Wikivoyage talk:Destination of the month candidates

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This page is intended for meta-discussion about the DotM/OtBP process itself. Discussions about candidate articles should go on Wikivoyage:Destination of the Month candidates.

Archives of older nomination discussions can be found at Wikivoyage:Destination of the Month candidates/Archive. Archives of older discussions of this page can be found at Wikivoyage talk:Destination of the month candidates/Archive

FTT[edit]

I would suggest to consider the change of the current FTT due to the worldwide emergency and the translation of that article in the other languages. Any Wikivoyage homepage should highlight this topic. --Andyrom75 (talk) 07:15, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, and it's not as though the schedule can't be moved back, so that the current FTT gets a full month.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:02, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
We're not going to change the FTT at this time. I do understand the awkwardness of the position we're in, as a travel wiki during a period of time where travel to many areas of the world is being discouraged or banned outright, but our mission remains that of serving those who do travel. In this situation, that means acknowledging there's a pandemic afoot and providing readers with up-to-date information and an accurate assessment of the risk of travelling - which we already do with the link on the Main Page to our 2019–2020 coronavirus outbreak article which IMO is pretty first-rate - but that also means acknowledging the reality that there are still flights in the air, including budget flights, and still passengers on them. If we were talking about a FTT (or a DotM, or an OtBP) that was specific to a country or area of the world that was particularly hard-hit or where particularly stringent travel restrictions applied, that might be different. But Flying on a budget is a very broad topic, and it's perfectly possible to do so to a country that's less affected by COVID-19, or domestically within the same country, or if all else fails, later after the pandemic is over - the information remains accurate in all those cases. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:07, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
We might change it actually, it depends on consensus. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:16, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
ThunderingTyphoons! - Yes, but a little consideration, please, for those who do the work of devising the schedule and making banners, and who would have to scramble and take time away from other tasks to reconfigure that schedule and make new banners on the spur of the moment. I'm not saying let's do what certain world leaders are doing and pretend coronavirus is a hoax or is being overblown by the media, but I am saying that there are ways to handle this more seamlessly and with less disruption. If we decide to alter DotM to acknowledge the coronavirus, I would prefer that we put the entire thing on hiatus - DotM, OtBP, and FTT alike - and remove the carousel from the Main Page until the situation is sorted (perhaps we could replace it with a single non-rotating banner pointing to the 2019–2020 coronavirus outbreak article), and I would prefer that we wait to institute those changes until March 21st or some other day when we'd be changing out one of the features anyway. Because firstly, if what epidemiologists say is true about the spread of the disease, then the only effective difference between any destinations we might feature is whether it's a place that's currently being ravaged by coronavirus or one that in the very near future will be. So it's a fool's errand in the first place to try to pick and choose which articles are okay to feature and which should be pulled, especially given that we might have to reverse those decisions on short notice given how rapidly the situation on the ground is changing. Secondly, Flying on a budget is only FTT for ten more days, and as I said, it's a broad topic that's not linked to any particular geographic location and is thus less susceptible, relatively speaking, to said rapid changes on the ground than a destination article would be. And if it can be avoided, I'd prefer not to monkey around with pulling articles off the Main Page early and then figuring out how many days are left to make a whole month. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:57, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I think we should change it. I am not very concerned with exactly how many days the existing FTT "should" get. Obviously, if any given maintainer doesn't have time to make the change, then that editor is not expected to do any of the work. But that should not preclude others from changing it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:12, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) To elaborate, we would be absolutely putting the traveller first by featuring the coronavirus on the carousel, as it is the number one issue in travel right now. "Travellers" are not just people who are travelling right now, or will be doing so imminently. Everyone who travels at some point in their lives is a traveller, and anyone who uses Wikivoyage to plan a trip or just do some research is a Wikivoyager.
Cynically, this may also help our readership figures, as it prominently displays the issue that everyone's talking about. The current static display above the featured event is a bit of a visual mess for Chrome and Firefox users (though perhaps one that can be fixed), and it involves scrolling down in order to see it. People who don't know it's there won't necessarily look.
By contrast, there is nothing "now" about Flying on a budget; it is so useful it could be featured any time for as long as the oil lasts. And it's not as though not featuring now involves deleting it from our servers, so travellers planning trips can still make use of it.
On Talk:Main page, I asked whether it would be possible to add a fourth item - coronavirus - to the carousel. I'll repeat that question here, as it's relevant, and is a way to feature the virus article more prominently without compromising our existing schedule, if people feel strongly about that.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:18, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) WhatamIdoing - You personally may not be "concerned with exactly how many days the existing FTT 'should' get", but consensus has held that having some featured articles on the Main Page longer than others is unfair to their authors, even under extreme circumstances (the linked talk page discussion asks what we would do if, hypothetically, a terrorist attack were to occur in a current DotM). There's absolutely no reason why we shouldn't accommodate that consensus into whatever we decide to do about DotM, and in a world where scientists say that up to 70% of the human population will ultimately be infected with the virus, there's also no reason why we should treat any particular article as a more sensitive subject than any other article. In fact, not only is flying on a budget "a broad topic that's not linked to any particular geographic location and is thus less susceptible, relatively speaking, to said rapid changes on the ground than a destination article would be", as I said above, but also not everyone who flies does so by choice. Many businesses are setting their employees up to work from home or telecommute, but (for the time being at least) there are also some that aren't, and business travel is still a thing that's happening. And Wikivoyage is at the service of business travellers too. We can live with the status quo for 10 more days, especially with an acknowledgement of COVID-19 already occupying a prominent place on the Main Page. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:27, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
In it:voy we have put in homepage the coronavirus article and it will remain there for at least three months. Travel is important but travel safely and healthy is more important. Just for chatting, w:Spanish flu was "just a flu"... --Andyrom75 (talk) 18:32, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Oppose, even if it would be the 21st today. The coronavirus article definitely ought to be prominently displayed on the Main Page, and it would be hidden away in the featured articles carousel – it would only show one third of the time unless there's only one article in the carousel. A better place would be for example an additional narrow red box between the map and the carousel, or above the map. Or even a visible link (red text? a red box? a miniature warning box?) on the map itself. Also the epidemic will almost certainly be around for some time (ie. more than one month) and I don't think we should put the featured topics (or any other featured articles) on hold for an indefinite time unless those articles are about destinations heavily affected by the covid epidemic. --Ypsilon (talk) 18:37, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
(multiple edit conflicts) ThunderingTyphoons! - I'm torn between, on the one hand, wanting to do right by our authors and less disruption for the DotM maintainers on this site, and on the other hand, the feeling that it does look a bit tone-deaf for us to be promoting travel in any capacity under these circumstances. With that in mind, how about this for a compromise. We make a banner for the coronavirus article and add it to the carousel as a fourth item, as you suggested. Then, on March 21st, April 1st, and April 11th, we remove the current FTT, DotM, and OtBP (respectively) from the Main Page as we normally would but don't replace them with anything, until eventually the coronavirus article is the only one on the carousel. Depending on how long the epidemic lasts, any upcoming articles on the schedule to be featured can simply be moved a year into the future - same month - so there's no issue vis-a-vis Time to feature. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:39, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
People should really be limiting social contact quite a lot during this pandemic, but we have to face the possibility that it drags on for years. And while we probably should not promote leisure travel in any form right now, nor business travel as opposed to working from home, a big part of the appeal of travel sites during a time of enforced or voluntary restrictions on movement is vicarious. I will also say that I seriously doubt budget travel will be the same after the epidemic is over, as the airline industry is being ravaged by bankruptcies. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:48, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Excellent points, Ikan; I'll add my voice of support to them. Bumping the DotM, OtBP, and FTT probably doesn't make sense since we don't know how long this epidemic will last, and in any case it doesn't prevent people from travelling or from thinking about travelling. I do think we should add something more visible. (Quite honestly, I didn't even realize what was below the carousel, as my browser window isn't large enough to show it and I never linger on the main page.) A fourth item in the carousel would be good, or perhaps a small extra banner between the Welcome and the carousel. --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:57, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm happy with exploring Andre's suggested compromise, and am equally happy with looking at Ypsilon's idea to put in a new, static box above the carousel. The idea that such important information shouldn't be animated has merit, as does the point that maintaining the normal featured articles may be inappropriate and increasingly pointless if more countries go into lockdown. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:01, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

As things currently stand, it looks like opinions are trending very slightly in favor of continuing to run DotM/OtBP/FTT as normal (albeit perhaps with a coronavirus banner as a fourth feature for the duration of the pandemic), and I'm prepared to say we have a solid consensus against the immediate removal of Flying on a budget and/or any of our other current featured articles. So for now let's refocus the discussion on how best to address the coronavirus issue on the Main Page, and let's put off the issue of pulling feature articles off the carousel until no sooner than March 21st, unless there's some truly startling development in the news between now and then. Agreed? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:15, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm in favour of Ypsilon's proposal. The box between the map and the carousel would give an higher visibility to the article. PS I've noticed the current link in the homepage only after reading this discussion... --Andyrom75 (talk) 21:33, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Coronavius (Covid-19) is now pandemic say WHO - (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51839944). I would not oppose pulling the DotM/OtBP/FTT, and NOT running an April 1st item this year. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:33, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't think that we should pull Flying on a budget, but making 2019–2020 coronavirus outbreak more prominent is good. Generally I think that readers read articles on the front page to consider something to do in a few months' time, not to leap in a taxi to the airport. If you are going to travel 500km in the next few months, you are probably at less risk of catching the virus spending 1 hour on a plane than 4 hours in a train or 8 hours in a bus. The virus is likely to be a major issue for the rest of the year. However we do need to be more ready to change featured articles in response to the news. Unfortunately DOTM work is mainly done by a very small number of editors which limits how easily we can make last minute changes. AlasdairW (talk) 00:10, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Building on the final point that AlasdairW made, maybe we ought to take this opportunity to clarify for ourselves exactly what we hope to accomplish with DotM, which IMO has never been very well delineated. Are we promoting particular places to our readers as potential travel destinations, or are we highlighting well-written articles and rewarding editors' dedication by ensuring their work reaches a wider audience? I'd always assumed it was the latter, as the former doesn't jibe very well with our fair and balanced, not-for-profit ethos as a WMF family member. But if it's the former, then it follows that we should take a closer look at the ramifications of continuing to promote travel in the midst of coronavirus epidemic (and I mean travel as a concept - as I said before, it's almost pointless to speak in terms of which definitions are safer than others; any place that isn't affected now soon will be). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:21, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

An alternative would be to use the "Featured Events" space to highlight the article, with a picture of a virus or a COVID19 graphic. The FE space is intended to make the Main Page appear more timely, and to highlight events that travellers may be interested bin. COVID19 meets both of those criteria in spades. Also, events are bring cancelled or postponed, so we will have less to feature. As creator and curator of the FE space, I support putting Featured Events on hold until the pandemic is over. Ground Zero (talk) 01:06, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

I think this is the best idea yet, to be honest. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:14, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Can the FE space be temporarily put higher on the Main page than the carousel, and can the text of the headline (presumably "2019–2020 coronavirus outbreak") be made bigger? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:21, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Some major events have been canceled, and some countries (at least in Europe) have banned gatherings of more than 500 or 1000 people, so I was already going to suggest to put the Featured events section on hold. I agree the Featured events section can be a good place to put the warning, for example with a similar design like Italian WV's Main Page as Andyrom suggested. --Ypsilon (talk) 06:09, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
I'd like to place it higher on the page, as I mentioned above. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:11, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, continuing to feature it down in the 'scroll zone' is not good enough. Above the carousel, or in the carousel, I don't care, but it has to be visible at the point people arrive on the main page.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 07:21, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Above the carosel is the preferred choice. In alternative as the first page of the carosel (4 in total, but shifting the 3 existing ones). --Andyrom75 (talk) 09:29, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
I also support putting it above the carousel. First page of the carousel would also be okay, that's what they're doing at zh.wikivoyage. —Granger (talk · contribs) 09:46, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

There seems to be consensus to put more focus on this, so I've changed the Featured Event space as proposed as an interim step. I don't know if there is consensus to put it above the carousel (which I support), and I haven't the foggiest how to do it. Ground Zero (talk) 10:57, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

I have yet another idea. Wikimedia sometimes puts boxes on top of each article, in all wikis calling people to vote for stewards, photograph something and what have you. Could this be implemented on WV for the coronavirus epidemic? It would be visible on the top of all pages, not just the Main Page (of course we could have additional warnings on the Main Page). --Ypsilon (talk) 11:20, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Site notice? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:18, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
That would be a great idea, for sure.
Since there will shortly be an empty space where the virus is currently sitting, and events normally are, I wonder if we could temporarily fill it with a prompt for readers to explore our star articles? It may get them a bit of deserving attention from updaters, and is a nice way to show off our best works on the main page. It can be 'sold' as Wikivoyage looking back on some of the great places we've visited, and encouraging virtual visits via our travel guide in lieu of actual visits for the duration of the crisis. Just an idea I had this morning.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:32, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, Site notice is apparently what it's called, we don't seem to have the template here. Central notice is metawiki's template that can be broadcasted to all wikis in all languages, though on the other hand Wikimedia informing readers on all wikis how to behave in the current situation (much of what's in our article is also useful for people just "traveling" between their home, workplace, school and local grocery store) isn't necessarily a bad idea... --Ypsilon (talk) 17:12, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
I think we could do it at MediaWiki:Sitenotice. If we do want to do that, let's workshop the text first, though. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:25, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As time goes by and more news continues to come out, I have found myself drifting more and more toward the opinion that maybe suspending DotM for a while would be a good idea after all (I mean, obviously, in addition to giving coronavirus coverage a more prominent place on the Main Page). I want to say that I'm very sympathetic to Ikan's comments about the vicarious pleasures of reading travel articles at a time when actual travel is increasingly impossible. That same perspective informed my opinions earlier on. But I think we need to balance that with a factor that I've not heard discussed much on this thread, which is that of optics. Regardless of what our rationale may be for continuing to have the featured-article banners on the main page, there's a distinct chance that our readers, our social media followers, or - less probably but potentially more consequentially - the press, who have recently been heaping praise on Wikipedia for their vigilance in keeping disinformation out of coronavirus-related articles, might misunderstand that rationale and assume our intent is to promote travel, and thus feel that we're acting recklessly and failing to take the coronavirus threat seriously. And I think that, especially for a smaller wiki like ours, we underestimate the importance of the goodwill of our readership or potential readership, and the damage that can be done if it's lost, at our peril.

Happily, if we pull the banners in the name of optics, there needn't be a sense of urgency to act immediately - we can still do as I suggested before, which is to wait until the 21st - and rather than waiting the many months or perhaps years that will elapse before the virus itself ceases to be a threat, the optics argument would probably enable us to quietly reinstate DotM once the news media finds a new obsession, which will almost certainly happen sooner due to issue fatigue among the public.

Just something to think about.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:14, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

I would support that, but I think it really depends on how we present things. Suppose we put a notice on the page suggesting that people should follow the recommendations of health authorities to limit social contact and avoid inessential travel and then say "however, if you'd like to read about some destinations while you're staying home, here are three articles we're featuring for your reading pleasure this month"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:16, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't think we need to suspend DOTM. As AlasdairW said, most readers aren't reading articles on the front page so they can jump into a taxi and set off immediately. I think readers see featured articles as recommendations for somewhere to consider planning a trip to or some interesting armchair travel. Adding a prominent link to our coronavirus article above the carousel (or as the first page of the carousel) would convey that we are taking our readers' safety seriously.
For comparison, I looked at the front pages of Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, and Fodor's, and all three acknowledge the pandemic prominently but also continue to feature articles advertising destinations. Fodor's published an article called "We Won’t Stop Writing About Travel (Even in a Pandemic)" explaining their decision, somewhat similar to Ikan Kekek's suggestion. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:20, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Something else to think about—if we can get a relevant article into featurable shape on very short notice, we could run it as the next FTT and bump the French phrasebook to another month. A topic like Stay healthy, Infectious diseases, Hygiene and body care, Travel health kit, Returning home, or Travel insurance might be timely, for instance. (If we get an article in shape in time, I'd be happy to make banner images to take some of the work off of AndreCarrotflower.) I'm imagining doing this in addition to highlighting the coronavirus article in a more prominent place on the main page. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:35, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

A mock-up[edit]

Here's a concrete suggestion for something we could put above the carousel. Of course the text can be modified or a different image can be substituted. What do others think?


Granger (talk · contribs) 00:52, 13 March 2020 (UTC)

I support this banner. OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:20, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Me too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:27, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
As a general rule, textboxes should be wide enough to accommodate article titles on one single line. I tweaked it accordingly. Yes, it has my full support. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:31, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
I'd support this, and put the Adelaide Festival back into the Featured Event space for now. It has not been cancelled. Ground Zero (talk) 04:20, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Seeing support from multiple users and no opposition, I've implemented the change. Normally I would wait longer for a major change to the main page, but given the fast-paced nature of the situation I figure it's better not to delay unnecessarily. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:24, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
It looks great! Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 05:51, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, it's awesome! Perfect. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:57, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Granger, looks good.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 07:03, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Great job! Thanks Granger! --Ypsilon (talk) 12:18, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree with this update of information. Having a prominent warning about a travel concern of such high importance is a sensible measure for a travel website.—The preceding comment was added by SelfieCity (talkcontribs)

Discussion from Quebec City's nomination[edit]

Agree with slushing; this page is already too long with nominations that have got the go-ahead but not the time slot (e.g. until recently Rail travel in the NL).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:32, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Sounds like a good plan. I don't think the nominations list per se is too long, 9-12 nominations in each section is optimal IMO, but I agree there are some nominations that probably will sit around until summer 2021 and we shouldn't nominate more of those. On the other hand if there's a good article for a place that's visited in the Northern Hemisphere winter (ie. in less than a year) you'd like to see to the Main Page, then by all means go ahead and add it. --Ypsilon (talk) 18:52, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
In particular, we need OtBPs that are suitable for the Northern Hemisphere winter. Nkhata Bay will be going in the October 2020 slot in a few days and Iriomote will follow in November, but after that, it's ?s all down the line until the spring. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:02, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
There's a town in Florida that I know called New Smyrna Beach. The article is already good, but I could definitely work on that article and perhaps make it an OtBP candidate. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:14, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
Good idea. Another possible winter otbp is Quy Nhon (which could be our first feature starting with Q if Quebec City is slushed). It's at guide status but needs coordinates and maybe some updates. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:40, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── When QC is slushed, I suggest these last few comments are siphoned off, and placed in the talk page of this page.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:16, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Definitely. I understand the concern about having U.S. destinations and nothing else, but if that situation is OK, New Smyrna Beach is definitely an appropriate winter destination compared to much of the U.S. and Europe during winter. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:08, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
U.S. destinations are not commonly featured in winter months - Florida is one of the few parts of the country for which it's suitable to do so - so it won't be a problem to have NSB on the Main Page in, say, January or February 2021. But yes, in general, let's steer clear of the USA for the next year or so, at least when it comes to the OtBP column. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 06:59, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Between the two suggestions, Quy Nhon is probably the best-developed and more interestingly-written article, but New Smyrna Beach is probably more 'ready to go', in that it's up to date, has no obvious faults, has all its coordinates, proper formatting etc. Both are good articles worthy of featuring, but Quy Nhon will take more work, and judging by the 'Understand' section, that work will have to be led by someone who has visited recently.ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:00, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Feel free to let me know what's wrong with the NSB article and I'll work on it. There is plenty of information that I can add to make it more detailed, I'm sure, but I haven't edited it in a while. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:38, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Nothing "wrong" per se, it's a good article. More detail would certainly be welcome, but it could be featured without that. The only thing I spotted when I looked at it yesterday was the "best beach" claim you already know about.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:52, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Right. That's common touting found in many of articles. I'll definitely add some details in the near future (starting tomorrow?), once I've voted on some more of the dotm nominations. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:10, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Regarding the question of whether to feature NSB or Quy Nhon, I'm actually leaning toward the former. When it comes to featured articles, we have a tendency to lean awfully hard on Southeast Asia during the Northern Hemisphere winter (just in the past six months we've run Nha Trang, Metro Cebu, Pakse, and Kamphaeng Phet), whereas our schedule for the upcoming winter of 2020-21 features a long USA-less stretch of over six months (Buffalo-Pittsburgh Highway in September 2020 through Crawford (Nebraska) in May 2021), and Florida is a massively popular tourist destination that last saw Main Page exposure way back in April 2014 (Biscayne National Park as OtBP). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:25, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
Okay. I added a lot more details yesterday, so it should interest the reader more now. Next, I need to add the climate chart (maybe even two, with an additional one for Samsula) and more detailed listings. I’ve added some pictures, too, and I may even take a couple myself. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:40, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Refeaturing articles scheduled to be on the Main Page during the COVID-19 pandemic: a proposal[edit]

As most of you know, recently we as a community had a discussion of what to do about our Main Page featured articles during the COVID-19 epidemic: whether to suspend DotM, continue our Main Page programming as normal, or (the option we ultimately chose) to continue DotM but acknowledge the epidemic, and the abnormal state of affairs in the travel world in general, on the Main Page in a more visible way. As a by-product of that consensus, we as a community also answered a question about the nature of our Featured Articles that had long remained unresolved: in the words of the announcement we made on social media, that their "primary purpose... is, and always has been, to highlight the hard work of our dedicated team of travel writers by presenting our readers with the best-quality articles Wikivoyage has to offer", rather than to promote specific travel destinations per se.

I supported all of those conclusions then and continue to support them now. But I think something that's still of concern regarding our Featured Articles is the fact that, in the midst of this pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed on free movement and other elements of daily life, it's safe to say that no one's mind is on travel at the moment. Admittedly without having checked, I think it's to be assumed that traffic to our site is probably down sharply, and consequently there are likely fewer people viewing the aforementioned "hard work of our dedicated team of travel writers" than usual.

There have been some occasions in the past when we've discussed rerunning old Featured Articles. I've always come out against the idea, mainly because IIRC, in the past it's always been in response to a drought in new DotM nominees or an apparent lack of will among our editor base to iron out the kinks in promising-but-imperfect nominees, which I always thought was kind of a cop-out. But I think the COVID pandemic is a whole other animal. So I'm asking the community: what would you say to the idea that any Featured Article that's been on the Main Page during the pandemic is eligible to be re-featured at some point in the future? The exact parameters would obviously be subject to debate, but in my personal opinion, 1) I'd define "the pandemic" as beginning with Flying on a budget as February 2020's FTT, with the endpoint obviously TBD; 2) no less than two years should pass before any article featured during COVID can return to the Main Page, and 3) God forbid, if two years from now we're still in the same situation as today, no article can be featured twice during the pandemic.

Your feedback, please.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:30, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

I'm open to this, but I think now is a little early to make a firm decision.
The question of our traffic going up or down is an interesting one. We had much-lower-than-usual pageviews in December and January (before COVID-19 would have had much effect), but higher than usual in February. March was low again but noticeably better than December and January. I don't know how to explain this; evidently the pandemic is not the only factor at play in the data. (Note that the graph I linked to doesn't begin at zero by default, so the effects we're talking about are much smaller than they might appear.) —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:44, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
Our Alexa rank has climbed in the last couple of weeks, actually, after a decline until recently. I think it may be increased interest among editors, as there has recently become the need to add travel warnings and develop policy, as you, AndreCarrotflower mentioned.
I am, however, in support of your suggestion, and I think waiting for at least two years is also reasonable. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:48, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
Personally, I don't put a lot of stock into the accuracy of pageview stats, either Alexa's or WMF's in-house system. It would really be nice if the IT community could figure out how to identify and disregard hits from webcrawlers or other bots with a reliable degree of accuracy. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:20, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
True. As the editor of our social media, do you notice any changes in view counts on those platforms? Surely their methods are accurate due to the importance of accurate view counts in social media. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:46, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm open to rerunning articles, but I don't think that after the pandemic is over, we should restrict ourselves only to rerunning articles for the following 2 years. We can keep them in the mix for possible reruns, along with possible new features that display the editing work people have done during the pandemic to clean up and copy edit articles. That work can receive acknowledgement, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:20, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
It's true that right now, people aren't free to travel like normally. On the other hand, many do have a lot more time on their hands (especially in parts of the world where leaving your home is against the law) to read about places they'd like to go to someday, which would increase the traffic.
For re-running articles later, we could do that if there are not enough other articles to run, but I don't think this is something we'd have to do. --Ypsilon (talk) 09:00, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I wouldn't prioritize it, just leave it open as a possibility. I'd actually rather adopt a policy that already-featured articles could be renominated no sooner than 7 years after they have been featured, and that featuring them again should require substantial updates. In this situation, that would likely mean that no article featured during the pandemic could be re-featured before 2027, but we could discuss exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:11, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
If we are to repeat articles which are displayed during the pandemic, I think we should wait long enough to update them afterwards. How long that it is will vary by article, and will also depend on what long term changes result. In normal circumstances, I think that 7 years is a sensible time for renominating an article, but a shorter gap is fine under the current circumstances.
I would be happy to see us suspend featuring new articles for a while and re-feature a selection of articles featured earlier, possibly changing more frequently - maybe 3-6 months of having weekly changes using articles already featured (could a bot do daily changes?). It looks like we have banners of the correct dimensions to go back to 2013. It would be interesting to know whether today's readers are the same people that came to the site last year, or whether we are seeing a different crowd due to the current circumstances, but that is impossible to find out. AlasdairW (talk) 10:04, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
The problem, however, that I see with seven-year-old DOTMs is that those articles could be out-of-date. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 10:31, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is exactly the can of worms I'd hoped not to open. I do not support rerunning feature articles for any reason other than the COVID-19 pandemic. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:42, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I agree that given the current situation, we should focus this discussion specifically on coronavirus-impacted featured nominations. At the current time, drastically broadening the scope of this discussion is not going to help in solving the fundamental problem that was identified as this subject of this discussion from the very beginning, which is the coronavirus and its impact on featured articles. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:59, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
"The problem, however, that I see with seven-year-old DOTMs is that those articles could be out-of-date." Which is why I said "and that featuring them again should require substantial updates". However, I'll drop this suggestion, at least for now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:09, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
I think it depends on how long this lasts. If it's just until sometime in May or June for many countries, that seems reasonable, but if this drags on into the fall or beyond, I think at that point we just have to accept the "new reality" that travel, especially international travel, is just not going to be viable or appealing to people for a long time (I think that would hold somewhat true even if countries opened very soon). I think this is a topic that should be revisited after some level of normalcy is reached in the majority of countries (or English-speaking countries). It's too soon to know if things "post-COVID" will look very different from "during Covid" (both in reality as well as our site traffic) to even consider them "cheated" out of their feature. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 01:56, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
On the other hand, following the pandemic travel could increase because people haven't been allowed to travel for so long. It's impossible to predict. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:40, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
Exactly. I don't think we can or need to make a decision about this until we know how long this lasts and how long after that it will take for people to start traveling again. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 03:10, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict; I republished this without having read through whatever has come above) Hopefully without getting too deep into speculation, I think it's noteworthy that psychologically speaking, the longer human beings are subjected to high-pressure or high-stress situations (and I think open-ended stay-at-home orders combined with magnificent governmental ineptitude in the face of the crisis certainly qualifies as such), the less their behavior tends to comport with the principles of common sense or self-preservation. For that reason, I'd say the smart money is on governments abruptly ending lockdowns within a few months under threat of civil unrest, concerns about a second wave largely failing to resonate with the public, and life in the aftermath bearing more resemblance to status quo ante than many people now foresee, with the obvious exception of a spike in the death rate. Again, I take no pleasure in that prediction, but I think if we're called on to predict travel trends in the near and intermediate term future, human nature makes scenarios like the one ChubbyWimbus describes relatively more farfetched than SelfieCity's rebuttal. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:15, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
To be clear, it isn't my opinion that people will be quarantined through the fall or that a new quarantine could start with the so-called "second wave". I just mentioned it as something experts and journalists have entertained. I agree that even if they try it, people will not likely want to comply (I'm a bit sir-crazy already myself...). The purpose in mentioning it was really my point that I don't see it worthwhile or necessary to make a decision before things return to relative normalcy. I didn't intend to fear-monger. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 03:27, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't think there's much point in us speculating about this right now. Let's revisit this proposal when the time comes. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:30, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
Agreed with Granger. At any rate, ChubbyWimbus, I didn't intend to imply you were fearmongering. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:37, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
Support the proposal in principle, but agree with others that we can revisit it at the appropriate time (i.e. when we're actually thinking of rerunning an article) to confirm we still want to do it. Nothing needs to be cast in stone right now. And probably some articles are more deserving of a rerun than others; if, for instance, the budget flight market looks very different in a year's time, it would make a lot of sense to feature an updated version again. More so than, say, the French phrasebook or some destinations.
On a more 'speculative' note, I'd be happy if, after this is all over, people weren't mad keen on constant travel (especially "short breaks" a plane journey away, business trips where the substance could be fulfilled by videoconferencing, unnecessary daily commutes) and not only to slow down the inevitable next pandemic; the air is cleaner than it's been in years, outside I can hear the wind, the birds, and neighbours' kids playing rather than jet engines and traffic roar. Plus, the effect on global carbon emissions must be enormous. Something I hope society will reflect on.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:39, 12 April 2020 (UTC)

A little experiment for driving more traffic to featured articles[edit]

Just posting this in case anyone here is a follower of Wikivoyage's Facebook page and may have noticed/wondered about the following and whether it is intentional:

As you might expect, if you look at the page view statistics for current and former DotM, OtBP and FTT articles, you usually see a sizable spike in traffic right around the time its banner is introduced to the Main Page. However, rather than maintaining that higher level of traffic for the entire month, the initial bump usually begins to fade more or less immediately, sometimes to the point where traffic on the last few days of the article's Main Page stint is only slightly higher than before it debuted.

I've been wondering off and on if there's a way to keep traffic flowing to the featured articles more consistently throughout their time in the limelight, and I think I've hit on one. As administrator of Wikivoyage's Facebook presence, I routinely cross-promote new DotMs, OtBPs and FTTs on our Facebook page as soon as they go up on the Main Page of our site. But lately, rather than posting to Facebook simultaneously to the changing out of the featured article, I've been experimenting with the idea of staggering them out a week or two apart (for instance, I just got finished posting a link to Rail travel in the Netherlands on our Facebook page, which has been our FTT since the 21st of June) in hopes that there's a second peak in page traffic after the first one.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:33, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Yes posting the featured articles at a different time on social media to when they are first posted here on the Main Page is a good idea. We can also post other articles on social media. Either slightly older featured articles again (but not very old otherwise it may not be up-to-date) or other high quality content, like the snippets of trivia in the "Discover" section. I'm happy to get involved with the Facebook page. Most platforms are very active on social media these days (as in posting something daily). We don't have to go overboard but posting more than 3 times a month is a worthwhile strategy and test to see how much traffic we can drive from social media. Both readers and potentially new editors. Gizza (roam) 04:12, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
I like the idea of posting "Discover" trivia. When we start having featured events again, we could post those too. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:58, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
Interesting, it could perhaps also be worth trying to post the upcoming featured article a few days before it goes on the Main Page, to see how many viewers fb alone will bring to the featured article. And I definitely agree Discover factoids could be posted there every now and then. --Ypsilon (talk) 17:42, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Wine Regions of Ontario[edit]

Before I nominate this for Featured travel topics, I'd like some feedback on how it should be improved in order to be a good candidate. Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 19:44, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

Budget travel[edit]

...is currently scheduled to be our FTT in three months. I was just about to make up a set of DotM banners for it, but then I got to thinking. Given how much has changed in the travel world since the outset of the COVID pandemic, how much of the article do you folks think is no longer useful to travellers? Skimming it just now, my impression is that some parts definitely are, albeit maybe not as much proportionally as Flying on a budget, which was FTT when the pandemic was declared and which we talked about pulling off the Main Page early. Normally outdated information wouldn't be a big deal, as Ypsilon and/or other users can usually be counted on to make any last-minute adjustments, but the difference here is that whatever is in a state of flux now will almost certainly still be in a state of flux three months from now. I'm wondering whether it wouldn't be a better idea to slush the article until the situation has settled down into whatever the long-term post-pandemic status quo will look like. We have enough FTT candidates to see us through until spring 2021, so lack of anything to replace it with isn't an issue. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:32, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

Agreed, although you could argue whether any travel topic is relevant currently. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:36, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
Well, travel topics are a very diverse category of articles. Take Chinese cuisine, which I just placed on the Main Page - it's highly unlikely that the entire nation of China will scrap its centuries-old foodways and invent a whole new repertoire of dishes in response to the pandemic. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:39, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
I quickly skimmed the Budget travel article, and it mostly still looks useful to me. A lot of the advice boils down to variations of "do what the locals do" and "avoid expensive options", which remains accurate even in places where tourist facilities and expensive services are being cut down. But if there's concern, I think it's fine to rearrange the schedule. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:47, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
This is a long article, and the parts I edited (through "By bus") had a lot of unidiomatic phrasing and subject-verb disagreement, so it could use a thorough edit, but I'm not seeing what's so obviously inapplicable to the current situation. Maybe one or two linked programs are suspended, but I'd have to think that any destination article would be more inaccurate right now, so as long as we're not suspending all features, I'm not seeing why we'd postpone running this one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:41, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
I think Budget travel could sensibly be delayed for a couple of years. Covid aside I think it was in need of work, although much has been done today. Some of the advice is inappropriate in areas that are reopening - nobody is going to give a hitch-hiker a lift at the moment. Longer term the relative costs of different travel options may change - hotels which last year were full of execs on expense accounts may need to appeal to tourists. AlasdairW (talk) 22:54, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. All duly noted, but what do you think about the idea that destination articles are going to be even more inaccurate right now? Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:18, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
It really depends on the location. In my check over of York, little has changed. Some attractions and restaurants are taking longer to reopen than others, events are mostly cancelled or postponed, but I've found very few serious changes to the situation on the ground compared to the article. Other places where perhaps government support of the hospitality industry has been lacking or there are more complicated economic or health challenges at play, the situation may be quite different. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:53, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
I think that most destination articles will need edits to Eat, Drink and Sleep when things recover, but much smaller changes to the rest of the article. In Edinburgh I would expect >90% of See and >75% of Do listings to recover, but in some cases there will be a delay of a year or more. I think that generally people read DOTM thinking about travel 6 months - 6 years ahead, and it is more important that See, Do and Understand are correct than Eat or Sleep. See listings are often non-commercial and are more likely to get government or donated support. So generally I am not concerned about featuring destinations, unless the situation is so bad that the destination regularly appears in the news. I am more concerned about featuring "introductory" travel topics at a point when there could be big changes, and in the case of Budget Travel may contradict current health advice. I expect that people will want to try the advice in basic travel topics more immediately than destination articles. AlasdairW (talk) 23:20, 22 July 2020 (UTC)

Portland and American articles[edit]

As we won't run Portland this year, we need something else to feature as DotM either September or October. Out of the ones nominated, we could instead run 1. Nicosia in October, or 2. move Tel Aviv to October where it was until a few days ago and run either Bruges or Nicosia in September. Or 3. nominate a completely new article to run in either September or October.

Then, there's another thing. Because Portland is moved forward to 2021 or even further in the future (perhaps we should temporarily move it to the slush pile), there will be even more American articles standing in line with Crawford, Diablo Range and Brunswick (in addition to New Smyrna Beach scheduled for December) in the OtBP section and The Wire Tour and American cuisine in the FTT section.

To ease some possible scheduling problems in 2021 (who knows what the world and the U.S. will look like like next summer but still...), I would therefore suggest running one of the American OtBPs in the fall, if necessary overlapping with Buffalo-Pittsburgh Hwy and moving either Alcamo or Nkhata Bay (or slush the latter given the not yet vote) to sometime in the future. Ypsilon (talk) 17:39, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

The problem is the pandemic. Crawford is probably the best choice since that region of the country has fewer coronavirus cases than either the Sun Belt region or the Northeast. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:48, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I took a look at the map in w:COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and the spot around Nebraska as well as New England interestingly have the some of the lowest COVID rates. Ypsilon (talk) 18:02, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Both the Great Plains and New England are largely rural, so there are fewer opportunities for the virus to spread widely. That's my best guess as to why the virus case totals are lower in those states. (Additionally both are by large majorities white and the virus has impacted minority communities more than others.) --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:18, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Right now the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Portland are the clashes between unmarked mans with camouflaged thugs in them and peaceful protestors. I think this might still be the case in 2021.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:20, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
I wonder if the relative absence of the U.S. from the schedule between now and January 20, 2021 isn't more of a feature than a bug. Let's consider that in the U.S., two unrelated or at best tangentially related things are happening simultaneously: 1) Trump, likely as a desperation maneuver in the runup to an election in which he is the underdog, has used the BLM protests and police-defunding proposals as pretexts to send federal troops into cities he deems to not be tough enough on crime, the disastrous results of which you only have to turn on the news to see (this is already happening in Portland, but he has threatened to do the same in other cities as well), and 2) COVID is running rampant (which we've already established is not reason enough by itself to scrap a planned featured article, but which does tend to amplify concerns that spring from the former point). I don't think it's necessary to postpone Buffalo-Pittsburgh Highway or New Smyrna Beach as those articles deal, respectively, with a mostly-rural area that's off the beaten tourist track even in normal times and a small city that's probably too unimportant for Trump to send his goons to, but I do think we ought to avoid running any U.S. destinations in the next few months that aren't already scheduled, regardless if they're new nominees or existing ones that we reschedule. And if that means certain nominees will have to wait a little longer to go on the Main Page, or we have to have an unusually U.S.-heavy summer in 2021, I see that as easily the lesser of two evils.
(Preemptively: yes, I am aware this smells of Wikivoyage taking a political stance. But there are certain circumstances, and I think this is one of them, in which politics play a direct cause-and-effect role in influencing the practical considerations that govern the decisions we make on this site, and we do ourselves and our readers a disservice by pretending otherwise. I'm sure even if there were Trump supporters among us who were to weigh in on this discussion, they'd at least agree that the tension of the pre-election environment in America today can manifest itself in often unsavory ways, regardless of which side they consider to be right and which wrong.)
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:15, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
I’ll probably provide a more lengthy response in the near future, but addressing the federal agents I’m sure there won’t be any here because 1) it’s a small city of 30,000 and 2) there are no protests. I would not rule out federal agents with guns on every street corner in some major cities, but I think it is greatly unlikely that this would happen, and in cities where a ceremonial “protest to end all protests” took place shortly after Floyd’s death, essentially preventing any further widely organized protests, nothing else is likely to happen on either side IMO. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:59, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
I'd suggest watching the COVID-19 curve in Nebraska carefully, and the idea that rural areas can't have deadly spikes of the disease is absurd and counter-factual. Right here in New York, there was a cluster that spread among workers in a greenhouse in IIRC Herkimer County, and there have been terrible rural hotspots in Georgia, among other places. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:52, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Compare this map to this one. I certainly see a correlation between high population density and cases (Florida being a partial exception, because it hasn't had a lockdown since April), but regardless of that, of course, we should monitor coronavirus cases, particularly around Crawford in case the situation changes. To clarify, rural areas are far from coronavirus-free.
We ought to avoid featuring U.S. destinations if possible until the end of the year (one or two are acceptable, I think we've agreed). Regardless of which region of the country has more cases, we're all agreed that the country as a whole has far too many cases compared to other countries, and likely will for some time, and therefore shouldn't be featured when other regions of the world with fewer cases are also possibilities. Brazil and India really aren't much better at the moment, so I think the same should apply to them.
Meanwhile, Europe seems to be improving, although a recent increase in cases in some European countries could turn into a second wave. South America isn't doing well, so that leaves us with Africa (excluding South Africa), most of Asia, and Oceania (along with travel topics) as the best choices for now. I'm not saying we have to adjust our schedule any more than what we're already considering, but going forward we could help travelers by directing them to locations with low numbers of cases. Hopefully they won't spread the virus to those places.
The current political situation here in the U.S. is another reason to encourage travelers to visit other places. (After all, the U.S. has been featured disproportionately often in recent years.) The election is not anywhere near decided yet, as Nate Silver's recent commentary has indicated, and the situation in January, February, or even summer of 2021 might prove to be little different than it is now, both in regard to coronavirus and politics. (Regardless, I'm not sure I would focus on the January 20 date — probably November will be more significant.)
But for now I agree that only the Portland article should be postponed, since the last few months have proven how hard it is to predict events across the next few months. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:22, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
I just made a couple of banners for Bruges. If noone has better suggestions, I think we could run it in September and try to keep the rest of the schedule as it is (moving Tel Aviv to October where it originally was). Indeed there has been a sharp rise in corona cases in northeastern Spain and there's a fear that there will be a second wave in Europe in a couple of months. We haven't let the coronavirus influence what articles we feature, and the disease is by now found all over the world, but it'd still be tone-deaf to feature a city which at the same time happens to become a COVID hotspot. Ypsilon (talk) 16:05, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
As we discussed earlier, Covid numbers are not the reason we dropped Portland for the August feature. It is just the violent insurgency and the prominent negative press the city has gained in the media. I don't see that as taking a political stance. Removing the city as a featured article is neither supporting the violent rioters nor the federal or local police. The situation simply is what it is. I would expect us to do the same in any city in the world that suddenly got a lot of press for unrest and violence prior to a feature (particularly one that is not generally known for such things). I don't think we need to ban all American features. Most of the country is not like Portland. Covid is everywhere, but this decision was made because of the unrest. We should still be open to US features. I think the proposal to keep the list as it is and only remove Portland is right and consistent with our reasoning for dropping the city in the first place. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 01:32, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Protests aren't exactly happening on every corner in the US. There have been not been any protests on the street I live on, so I don't think the situation is that dire, and tourists can easily avoid the protests and go to other parts of the country where protests are not happening. That said, the neighbourhood I live in has seen a spike in armed robberies and assaults over the past few weeks (though I personally haven't been a victim of either), and these could potentially continue to rise amid the economic fallout resulting from COVID-19 as more and more people lose their jobs and get evicted from their homes (though I hope I'm wrong), so that's just another thing to consider. The dog2 (talk) 01:45, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

In the case anyone misunderstood, I'm referring to the case that there would be an explosion of new infections in one of the places we're featuring or about to feature (e.g. if we'd had scheduled for New York City for April 2020). Ypsilon (talk) 03:53, 31 July 2020 (UTC)
Portland has now been removed from the schedule. Ypsilon (talk) 15:23, 31 July 2020 (UTC)