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Imagery ©2016 TerraMetrics. Map data ©2016 courtesy of Google Maps.

Should You Feel Guilty Snagging an Orlando Travel Deal Now? No. Here is Why…

“T o put this into some perspective, Orlando is America’s number one tourism destination, welcoming 66 million visitors in 2015, a healthy 5.5% increase from the previous year. It is a massive mega-industry unto itself that has spent decades and billions of dollars cultivating an image as the happiest place on earth. Terrorists shootings and alligator attacks don’t feed that narrative.”

These are the words of Christopher Elliott in this article for Money which asks if you should feel guilty taking advantage of travel deals to Orlando in the wake of several tragedies which recently occurred — including the murder of singer Christina Grimmie; the massacre of 49 patrons of a gay nightclub; and the death of a little boy caused by drowning when an alligator snatched him and dragged him into a lagoon from a beach at a resort at Walt Disney World.

I say you should not feel guilty — and here is why…

Should You Feel Guilty Snagging an Orlando Travel Deal Now?

At any given time, there are destinations around the world which offer bargains to travelers due to a number of reasons — including the devaluation of currency and a depressed economy due to a number of factors…

…but before travel is addressed, what about examples of what could be considered taking advantage of the misfortunes of other entities? For example, when a food is recalled due to the possibility of contracting a serious illness, chances are you will avoid eating it — and you may not want to consume it again immediately after it has been declared safe. You would not be the only person who feels that way — which means that sales of that food would most likely decline. As an incentive, the manufacturers of that food may offer coupons or significant discounts to lure customers back into purchasing their product. You decide to take advantage of that offer. Should you feel guilty about it?

“Should those who go to Egypt feel guilty because of discounted prices?” was one question which was asked in the aforementioned article.

No, You Should Not Feel Guilty. Here is Why…

I say no, you should not feel guilty. In fact, I gave six reasons why you should visit Egypt now, as I did myself last year. The sixth reason was that you can help the economy, which is what Egypt desperately needs right now — especially after suffering several setbacks since I visited — including but not limited to the crash of an Airbus A321-200 airplane which operated as Metrojet flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh on its way to Saint Petersburg in Russia on Saturday, October 31, 2015 where all 224 people aboard the aircraft were killed; the hijacking of an Airbus A320 aircraft which operated as EgyptAir flight 181 from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday, March 29, 2016; and the disappearance and subsequent plunging into the Mediterranean Sea of an Airbus A320-232 aircraft operating as EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo.

Egyptians did not loathe my presence during my visit, thinking I was taking advantage of them. In fact, quite the opposite occurred, as most of them were very welcoming to me and did whatever they could to ensure that my visit was as successful as possible. I was even the guest of the day at one hotel simply because I rented a car and drove it in Cairo — something which I probably should not have done.

Ethical Reasons Why You Might Feel Guilty About Traveling Elsewhere

I do not believe that taking advantage of discounts and snagging good deals to visit other places is unethical — but there are those people who believe that the laws and practices of certain places preclude them from consideration in terms of traveling to them.

“I will not travel to North Carolina because their legislature voted for, and their governor signed into law, a ban on any local government creating anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation”, opined WAE — a reader of The Gate — in the comments section of this article pertaining to avoiding travel to North Carolina because of the “bathroom” law. “Laws should protect people from discrimination, not ban protecting people from discrimination.”

Regarding the alleged rape of a woman in Qatar where she was incarcerated for almost three months after reporting the crime and ultimately being convicted of engaging in extramarital sex, GUWonder — another reader of The Gatecommented that “It’s arrests like this that lead me to avoid spending a lot more time in the GCC countries, as they seem to do this kind of inhumane thing to rape victims and others as part of some kind of effort to continue the facade of being ‘very safe’ for one and all there. It just isn’t the case. Shame, shame on Qatar and other jurisdictions that arrest those reporting a crime without then pursuing a timely and fair prosecution for something like obstruction of justice.”

My thoughts are mixed on whether or not to visit a country due to ethical reasons. Yes, the governments where questionable laws and policies are permitted benefit from the money spent by visitors in those areas; but so would the innocent everyday people who are struggling to eke out a living when you directly patronize them. Observing the people on the streets of Manila as I was walking north on Taft Avenue is one of many times I have seen everyday people simply struggling to attempt to live out their lives in the best way possible. They do not set the policies of their governments; and they may not have even had a say in the shaping of their current governments.


When the question of feeling guilty about visiting Orlando was brought up by Adam of Point Me To The Plane, I was interested in reading what Christopher Elliott had to say. Christopher, you should have called me when writing that article — you have my telephone number — but I digress.

I personally believe the good people of Orlando — a place where I have visited many times — would be as appreciative of visitors as citizens of Egypt; and I believe that is the case whether or not those visitors took advantage of significant discounts to visit.

Sure, there are those people who would not have otherwise visited Orlando if no discounts were available — but their patronage can still be perceived as support for the beleaguered city. If you are one of those people, you are still helping the economy of Orlando — and just the mere fact that you are visiting helps the city to emerge from the depressing news of the past couple of weeks.

Take advantage of whatever discounts you might find and go visit Orlando. Go ahead and purchase the products and services of local merchants to help boost the economy. Perhaps even strike up a conversation with a few of the locals and show some support, as you will probably brighten their day…

…but do not feel guilty.

Imagery ©2016 TerraMetrics. Map data ©2016 courtesy of Google Maps.

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