We're always on the lookout for ways of promoting our gîte in a cost-effective way. Being a large-ish place with catering provided, and best suited to groups, it doesn't lend itself to standard holiday promotion vehicles. So we keep our eyes and ears open.
I got a spam phone call from a part of Ryanair yesterday. The gist of the spiel was something like "we don't have enough places of your size in your area, so would you like us to promote you to our clients" Well, yes, if it doesn't cost anything.
Now I don't know about you, but I tend to assume that someone who says "your size" and "your area" doesn't in fact know where you are or what size you are. A second red flag is that Ryanair are trying to sell me something. Mr O'Leary has a reputation for financial astuteness, so I'm figuring that in any deal between me and Ryaniar, I might well come off worse unless I keep my wits about me.
So it turns out that this guy is basically flogging space on a Ryanair holiday website, and he persuaded me to at least take a look at it, so I did. After all, it might just be worth going for. It looked pretty standard holiday stuff to me, and not really appropriate for what we do, but out of curiosity, I contacted one of the advertisers and asked them if the site worked for them. This is the reply I got:
"No, always on vacation has not brought one single enquiry let alone a booking.
It's rubbish as far as I'm concerned."
Now it could be that this proprietor has found the Ryanair website to be a real goldmine and is lying through his teeth to keep the secret. After all, I have no way of verifying what he said. And a random sample of one can hardly be expected to be representative either. But those are both risks that I'm prepared to take. Some decisions are easier than others.