EXCLUSIVE: Sordid Tales of Power and Corruption Plague Tnooz Editor Kevin May!

Six months ago, Tnooz launched as the preeminent provider of news, analysis, and commentary to the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. On the surface, all appears to be going smoothly, but after undertaking the most dangerous investigative reporting assignment in journalistic history, the seamy underbelly of the Tnooz dynasty, and its puppet-master, Editor Kevin May have come to light.

Kevin May, iron-fisted ruler of nodes

Don’t believe the picture on the Tnooz web site – This is the real Kevin May

One only needs to look as far as Kevin’s denigrating treatment of his fellow Tnooz writers to know something was seriously wrong… Where other Editors would respectfully refer to field journalists as reporters or correspondents, Kevin prefers to call his minions “nodes.” Despite being resentful for being referred to as a swollen, knotlike mass of tissue, none dare leave Tnooz for fear of retribution resulting from May’s inexorable wrath.

Iron-fisted Control of the Global Travel Industry
Kevin May thrives in the murky shadows that encircle the edges of the travel industry. By design, his influence is not perceived by the traveling public, but the mere mention of his name strikes fear in the hearts of even the most experienced travel industry executive.

May regularly reviews, adjusts statistical results and aggressively edits all research produced by PhoCusWright and Forrester to align reports precisely with his prescribed view of the future. Norm Rose, PhoCusWright technology analyst provides an example “ Kevin has forced me to write extended dissertations on the resurgence of Fax technologies. Fortunately, he’s so out of touch with reality that he doesn’t realize we never published the work.”

Perhaps the core of May’s power comes from his systematic control of the underlying technologies responsible for travel pricing and inventory control. If a global distribution system, online travel company, hotel chain or airline refuses to play according to Kevin’s rules, there is a price to be paid. Timothy O’Neill-Dunne attributes “every major travel system outage over the past 10 years has been a direct result from Kevin’s unique approach to Quid Pro Quo.”

His breadth of power does not stop with travel industry technology, but permeates every aspect of global travel. Even the most minor and unintentional slight to Kevin typically results in massive flight delays, lost luggage, cancelled hotel reservations, or even, unrelenting episodes of food poisoning. “Check through the passenger lists of those flights that were stranded on the tarmac for 8 hours” hints Rezgo CEO Stephen Joyce. “You’ll always find one of Kevin’s enemies on the flight.. Weird thing is, the people never have any idea that he considers them an enemy.”

Unhealthy Fascination with Narcotics & Firearms
With a personal security detail rivaling the size of a small militia, Kevin manages to stay out of trouble – no matter how far he crosses over the line

“His unconventional interviewing style frankly freaks people out” reflects Apical Resources’ Alan Young. “People just never get used to answering controversial questions at gunpoint. Plus, he just won’t listen to reason – Russian Roulette is supposed to be played with only one bullet in the chamber, not with only one empty chamber – once he gets an idea in his head, he becomes totally inflexible.”

Legendary among his inner circle of confidantes, May’s drug fueled, hallucinatory binges reportedly began after a string of prison sentences for habitual substance abuse and weapons violations when he was only eight years old. He once told me “The teachers at my primary school were weak, someone had to take charge.” quotes Tnooz North American Editor Dennis Schaal. He continues, quoting May as stating, “ A few disagreed with my bringing automatic weapons and grenade belts into the classroom, but no one can deny that there was not a laser-like focus on the tasks at hand.”

“What people don’t realize is, that when Kevin gets in this state (which typically represents approximately 65% of his waking hours,) he is highly unpredictable, swift and merciless… There are never surviving witnesses…” confesses Open Travel Alliance Executive Director Valyn Perini.

Serial Womanizing
Powerful men have an irresistible effect on women, but Kevin May is different. There’s not an A-list male celebrity in Hollywood who doesn’t claim to be a drinking buddy of Kevin May. When out on the town with Kevin, they all agree, they thrive on the adrenaline rush from hanging on for the ride.

May’s close buddies Tiger Woods and Jesse James both wound up in deep trouble this past year after unsuccessfully attempting to challenge May’s personal record of 18 simultaneous relationships. His appetite is reportedly insatiable. “Why do you think I live in Singapore and travel constantly?” added Siew Hoon Yeoh. “I’m trying to keep my distance from this guy.”

It is the plight of the Tnooz fan girls that begins to bring to light to the number of lives permanently scarred by this monster. Women ranging in age from their late teens to early eighties fall prey to his irresistible charisma, like insects drawn to an open flame – and their fate is not much better. Last seen crowding backstage areas of travel conferences where May presents or moderates, most are never heard from again after May selects his prey. HoteliTour blogger Claude Bénard describes unsubstantiated rumors insisting “the women all now live happily in the Seychelles – the chain of Islands Kevin received in lieu of payment for a business debt nine years ago.”

Suffering from acute denial, Kevin attributes his lifestyle choices as resulting from the pressures of producing content for what Kevin described to Alex Bainbridge, TourCMS Managing Director as “what will soon to be the world’s only travel publication.”

Megalomaniacal Quest for Power
Kevin May is not worried about abusing his power. He believes only those without power whine about its abuse.

May recently established his Tnooz global headquarters inside the hollowed-out volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, another bit of real estate he acquired, this time, in a pre-dawn poker game at World Travel Market in 2005.

But May’s ultimate goal lies well beyond controlling the local, domestic and international travel of all earth’s inhabitants – he plans to control all media, beginning with a hostile takeover of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire. Tnooz Australia node Tim Hughes reports that Murdoch lives in mortal fear that May will one day arrive in Australia unannounced and seize control. “I am certain Murdoch would be powerless against Kevin’s will; he could only beg for leniency, which I doubt would be offered.”

VentureSprout Founder Elliott Ng asks, “What do you think is motivating Richard Branson to launch Virgin Galactic? Branson doesn’t want to send other people into space; he’s personally terrified of Kevin May and figures this is his only ticket off the planet.”

Kevin May is undoubtedly the most powerful individual in the world’s largest industry. It is a sad story that desperately needed to be told. One can only envy the courage and great personal risk taken by all who contributed to this story.

Please take special note of today’s publication date, April 1, 2010. If any of the individuals named in this article mysteriously goes missing at some point on or after April 1st, only a Fool would start searching anywhere else but Montserrat or the Seychelles…

About Robert Cole

Robert Cole is the founder of RockCheetah, a hotel marketing strategy and travel technology consulting practice. He also authors the Views from a Corner Suite Blog and publishes the Travel Quote of the Day. Robert speaks regularly at major travel industry conferences, authors articles for leading travel industry publications, advises travel-related startups and the equity investment community. He is an evangelist for the global travel industry.