the more successful affiliate marketing strategies and tactics of their European (and in particular, UK) counterparts.

We particularly like the fact that many UK travel suppliers pay their affiliates at the time of booking/final payment, rather than after the travelers return from their trip/vacation/holiday.  Paying at time of booking/final payment is a tremendous incentive for UK travel affiliates, driving many of them to invest more time, effort and money in their travel campaigns.  In turn, these investments then generate greater sales for the travel suppliers, which then result in greater commission and spiffs for the affiliates.  In business parlance, this payment scheme is a true ‘virtuous circle’, one that provides a win-win for both parties, every time.

5. I think I speak for everyone involved in affiliate marketing in applauding the efforts of Melanie Seery and her colleagues at Affiliate Voice as they seek to develop an industry-wide Code of Ethics, as well as the first true association whose mission is to advance the interests of the affiliate marketing profession in both the commercial and legislative arenas.

Our industry has long lacked such a professional and unified association, and in many ways, has suffered as a consequence.  We wish Melanie and Affiliate Voice much success!