Just answer the question honestly without bias

On Tripadvisor recently, a 20-something couple asked for advice on which resort to choose.  They wanted good beaches, nice excursions and upmarket restaurants, but were not into clubbing. The advice given was go north, this is the best, this is real, this is traditional, everywhere else is man-made and geared to the young.  While this reply may be correct it is certainly not the only area that meets the posters criteria. In fact there are probably a lot more suitable resorts.  However, this is not a one off reply; it happens time after time that a group of TA experts manage to praise one area while condemning another.  Yet some of these “members who are extremely knowledgeable about this destination”, by their own admission, have rarely, if ever, visited the south.

I find it infuriating that so often, the ill-informed scoff the south of Tenerife as not being the “Real Tenerife”.  In some rather snobbish way the south is seen as falling short. This is the part of the island I love and know and I am curious to understand the prejudice and its apparent shortcomings.

I am not blind to its faults. I watched the Tenerife Uncovered TV programme that concentrated on the 18-30 age group party capital, yet never hinted this is a tiny area, in fact just a 200 metre stretch of clubs and pubs (but that wouldn´t make for TV shock appeal).  Yet this is what is always perceived as Las Americas and criticised as being brash and over-developed.

We are told the north of the island, specifically Puerto de la Cruz is “traditional”  but those that tell us rarely tell the would-be visitor about the poorly designed high-rise hotels thrown up in the 60s and 70s some of which, let’s be honest, are a permanent eyesore on parts of this beautiful region.   They also forget to mention that just like the south; the north has been affected by the influx of expats.

When asked about attractions, we always hear about Loro Parque (excellent and well worth a visit); occasionally the Lido (but no match for Siam Park) but it is like pulling the proverbial “hens teeth” to find out what else is available without catching a local bus and travelling to towns further along the coast.  I don´t know many teenagers who find a visit to see a Drago Tree or even the magnificent Teide the highlight of their holiday.   The gardens are magnificent, but not everyone is interested in gardening, or having visited once want to visit again and nobody recommends Pueblo Chico – why?  IMO it is something that appeals to all ages.

Anyone who stays in the Las Americas area knows that they have every type of excursion and entertainment imaginable to hand.  Yet to the blinkered few, giving the tourist (and let’s not forget the island relies on the holiday-maker) what they want seems to be a failing.

The majority of these Puerto supporters tell us they return to the same accommodation, same months, year after year, but never hire a car to explore where the bus can´t take them.  If they did they might find there is a lot more to the island than their preconceived notions. They would realise the traditional Tenerife they enthuse over, starts 5 minutes outside of many southern resorts, often within walking distance.   What these so called ‘experts’ don’t seem to realise is that it is easier to promote Tenerife for what it is, something for everyone, rather than subject visitors to their personal prejudices.

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6 Responses to Just answer the question honestly without bias

  1. Tenerife Nell says:

    I agree that, due to the size of the machine that is Trip Advisor and its forums, which can and should be a great information service, it is now important that TA take a look at this creature that they have created and take responsibility for it. They should at least consider the quality of previous submissions by posters prior to automatically granting them Destination Expert status. I also think that they should have a certain standard of grammar, punctuation, spelling and absolutely no use of text language but that’s probably just me so we won’t go there!

    I also agree that Tenerife has something for everyone, that everybody has different likes and dislikes and there is no one-size fits all. It is impossible to answer questions like “what is the best area to stay in?”, “which is the best restaurant?”, “which is the best hotel?” or “where can I find the best entertainment?” without knowing a lot more detail from the person asking the question and even then it can only be an opinion. It’s a bit like the age-old scenario whereby some people judge the food in a restaurant by the number of chips that can possibly be accommodated on the plate, whereas others judge by how artistically the piece of chicken, 2 carrots, 2 green beans and a potato are “drizzled” with the pretentiously-named sauce!

    I love the whole of Tenerife and, in the meantime until it can be my permanent home, I try to explore a little bit more of it each time I’m there but know that there is a lot more I have yet to experience. 😉

    • You are obviously a regular visitor to the island so know what to expect: it is the first timers and those who haven’t been for a long time I feel for as they can so easily be misled and end up spending a lot of money on a holiday that is unsuitable for their tastes.

  2. dragojac says:

    Well I didn’t know that. I often wondered how some people became experts. I absolutely agree about there being some sort of selection criteria. I’ve noticed that some people even think that DEs are employed by TA.
    Ultimately, it could ruin TA’s credibility if they don’t introduce a better selection process…especially when there are more and more sites with real experts appearing 😉

  3. dragojac says:

    I totally agree that it’s completely inappropriate to advise people on the best place to stay based on a personal preference rather than what is clearly most suitable to the person asking the question. Some people really aren’t suited to PDLC and others won’t find what they want from a holiday in PDLA. But as you point out, that’s the beauty of Tenerife – ‘something for everyone’.

    It drives me mad on TA when people make sweeping comments about parts of the island that they don’t know anything about and possibly have never visited.
    But, being a northerner I see it from the other side. One of the reasons I registered with TA was because of the amount of misinformation being written about north Tenerife and Puerto in particular. The number of times I’ve read that Puerto hasn’t got a beach, nightlife is quiet blah, blah, blah…and don’t get me started on the weather lol. Half the time from people who have spent little time in the place… if at all.

    Personally I think it would be better for Tenerife if people on TA who don’t really know a place well, refrained from mentioning it altogether.
    But that ain’t gonna happen. So we’ll just have to continue to gnash our teeth and put people right when they get it oh so wrong.

    As for Puerto itself, well you know I live there and think it’s a wonderful place, so don’t go along with your assessment. The newer part isn’t attractive and there are some eyesores that should be pulled down, but these are the negatives. The plus points far outweigh these. And no I wouldn’t necessarily mention that side of Puerto when promoting the town… just the same as I don’t concentrate on PDLA’s negative points first when someone asks what it’s like : )

    • Perhaps if TA had some sort of selection criteria for destination experts it might help. Did you know they can nominate themselves? and because of the badge people think they know what they are talking about. Well they might as far as one hotel, a particular bus route or attraction is concerned but DESTINATION !! Their post count whistles up which the uninitiated think indicates useful information when in a lot of cases it is chat and posting on their DEs only forum. Oh don´t get me started !! 😉

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