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March 2005

Time For A Smile

We all know about Murphy’s Law: “ If anything can go wrong -- it will.   Below are some excerpts from The Ultimate Collection of Murphy's Laws  that we hope you’ll enjoy.

We invite you to submit your own “Murphy’s Laws of Innkeeping” versions, for publication in a future issue.  Some examples that come to mind:

 Murphy’s Laws of Innkeeping: 

  • The hot water only goes on the blink when you’re hosting a travel writer.
  • The weight of a guests’ luggage increases in direct proportion to the floor their room is on (the higher the floor, the heavier the suitcases).
  • The smaller the bathroom, the larger the guest.
  • The roof leaks, and housekeeping forgets to make up the room, when you’re hosting a first-time B&Ber.
  • The smoke detector battery goes off in a guest room at 3 a.m. on your first night away from the inn in months.

The Ultimate Collection of Murphy's Laws

Murphy's Original Law: If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.

Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong -- it will.

Murphy's First Corollary: Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

Murphy's Second Corollary: It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Quantized Revision of Murphy's Law: Everything goes wrong all at once.

Murphy's Constant: Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.

The Murphy Philosophy: Smile... tomorrow will be worse.



  1. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the first one to go wrong.
    Corollary - If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  2. If several things that could have gone wrong have not gone wrong, it would have been ultimately beneficial for them to have gone wrong.
  3. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
  4. If anything can't go wrong, it will anyway.
  5. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
  6. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  7. Everything takes longer than you think.
  8. You never find a lost article until you replace it.
  9. If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
  10. You get the most of what you need the least


Travel Trends

Big growth in pay-per-click: “Paid search is expected to grow faster than any other sector of online advertising, increasing from $2.6bn in 2004 to $5.5bn in 2009, according to a new study published by Jupiter Research.  Jupiter predicted that the online travel market will grow from $54bn in 2004 to $91bn in 2009, for instance, and online shopping will grow from $66bn in 2004 to $130bn in 2009.
Gen Xers now spend more per trip than Baby Boomers: In 2004, “the 60 million Americans from age 25-40 spent an estimated $2,140 per capita on overall travel involving a hotel stay, vs. boomers' $2,016, according to a preliminary estimate from travel researcher D.K. Shifflet & Associates. The larger boomer population still dominates on a total dollar basis — about $157 billion last year, vs. $130 billion for Xers. Vacation spending by Xers has soared 66% per trip in the past five years, vs. 25% among boomers, ages 41 to 59. These younger people are enjoying life," says Jim Caldwell of Shifflet. The generational change has significant implications for the travel industry. Compared with the 78 million boomers, Gen Xers are less brand loyal, less likely to call a travel agent, and less likely to plan far in advance. They're more likely to book online and pay for eye-catching extras, such as a Sierra Madre expedition in the Mexican outback.” More info

Online research; in-store purchase: “Nearly 75 % of respondents to a survey released yesterday by BIG research said they regularly or occasionally go online to research before making an in-store purchase

  • 79.8% of men said they research electronics before buying in-store.
  • 70.8% of women research travel online. Housing has the youngest average age, 40.3 years, for those who research online.
  • Travel has the oldest average age of online researchers at 44.1."

Internet travel use growing by affluent travelers: According to Nielsen//NetRatings, “The %age of Internet users in the US with household income exceeding $150,000 will increase from about 8.6 million in 2004 to over 10.3 million in 2005, a change of 19.8%. Details here

Internet fraud: A new study indicates that Internet fraud is pretty far down the list of causes of Internet fraud: “The Internet is safer from identity thieves than the offline world, says the new 2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report  from the Better Business Bureau and Javelin Strategy & Research. Of 4,000 consumers surveyed for the report, 509 had been victims of identity fraud, James Van Dyke, Javelin’s founder and principal analyst, tells 54% of them knew how the thief had gotten access to their personal information.

      1. Lost or stolen checkbook or wallet
      2. Friends, acquaintances or relative obtained access to personal


      3. Corrupt employee misused personal information
      4. Off-line transaction resulted in information falling into the wrong hands
      5. Stolen mail or fraudulent change of address resulted in fraud.
      6. Internet spyware
      7. Information taken from the garbage
      8. Information taken from an online transaction, a hacker or virus
      9. Email sent by criminal posing as legitimate business.


Our numbers show that fears about online identity fraud may be out of proportion to the relative risk, causing consumers to ignore the most glaring issues,” Van Dyke says. “Indeed, most instances of identity fraud occur through traditional channels and are paper-based, not Internet-based.’”

Women buy travel online: A new BURST! Media online survey “ finds that women convert from researching a specific online travel product to making an online travel purchase at a higher rate than men. This is notably true for car rentals and airline tickets. […] A similar proportion of men (55.0%) and women (56.9%) who research hotel accommodations also booked a room online. […] What makes these findings so interesting is that in BURST’s previous survey focusing on online retail habits and attitudes, women were more likely to research, while men were more likely to buy,’ says Chuck Moran, BURST! Media’s Market Research Manager. ‘But, when it comes to Travel, women’s behavior is different than their retail behavior.’

Business travel recovering: According to a new report from the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) business and convention travel is finally on the upswing. The report found that the majority of business travelers work at companies with one or more travel policies in place. Improvements in technology have also altered the business travel landscape, creating greater acceptance of online business communication technologies as an alternative to travel. Despite these challenges, business travel remains big business in the U.S. More than 38 million business travelers generated 210.5 million person-trips in 2003. And although business travel comprises 18% of total travel volume, these travelers generate 31%, or $153 billion, of all domestic traveler spending. Additional findings from the report:

  • A majority (57%) of business travelers are men; four in ten (43%) are women. Business travelers are an average age of 47 years, with 45% being Baby Boomers.
  • In-room Internet access (45%) and hotel fitness centers (43%) are used at least sometimes by the greatest share of business travelers.
  • Distance is increasingly playing a role in deciding whether to fly than in the past. Over 60 % of all business travelers said they are more likely to drive rather than fly on trips of 300 miles or less.

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