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Turkey Travel Planner / Misleading & Subjective Information

1 Turkey Review updated:
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Tom is soooo full of ###, his Turkey Travel Planner is sooooo subjective for only 1 reason and that is to pocket 1000's of $ from the places he recommends. He used to be an author for the lonely planet but who is to say he is right? what I find very interesting is I know for a fact he lives a free life while in Turkey. Using scare tactics on his website he takes advantage of the traveler. Now for a guy who claims to know Turkey and offers so much information "For the record, I use Turkish travel agencies for virtually every trip I take to Turkey. I may make a few reservations myself, but I leave most of the arrangements to the agents. It's easy, cost-effective, efficient, and if something goes wrong I can call them and tell them to fix it. It's the best use of my time". The devil is in the detail... he will "tell them to fix it" on the other hand he scares you by discriminating the others... . This blood sucker lives on commissions and advert money via pay per click thru google. Look at the larger picture, he is using his old credentials to take advantage of you... it is such a commercial site hardly anyone notices... I will give you at least 100 examples to prove my point. More to come...

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  • To
      10th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Let's look at this complaint:

    1. I use Turkish travel agencies. They know how to make travel arrangements better than I do. I still can't figure out what the problem is with that. I recommend a small number of agencies that I have used, and of which I know the owners personally, and I know how they work. This makes it more likely that they will deliver high-quality, value-for-money services to other travelers. It also makes it easy for me to mediate between traveler and travel agency on the occasional problem or misunderstanding. I wish I could recommend more agencies, but Turkey has hundreds of travel agencies. I could not possibly keep track of them all, and presenting users of my website with hundreds of choices would make it difficult for them to choose.

    2. "This blood sucker lives on commissions and advert money via pay per click thru google." Keeping a 5000-page website up to date takes a lot of time and money. Unlike with travel guidebooks, where the traveler paid me by buying my books, all the information I research and organize for is published to the world for free. Advertising is the main source of revenue for my website, just as it is for newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. As for commissions, they have been the basis of revenue in the travel industry ever since the first travel agents set up little offices onshore at ports to sell steamship tickets. Travel information services such as Expedia,,, etc. which we use "for free, " all receive commissions for connecting travelers with service providers. That's how they pay their bills.

    3. "...he is using his old credentials to take advantage of you." I have not worked on a Lonely Planet guidebook for ten years. When I did, I had perhaps 50, 000 readers per year. receives 3.5 million readers per year from 213+ countries, and the number of readers (visitors) has increased by 34% so far this year (2010). I greatly enjoyed working with Lonely Planet for nearly two decades, but that work is now ancient history. is not successful because of past work. It is successful because it is useful to travelers. Here are some of their comments:

    4. This complaint purports to reveal "secrets" about my website by...quoting my website! If I put it on the website for the world to read, it's not exactly secret. I'm open about what I do. I invite comments to be posted on my TTP forums. I know that comments will be posted on other travel forums. There are few secrets in the Age of the Internet.

    5. But here's a secret: the identity of "travel watch Dog." We don't know who s/he is, we don't know what sort of axe s/he may have to grind. From her/his comments, my guess is that it is someone associated with a travel business that I have not mentioned or recommended on TTP. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend every travel business. There are only so many hours in a day, and days in a year. I can tell you that it is not helpful either to this person's business, nor to Turkish tourism, to rant profanely and inanely about a legitimate source of travel information.

    One last note: look at a page on Google ads at the top and both sides; display ads; video ads. This is how the website pays its bills. Interestingly, YOU supply the content (complaints and compliments), they collect the money. If it receives enough content from users, may become a useful service, except that apparently there is no mechanism for screening out illegitimate rants posted by anonymous ranters.

    Tom Brosnahan

  • Tr
      12th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Dear Mr. Brosnahan,

    I don't understand why you think the initial complaint you commented on is illegitimate, except for the rude language!
    Point 1; Surely you have the right to recommend and to use scare tactics to sell your point, it's the internet age & you are using the old trick of "scare to sell" very well and no one can object to this but can you explain for what reason you need to mediate between the customer and travel agent, unless it's your customer or you have a legal obligation for this? You can't be following up on every complaint surely! unless you are some sort of angel? Aren't there consumer rights in Turkey or an organization called TURSAB which I'm sure you respect and trust as well. Turkey doesn't have hundreds of travel agencies as you said, but more than 3000 and of course you can not recommend even %10 of this which is quite normal. But can you at least write on your website why you are recommending the ones you are? Although you claim that your work with Lonely Planet is ancient history, thats not what your description says on Google, I have attached for you to see...

  • Tr
      12th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Turkey Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan
    Offering travel planning guidance, information, tips and photos by Tom Brosnahan, author of many Lonely Planet and Frommer's guidebooks to Turkey. - Cached - Similar

  • Ot
      26th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    I agree with the complaint because of the recent case of "Backpackers", a highly recommended tour and transfer company in Istanbul which worked very hard to receive a terrible image by continuously self-advertising with mostly false or solicited posts, against the rules in Trip Advisor and provided terrible service to a bonafide visitor. This is one of the companies recommended by Mr. Brosnahan.

    Also, there have been too many cases of people not being happy with his recommended restaurants in Istanbul, and many local people who frequently eat out have said they know nothing about them.

    Finally, his response is typical of a guilty person becoming aggressive towards justified criticism. I would have sided with the complainer just on the basis of Mr. Brosnahan's response.

  • En
      26th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Hi folks,

    I have read that complaint. Tom Brosnahan, singlehandedly with his 5, 000 page website, which describes in great detail all the solutions for the needs of an average tourist to Turkey, has done more for Turkish tourism than all the promotional and informational efforts of Turkish Tourism Ministry combined. I congratulate him for that. He gave an excellent answer to his unfair accuser.

    Turkey is a very dynamic country and things change very fast here. Businesses open and close, quality of services change, managements and owners change, etc. It is only normal and natural that Tom Brosnahan may miss the mark in a few recommendations among thousands in the website. In any case every informational website or blog is outdated the date it is published but I realize that super human effort is extended to constantly update that particular website. Obviously the original complaint is made (in a very vulgar language using profanities) by a disgruntled businessman, most possibly from Sultanahmet area, simply because Mr. Brosnahan has not included his business among his recommendations. As unfortunate as it is, such is the level of competition among tourism businesses in that area.

    Tourism business deals with people. As such, it is simply impossible to satisfy all the people all the time 100%. Businesses are all run by people and people do make mistakes. What is important is that they acknowledge their mistakes, apologize and try to make mends with their unhappy customers, take lessons from their mistakes and try to never repeat the same mistake. What I look at is the overall performance of any business, with some complainers nothwithstanding. Some people will find something to complain about the highest Michelin star restaurant or the highest rated hotel in the world. That does not take away from the value of the business one bit. It is the overall high performance that counts.

  • Bo
      8th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Dear Enigma2007,

    You've become a member to Complaints Board "APRIL 26 2010" from Turkey! Now that's very interesting! and quoted the following " Tom Brosnahan, singlehandedly with his 5, 000 page website, which describes in great detail all the solutions for the needs of an average tourist to Turkey has done more for Turkish tourism than all the promotional and informational efforts of Turkish Tourism Ministry combined " wooooooow you must have received a really substantial kick back!!! or are listed on his website!!! Just to set the record straight, the Tourism Ministry DOES NOT! profit from google or such online ad's nor does it profit from individual travellers by recommending businesses!!! their funding comes from the Turkish taxpayers, so how can you even make the comparison? Does your friend Tom think like you as well? hmmmm I'm very anxious to find out. You are right in your own way, "Tom does not spend the 1.2 Billion USD annualy to promote and run Turkish Tourism but has benefited from it by kick-backs from hotels, carpet shops, restaurants and you name it! All from the comfort of his home in USA, although he seems to be friendly and the guy who knows Turkey blah blah blah and warns you about things, he owes this to bad publicity he is creating about 1 place and luring the innocent reader to another place!!! That's sickening!!

    here are a few figures from the Turkish Tourism statistics...
    Ministry Budget: 1.2 Billion USD!
    Ministry Staff: 68.000
    Registered travel agents: more than 6000
    Licenced Guides: more than 9000
    Overlooking & inspecting: hotels & properties with a value more than 23 Billion USD
    Tourism GDP: 12 Billion!!!

    So why don't we give 'Tom's' share? Maybe 7 Billion USD?
    Nationalities visiting Turkey: German, French, Russian and other European & Middle Eastern Countries... more than 8 Million!!! out of 11 million in total visiting Turkey. Billions of dollars investment in hotels, infrastucture, education, roads, So you think this is due to Tom Brosnahan? You are a disgrace to the Turkish people and in denial of your own values!
    and you're telling us 'Tom' has contributed more than the Tourism Ministry?

    If I were to write the duties and involvement of the Ministry it would take more than 5000 pages, Also involved with the every day running of Turkish Tourism activities, supporting local communities, dealing with different aspects of the history, culture, structure, hotels, guides transport of Turkey! If you are to compare the number of pages as to who contributes more to Turkish Tourism, the government statistics, reports, project, evaluations, internal pages, add up to more then 10000 and if you have any doubt I will send you the online links to these.

    Not to mention private travel & tourism companies who are regulated strictly and pay back taxes and support more than 10 million people with wages, they have been spending millions of USD to promote Turkey! Tom Brosnahan is benefiting from Turkish Tourism rather than giving back to it, it's like saying Turkish Tourism is run by Tom Brosnahan in your own words! You show me 1 dime this guy has put back to the Turkish economy or to a local community or to anything in Turkey. Lets make Tom the tourism minister then the Turkish tourism sector will booom! You must be joking or you are highly dillusional!!!

    To claim that 'Mr. Brosnahan' has contributed to Turkish tourism which ranks Top 10 in the world, more than the countries official ministry and more than 8 MILLION people working in this sector, now that's a serious lack of vision!

    The only thing I agree with you is people can complain about even the best service, but you must not forget the customer is always right! I am not a disgruntled businessman nor even am I a businessman or have any business interest at all with your friend. But I'm sure you have some kind of relation with this guy, here's why again your own words "Obviously the original complaint is made (in a very vulgar language using profanities) by a disgruntled businessman, most possibly from Sultanahmet area, simply because Mr. Brosnahan has not included his business among his recommendations. As unfortunate as it is, such is the level of competition among tourism businesses in that area." You have worked out everything wooooooow.

  • Sr
      3rd of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    Based on Mr. Brosnahan's glowing review of Backpacker travel agency's airport private transfer service, I booked a transfer from my hotel to Ata Turk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, for January 1, 2011 paying the equivalent of 20 Euros for myself and three family members. Turns out I was swindled by this company. I had booked the transfer for 5.15 AM for an 8 AM departure. To cut to the chase, no shuttle showed up. I had to hire a taxi from my hotel to get to the airport and made it just in time for my flight. I tried to contact the agency by telephone before I hired the taxi, but of course no one picked up the phone. I think the company deliberately conned me out of 20 Euros. They have picked the perfect con - think about it; most people that book airport transfers are international travelers (like myself). Once you make alternative arrangements to get to the airport and leave the country, you will not be able to confront them to get your money back. So it is an easy 20 Euros for them, like taking candy from a child. I am going to post my experience in as many travel forums as I can to warn other travelers not to be taken by this unscrupulous company.

  • Pa
      7th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    Hi, I have only read a slight amount of this complaint but do agree in part with the complaint. Tom is not subjective as he does rely on income from his site. I tried to ask him to talk about kadikalesi which is just outside Bodrum in Turkey. I wanted him to put a review on his site about this location and put my link on the site However he did want money for this privaledge and rather a lot at that so decided not too go ahead with this. I offered to give a rounded view on the windsurfing locations in Turkey as I have extensive knowledge of all the locations in Turkey and can give the best advice for these however he declined. This is fair enouth as he has done a lot of work and gives general good information, has done a lot of work to get his site high in google ratings, even if it is a little bit dated.

    Having worked as a travel agent there is always a sence of biaz, whether that the agent makes more commission for certain products etc. The only truely objective information is from friends.


  • An
      22nd of Apr, 2013
    0 Votes

    Guys, This EASY TRIP PLANNERS PVT LTD is an fraud company which cheats most of the people obvioulsy those who were been using credit cards. So please be aware of them

  • Se
      12th of May, 2014
    0 Votes

    I have to agree with the complaints against Mr Brosnahan. His site is highly selective, biased and subjective. I flew with a balloon company not recommended by the all knowing Mr Brosnahan and shock horror it was a highly satisfactory experience I guess they didn't offer to bribe him! He talks at length about the service his chosen three provide. It's flying a balloon there is only so much any company can offer. His comments about not filling baskets are rubbish as I personally counted the number of people in the neighbouring balloon (one of the ones referred to and the number of occupants matched the number stated on the basket). He also waffles on about higher numbers making the balloon unsafe. This is untrue as a bigger basket=bigger balloon. But I guess physics is not Toms strong suit lol! The site itself is a disaster impossible to navigate with ease and I could not find anywhere to leave a comment . It would appear all those glowing references are moderated by Tom in advance. Here is some advice for Tom self praise is no praise!

  • Yv
      24th of Feb, 2016
    +1 Votes

    When I was planning a trip to Turkey I found the process very difficult until I stumbled upon To Brosnahan and his incredibly helpful site and articles about areas I was researching. Down to train and bus timetables. Try that one on your own whingers.
    Thanks a million Tom you helped make our trip organised, efficient and most enjoyable. Couldn't have done it without you. Returning next year and I know who I will be turning to for advice.
    Tom was also very courteous and helpful when I approached him with a curly question.
    What's wrong with a person earning a living by being super helpful? A bit of the old green eyes monster here I think.

    All hotels we used had heard of him and in Cappadocia we were upgraded from a standard room to a suite at no extra cost in a fabulous cave inn.

    Get over yourselves.

    Yvonne New Zealanc

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