sealPurdue News

May 1999

Vacation plans: Separate the risky from sure thing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- When it comes to planning the summer vacation, how you plan says as much about you as where you go.

"Risk takers often get burned when it comes to vacations," says Joe La Lopa, assistant professor of restaurant, hotel, institutional and tourism management at Purdue University. That's because they often rely on slick brochures and advertising hype when choosing their vacation destination. He says Internet sites and brochures can feature outdated or unreliable photos and information. "If you embrace tragedy and comedy with the same enthusiasm, then planning your vacation that way may be for you," he says.

However, the more sensible travelers usually pick vacation spots based on the advice of trusted family and friends. La Lopa points out that most people travel because of relatives and friends, either to visit them, to attend reunions or simply to get in touch with their roots. He says planning where to go based on the advice of trusted individuals is usually a safe bet. "To be safe, ask them 'Have you been there? Did you like it? What did you do?'" he suggests.

La Lopa is an expert on service and hospitality management, and he studies the economic impact of tourism.

CONTACT: La Lopa, (765) 494-6218;

Compiled by: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-9723;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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