Searching high and low

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It has long been my contention that the two industries that supply me with a livelihood, --travel and travel publishing -- should borrow a page from a highly lucrative, if less high-minded line of work: Pornography.

My belief that the porn world took to the Internet like -- oh, let's just skip the obvious Pamela Anderson metaphor and use a duck-to-water comparison -- has never really been embraced by my colleagues, who seem loathe to delve into the topic.

Today my theory's integrity once again has been bolstered. While looking for a hotel room in Amsterdam, where I'll be staying for a few days following next week's ASTA blowout, I conducted the most basic of Web searches: I typed www.amsterdam.com into the URL field of my browser, figuring that wherever that path took me would surely lead to one hotel site or another.

I was only momentarily surprised to find that the site I was taken to was Escorts.com, a fledgling "companion location service" that currently is soliciting -- no pun -- escorts, clients, agencies and other businesses to join its ranks. Now that's what I call creative on-line niche marketing.

I'm still looking for a hotel room.

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