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The term “junketeer” can be used in two senses. In the first and most common sense, a junketeer is someone who takes junkets, but the term also comes up in reference to people who organize junkets, especially people who organize junkets for profit. Junkets are a growing business in many regions of the world, with numerous people from a wide variety of industries taking regular junkets, so it is perhaps not surprising that the idea of specialized junketeers who profit from their endeavors has arisen.
A junket is a trip or journey taken largely for pleasure at the expense of the public. Politicians have historically gone on junkets to visit various sites of interest for self-promotional opportunities, and press have typically been invited to go along on such trips. The term is also used to reference trips paid for by companies with the goal of influencing people; for example, a company might pay for a trip to an exotic locale for a conference or discussion of its offerings, in the hopes that the people on the junket would return the favor by placing an order.
In the sense of someone who takes a junket, a junketeer is someone who takes advantage of the offer of a free trip and accompanying perks. Junkets often take people to interesting places for free, and they may be put up in pleasant hotels and offered gourmet meals to make the experience even more enjoyable. Junketeers can also look forward to distributions of various party favors on many junkets, receiving packets of take-home goodies which are sometimes quite valuable.
Junket organizers may come from within the company sponsoring a corporate junket, but the term “junketeer” in the sense of an organizer is often used specifically in reference to the casino and gambling industry. In this industry, a junketeer is someone who organizes a group trip and then expects to pocket a percentage of the amount of money the group gambles. The junketeer must plan the trip carefully, catering to the tastes of those going along for the journey in the hopes that they will be lulled into a relaxed attitude, leading them to gamble substantial sums.
Organizing a junket is no mean feat, especially when a crowd in involved. A junketeer has to make sure that all transportation, accommodation, and meals are arranged, taking care to cater to the needs of people with unusual dietary requests and other special needs. Junketeers must also make the trip fun while keeping the attendees focused on the goal of the junket, whether it be political or economic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a junketeer?
A junketeer is typically a person who goes on junkets, which are trips or excursions, often funded by someone else, such as a company or government. These trips are usually intended for promotional purposes, such as a journalist being invited by a movie studio to preview a new film and interview the cast. The term can carry a negative connotation, suggesting that the individual is partaking in these events for personal gain rather than professional reasons.
How did the term 'junketeer' originate?
The term 'junketeer' has its roots in the word 'junket', which historically referred to a sweet, custard-like dessert often served at medieval feasts. Over time, 'junket' came to mean a festive gathering or outing, and by the 19th century, it evolved to describe pleasure trips. The suffix '-eer' was added to create 'junketeer', denoting a person who frequently goes on such trips, often at another's expense.
Are junketeers only associated with the travel and entertainment industries?
While the term 'junketeer' is commonly associated with the travel and entertainment industries, it is not exclusive to them. Junketeers can be found in various sectors, including politics, where officials may be invited on fact-finding missions or goodwill tours, and in business, where influencers or journalists might be invited to experience a new product or service firsthand.
What are the ethical considerations surrounding junketeers?
There are significant ethical considerations when it comes to junketeers. Accepting trips or gifts can lead to conflicts of interest, particularly for journalists and public officials. The concern is that a junketeer might provide favorable coverage or treatment in exchange for the freebies received. Transparency and disclosure are critical to maintaining integrity; for instance, journalists often disclose when their travel was funded by a studio or company.
How do organizations justify funding trips for junketeers?
Organizations justify funding trips for junketeers as a necessary part of marketing and public relations strategies. For example, a movie studio might view a press junket as an investment in promoting their film, hoping that the coverage will generate public interest and increase box office revenue. Similarly, a government might sponsor educational trips for officials to foster better understanding and relationships with other nations or cultures.