Wikivoyage talk:The traveller comes first

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I kind of posted this as an idea that underlies our mission -- to create a free, complete, reliable and up-to-date world-wide travel guide. I just wanted a good place to point it out, and a starting point for discussion. -- (WT-en) Evan 13:41, 10 Oct 2003 (PDT)

"The traveler comes first" vis-à-vis locals[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Can anyone expound on potential ways a local in particular might stray from "the traveler comes first" when building their hometown's travel guide, and offer advice on avoiding that? — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 11:11, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

The problems I see most often coming from locals enthusiastic to make a guide on their hometown usually involve giving too many options, or all options, making it more like a phone book than a travel guide. If you put every single neighborhood park, it's hard for the traveller to pick out the best from the list. If you include loads of info on bus stops in obscure parts of town, it's harder for the traveller to find the info that's more likely to be relevant. If a city has 27 bowling alleys, we don't need to list all of them. To find the things he or she needs, the traveller shouldn't need to sift through lots of furniture repair shops, dermatologists, 13 McDonalds and 7 Subways, office supply stores, counciling centers, quilting clubs, realtors, catering services, day cares, public schools, community college rec rooms, and other stuff that travelers typically do not need. Sometimes locals get so wrapped up in trying to show their town has lots of options, and they forget that a travel guide's job is to help the traveller find the best options. Texugo (talk) 12:29, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! There was good advice out there already for business owners and other folks, but I couldn't find anything that addressed locals. This helps. — Athelwulf [T]/[C] 03:02, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure how far the "Understand" section of articles should go. It can contain general info such as history, demographics, culture. It's interesting background for the traveller, but is not travel info per se. Do we have a guideline about how far it should go? Nurg (talk) 04:36, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure we do not. If you'd like to start a draft, that would be great, and I will definitely look at it and see whether I can help. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:39, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
We don't have any firm guidelines on it because it is all very relative, depending much on the destination's size/age/importance/uniqueness in relation to the size/age/importance/uniqueness of other places in the same region and in relation to its wider region/country/continent as a whole. What's notable and relevant background info for travel to one city will not necessarily be the same type or the same volume of information as it would be for another city of the same size in another part of the world. Texugo (talk) 15:13, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
This looks to me like a solution in search of a problem. I think the best course of action is to avoid regulation creep, give contributors (especially well-established ones) as free a hand as possible to develop articles in a way that makes sense to them, and address disputes on what is and is not appropriate content on a case-by-case basis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:41, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe adding favorite new restaurants, and not sticking around long enough to remove the listing when the place goes under. (Restaurant failure rates are pretty significant.)
For people from very small towns, starting a page at all might occasionally be another issue. I added this listing to a nearby town. The restaurant is regionally famous, but it's practically the only thing in that entire town (population < 250). A travel guide for that town would pretty much say, "Eat dinner here, and then leave". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:33, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes tiny villages are created with little or no content - someone drops an empty template just to claim their pop-250 unincorporated village has a listing, but adds no content, adds their own business (as there's nothing else there) or adds something highly generic like "Do: hiking, fishing" with no other detail. Self-promotion is a risk; conversely "municipal property taxes are too high" isn't travel-relevant. Another risk is that locals are often last to notice that a once-respectable hotel has deferred maintenance and let service standards decline, because hotel/motel operators market to travellers, not locals; the first warnings are negative reviews from travellers. There's also a risk of getting too much detail (we don't care who is running for mayor or what day the recyclables are put at the kerb) or listing items which aren't travel-specific (there's this great lumberyard, so if you're staying long enough to build a house...). Certainly, businesses are known to open to great fanfare and close quietly, so even a local might need to drive by and see if everything listed still exists. K7L (talk) 15:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC)