Wikivoyage:Welcome, business owners
Welcome, business owners. The owners and employees of hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions, and other businesses catering to travellers are welcome to share information that helps others in their travels. Everyone is invited to participate in the guide's development and decision-making. Everyone is also invited to share the information in Wikivoyage with whomever they want. However, we do have some guidelines, policies, and a few legal requirements that need to be observed.
If you have information that is of interest to travellers, even if it is about a business that you own or work for, plunge forward and add the information to Wikivoyage. Find the article for the city or district it is located in and add it to the appropriate section (See, Do, Buy, Eat, Drink, Sleep). Note, however, that Wikivoyage has some policies on what is acceptable content:
- Don't tout. Wikivoyage is a site for travelers, not for marketing, and promotional listings will be removed. This guideline identifies ways for businesses to contribute constructively. In particular, please do not ever add more than one listing for a business - for example, if a hotel has a restaurant and bar, list the hotel under "Sleep" and mention that there is a restaurant and bar.
- External links. Wikivoyage has strict policies on including external links in articles, as identified in this guideline. Note in particular that links to third-party booking services, review sites and other travel guides are not permitted.
- Tour listings. Many tour listings and most travel agency listings are inappropriate for inclusion on Wikivoyage, as described in this guideline.
- Rental listings. Rental listings are only appropriate for inclusion on Wikivoyage in very specific instances as outlined by this guideline. However, serviced apartments that are charged by the day are fine to list.
- Image policy. Photos of businesses generally should not be included in articles.
When adding information about a business on Wikivoyage, please use a listing template and make your descriptions as straightforward as possible. Use a Wikivoyage standard listing format, inserting information as relevant in each field of the listing template. If a listing field is not relevant, leave it blank but do not delete the field. For example, "alt" is relevant only if a business previously had a significantly different name, or to insert the name in the local language. Never copy your name or put a merely shortened name there. Look around to see how other good listings are done, and copy their example.
The key guideline is: "Don't tout." Save the sales pitch and just tell it like it is. You don't have to stick to a dry recitation of facts, but keep in mind that Wikivoyagers aren't fools. They'll see through flowery descriptions and effusive praise, and they won't trust it. Any of it. They'll distrust your information, and they'll also start to distrust Wikivoyage in general, which isn't good for you or for the rest of us. Using advertisements you have placed elsewhere, or using the word our, or using any of the words to avoid are indicators that you are heading the wrong way. A concise statement of facts, including prices for your service, is a good start along the right way.
If you add a link to your business name it should also be mentioned in the text, and the travellers should get what they are expecting if they click through any link you add.
You are welcome to mention your business name on your user page, but we don't allow user pages to be used for advertising.
Other wikivoyagers are also working on the article trying to make the best travel guide possible. Your entry is likely to be changed, moved, updated, or entirely removed, all in the interest of giving the traveler the best and most relevant information. We are a collaborative site, so it is likely for somebody to comment on the edits you or they did in an edit summary, which can be seen in the "history" tab of the page, on the article's talk page (the "discussion" tab) or on your talk page, especially if you logged in.
Do check if somebody has been trying to communicate with you. If your edits are largely or fully removed, the most likely reason is that you did not understand the house rules, and by getting a better understanding you can join in making the guide better. We want travellers to find your business when they want to, just as you do.
Contributing quality and useful travel information and working cooperatively reflects positively on your business, although there is never a guarantee of a listing or positive review.
On the other hand, touting, engaging in edit wars, or changing competitor information will reflect negatively on your business. The community has decided that we are looking for good businesses to appear in our guides, and may decide that your business is not appropriate to list.
Never remove info on competitors
One thing we ask you never to do is to remove information about your competitors. Even if they break every rule in the book, don't remove it or edit it yourself. Instead point out the problems with their listing by posting on the Talk page of the Wikivoyage article. If a consensus to remove the listing is reached after a discussion there, it can then (and only then) be removed from the article.
Convention and visitors bureaux
All of the same considerations which apply to individual businesses apply equally to the creation of listings for multiple local attractions by tourism offices.
Most often, visitors bureaux already have a comprehensive list of attractions, activities or good places to eat or sleep locally which can be used to spot key venues we may have missed. These can be a good source of additional information to build a factual listing for each venue, but the tone used to describe businesses, attractions and the city itself needs to be very different in a Wikivoyage guide than in a promotional brochure. Individual listings need to be concise (a sentence to a paragraph of description at most) and factual, avoiding promotional wording or superfluous hype which merely expresses a vendor's opinion of their own product while including basic information such as names, addresses, contact info, price range, type of restaurant or accommodation offered, hours of operation and a link to the venue's own website if one exists.
As a visitors bureau, you are in a unique position to provide useful, factual information to help travellers find exciting things to see and do in your city; conversely, a city guide which has been edited by a local tourism bureau in a highly promotional tone can be very problematic, as every listing for an entire area is adversely affected. See Wikivoyage:Welcome, tourism professionals for more remarks on how you can make a helpful contribution as an editor on this site.
If your edits are reverted
If your edits are reverted, please feel free to discuss the reasons on the article Talk page. This is usually a better place to discuss than directly with the user who did the reversion, because reversions are usually for reasons of policy or site style that can't be resolved on an individual basis but may be subject to interpretation or discussion in relation to the article in question.
There are a number of reasons that your edit could be reverted including:
- The text may have been copied from another web page. Rewrite it in your own words.
- The tone may sound more like an advertising brochure than a travel guide. Don't tout.
- The entry may have been added to multiple articles or multiple sections. Just add it once to the most appropriate article and section.
- The entry may have had erratic formatting, including excessive use of UPPERCASE. Carefully review syntax in Wikivoyage:Listings and Wikivoyage:Capitalization.
- The entry may be of little relevance to the traveler. Rewrite to make it as helpful for travelers as possible.
- There may just be too many entries of a particular type, and Wikivoyage is a guide, not an exhaustive directory. Entries that comply with our manual of style, that don't tout and that have verifiable contact information are less likely to be removed when a list grows too long.
- If you are adding a tour agency, it may violate our policy on tours.
- If you are adding an apartment rental agency, it may violate our policy on apartment rental agencies.
Check the edit summary that was left with the reversion edit (click the "history" tab of the page), as it may explain why the edit was reverted. If you have created an account some wikivoyagers may give some reasoning on your talk page as well; otherwise, look at the user talk page for the IP address you used.
You could just add a listing for your business and leave it at that. But we'd love to see you sign up and stick around.
But don't do it just for us. If you own a travel-related business, you probably want to see local tourism and business travel to your area thrive, and helping to make the Wikivoyage guide to your destination better is one way to promote that. We've found that the better an article is, the more traffic it gets. Twice a month we feature another well-developed article on the Main Page as either "Destination of the Month" or "Off the Beaten Path". And for the crème de la crème pages, we flag them and feature them as "Star" articles.
So make sure all the key attractions and activities in your locale are listed... as well as your business. No one's asking you to add listings for your competitors (though to be honest, we'd love it if you did). But if you own a nightclub, surely you must know some good restaurants in the area. If you own a hotel, you probably know something about what your guests see and do while they're in town. We'd love it if you uploaded images of attractions in your city to Wikimedia Commons; just be sure you understand they'll be published under a free content license (a requirement from us and them, by default a "copyleft" one – make sure you have the rights to license the image). You may even consider becoming a docent for your city, someone who offers to answer questions that travellers might have about things that aren't covered in the article. If a traveller sees that you're genuinely interested in helping, that certainly can't hurt the chances that they'll patronize your business when they get to town. And it's quite alright to put information about yourself and your business on your user page (if you don't turn it into a marketing brochure).
And on the off chance that once in a while you manage to get away from the job and get out of town, please contribute the information you learn as a traveller yourself, to other guide pages.
Especially if you plan to make more than a few edits, it is useful to create a user page, where you tell readers who you are and perhaps what you are going to do, have already done or might be willing to do on Wikivoyage. Using the user page to advertise your business is not allowed, but you may mention it and link to its site, and that way your contributions can create good will for your business. The user page is also useful for those trying to communicate with you on your user talk page: it is nicer to talk to somebody who is not totally anonymous, and advice can be more easily tailored to your needs.
You can share Wikivoyage information with others. You can print copies of Wikivoyage articles and provide them as city guides to your guests.
The only restrictions on you are the same ones that apply to Wikivoyage itself: you have to give credit to the contributors, and anyone you give this information to has the same right to redistribute it. See Wikivoyage:How to re-use Wikivoyage guides for more details.
This guide is published under a "copyleft" license that allows its content to be used by anyone, free of charge. It's called the "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike" license. The "Attribution" part says we have to give credit to the people who contributed the information. The "ShareAlike" part says that everything contributed to Wikivoyage has to be made available to anyone else on the same terms. We specifically didn't include the "NonCommercial" limitation in Wikivoyage's licence, so that business owners like you can use the travel guides.