Friday, February 06, 2009

The road not to be travelled?

The folks in the tourist industry along Highway 16 are probably hoping that the Today show, MSNBC, CNBC and the MSN website, don't have a huge audience when the travel show comes along on each of their schedules.
Peter Greenberg, who handles tourist profiles for the various NBC properties as well as on the MSN website, has listed Highway 16 as one location to stay away from, based on the history of the Highway of Tears.
His examination of the Highway's history (though his count and the official count of the missing seem to be going in separate directions) resulted in him placing Highway 16 in his top ten places to stay clear from in his latest book, Don't go there!
His impressions were also included in an MSN slide show presentation on his Don't Go There website for the Internet portal, Highway 16 is the second slide of the eleven slide presentation, joining such other locations as Chernobyl, Ukraine, Lagos Nigeria and the garbage strewn streets of Naples Italy to name a few of the twelve.
The information below the slide outlines his thoughts on the highway: "Don't Go There!
Even what seems like a perfectly safe place to visit can be a deadly destination — on the road. Highway 16 in Canada is nicknamed the “Highway of Tears”; in 30 years, there have been at least 43 unsolved murders of women along this isolated highway".
The Terrace Standard discovered Mr. Greenberg's impressions of the region and posted a story on their website, and as would be expected his article has raised a few hackles in the comments section.
Numerous residents of the Northwest have pointed out what they feel are a few errors in his fact checking and have taken him to task for his overall impressions of an area, some suggest that he belittles a serious social issue in the Northwest with a throwaway line of avoid the highway. Many just wonder if he even visited the location fist hand before he decided to declare it a No Go Zone.

On his website he describes himself as such: I’m not their booster, I’m not their marketing partner. I’m out there to give you, hopefully, credible information so you can make intelligent, independent, reasoned decisions about where you spend your travel dollars.

One imagines that the various tourism organizations of the Northwest might be seeking the chance to at least answer some of his facts, as well as the negative connotations that he associates with the area.

And perhaps they might wish to remind him of the credible and reasoned decisions guidelines of his reviews, some of his facts may find a few folks wondering whether his findings fall into those categories.
Travel editor dubs Hwy 16 a no-go zone
Published: January 27, 2009 11:00 PM
Updated: January 28, 2009 5:52 AM

PETER GREENBERG – the Travel Editor for NBC’s Today show, CNBC and MSNBC – has dubbed Highway 16 as one of his must-miss places of the world in his new book, Don’t Go There!
“Even what seems like a perfectly safe place to visit can be a deadly destination – on the road. Highway 16 in Canada is nicknamed the “Highway of Tears”; in 30 years, there have been at least 43 unsolved murders of women along this isolated highway,” states Greenberg on the travel section of the MSN website, which names off 12 of his must-miss destinations.

Although Greenberg states that there are at least 43 unsolved murders along the highway, in October of 2007 when the RCMP announced that they were expanding their investigation back to 1969 – they stated that the total of missing or murdered women was 18.

But it was also in 2007 that Gladys Radek – the aunt of Tamara Chipman, who went missing while attempting to hitchhike from Prince Rupert back to Terrace in 2005 – said that she believed there were 43 murdered or missing women along the highway, by her estimate and public information.

Hwy 16 stretches from Prince Rupert to the outskirts of Winnipeg, Manitoba but the Highway of Tears is considered to be the stretch of highway from Prince Rupert to Prince George and on to Edmonton.

Greenberg’s biography describes him as the nation’s preeminent expert on travel and his new book – which was released Nov. 11, 2008 – focuses on where not to go, why you should never go and when not to go to places all over the world.
Some of his subjects include polluted countries and cities, the most dangerous theme parks, the stinkiest cities, dirty hotels with bedbugs, airports to avoid and highways to steer clear of, with Hwy 16 in the mix.

Some of the other destinations on the MSN website are Lagos, Nigeria and Nevada, USA for being dangerous destinations; Vermont, USA and Galway, Ireland for their polluted waters, western Kentucky for its stinky smell caused by cows and Naples, Italy for its stench from piling garbage.

Greenberg started his career in journalism, working as a west coast correspondent for Newsweek. It wasn’t until 1985 that he began working as a TV journalist, and it was in 1995 that he began his position as the Travel Editor for NBC.

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