Universal appeal

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Whether travel agents, or anybody else for that matter, knows it or not, that knot-in-the-stomach feeling they get when faced with the Internet's place in their profession largely is based on a fear of the unknown. Nobody can keep up, much less chart the future course of this level five techno-hurricane.

Look, for instance, at the new joint venture between America Online and Universal. Kiosks will be set up at Universal's Islands of Adventure offering visitors free Internet access through AOL. They can check their e-mail, check out AOL, check out Universal ads. Oh, they can even get information about the park they're in.

Now, who in the world needs to check their e-mail between thrill rides? The way I see it, if you're that indispensable, you have somebody back at the office handling these things.

That leaves those people who think the world will stop if they're not around to keep it spinning. Wait a minute, maybe this is a good idea after all.

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