I have achieved a lot in my short life and The Walking Critic is just an extension of those achievements.
135,000 people have read my reviews on Trip Advisor alone and this grows by 10,000 new viewers a month. If medals could be awarded, I suppose I’d have quite a few stripes by now, especially as I’m ranked in the top 1% of all Trip Advisor reviewers in Western Australia.
I am also an Elite writer for Yelp (Elite ’17, Elite ’16 and Elite ’15), so there’s another badge of honour to my growing collection of metaphorical metal.
But there is a more humbling side to being a professional writer and that mantle comes with a huge amount of responsibility. I know what I write matters and I take it seriously. The Walking Critic is more than just a “voice”, it is a potent force. It has the power to benefit and harm a brand, especially in the hospitality and travel industries, where reviews can make or break a business.
Thankfully, I’m not a part-time, pop-up blogger. I’m an industry professional who can write. I am also an award-nominated businessman, a professional travel and food writer, an international marketing expert and a peer leader in the travel and hospitality industries.
I am the founder, creator and inspiration behind the award-nominated BlueSun travel brand, one of the top tourism names in the country.
My experience, prior to The Walking Critic, spans over 30 years and three continents. In that time, I was the editor of two magazines, Country magazine in England and Campaign Magazine in the USA, as well as a freelance style writer for the Washington Times newspaper. I was also the co-author of 50 Maps of Washington, DC (Spade & Archer) and more recently, a contributor to the West Australian newspaper. My media experience does not end there either.
I have worked with all three terrestrial TV networks in the United States of America (ABC, CBS and NBC), as well as being a consultant to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Newspaper Association and the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB). I have further been a consultant to political leaders from France, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, Japan Sweden and the United Kingdom.
In those roles, I also donated my time to non-profit groups, becoming a key-note speaker at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
In 1990, I was featured on the front cover of the Washington Business Journal for being a world leader in travel management. My clients even included the industry itself: IATA, the American Air Transport Association (AATA), the International Association of Air Traffic Controllers (IAATC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). My client list continued.
I have handled travel arrangements for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC), the Saudi Royal Family, the British Embassy, the South African Embassy, and a host of diverse celebrities of which the Rolling Stones, Burning Spear, Huey Louis and the News, the Jacksons, Lucky Dube, Madonna, Phantom of the Opera, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Lisa Stansfield, were but a few notables among many.
In 2003, my personal life took me to Australia. A year later, I started my next new venture: a charter boat booking company in Perth called BlueSun2. My job was to market the Kimberley coast for one charter boat vessel.
Three years later I was working with 35 charter boats. And here I am 12 years later owning one the most successful marine tourism “franchises” in the country:
In 2012, in recognition of our successes, I was chosen as one of five finalists (out of 5,000 companies in the country) for the prestigious Telstra Business Awards.
As I like to say, “If the future is going to be a sunny one, then it will be a Blue Sun.”