Wikivoyage talk:Tourist office

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Tourist Office[edit]

Swept in from the pub

As some contributors here are aware, Wikipedia has a Reference Desk,

Would it be possible for Wikivoyage to have a 'travel reference desk'(aka Tourist Office) that would be able to answer travel related enquiries and as well as directing contributors to relevant articles, could answer specific enquires in regard to things that had not yet made it into articles..

Such as :

- Do you know where to get paracetamol in London at
- Is it reasonable to bring my pet dog into the UK, as I'm on an extended visit?
- Do you round off the fare (to the nearest note) when taking a taxi in the UK?
- How do you move a cello from London Airpot to the Albert Hall?

amongst others.

In time answers from the 'tourist office' could (and probably should) be then integrated back into the relevant topic articles.

Thoughts? Sfan00 IMG (talk) 22:57, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Not to address your question directly, but we have Docents for questions. --Inas (talk) 23:24, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Inas is correct; per Wikivoyage:What is a docent?, the entire raison d'être of Docents are to answer questions of the above-described type. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:08, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
And half a decade later, it dawns upon me that we should be calling docents concierges. A much clearer name! --Peter Talk 03:23, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Although the others are right regarding docents, we all know that the docent system hasn't been utilised much and most of our readers don't know what it is about. I think a central forum where you can ask questions about anything and anywhere would be much more simple for travellers. However, I don't think at this point it is something we would want to launch. We still don't really have enough dedicated, long-term editors who would be able to answer the barrage of questions we are sure to get. It could look really bad if a question goes unanswered. I could only support this if we were to make it extremely clear that there is no guarantee you would get an answer, and we take no liability for incorrect information. JamesA >talk 05:58, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps we should, instead, better utilize and publicize the system we already have in place. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 06:13, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
That'd be great, but the question is how? Not only do few users utilise docents, there are also few users who put their hands up to become one. One of the most-visited and most-recognisable places on Earth, New York City, currently sits at a grand total of zero docents. Another issue with docents is the hierarchy. If I am an expert on the whole of Australia, am I meant to add my name to every Australian state, district and town? If we simply had a "Tourist Office" forum, knowledgeable users could observe for questions that they know they are an expert on, rather than having to point out everything they know to everyone else. The more I think about it, the more I'd like to see this idea run for a month as a trial. JamesA >talk 06:44, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I think your idea is excellent. Quite a number of times, visitors to this site (or the previous ones) posted travel questions in the main space or sometimes in talk pages. If there were a visible forum to exchange information, I think that would serve the goal of spreading knowledge about travel and keep such questions in a good place. Actually, I like this better than the review forums idea, though I'm not necessarily opposed to that, if it's well-managed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Incidentally, I wouldn't volunteer to be a docent for New York and get private emails, but I'd be happy to reply to travel questions about New York when I could help. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:53, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I like this idea a lot too. I share the worry that we won't have people to answer the questions, though, and that unanswered responses would make the forum look useless. How would we get from point A to point B? Do we wait until our site has grown to add this? Or do we add it, hoping that it will help grow our site? --Peter Talk 08:05, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I think we should go ahead and do it, but not worry if it takes a while to get to an implement, so kind of a compromise between the two positions you lay out. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:37, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think an implement is that difficult. We could certainly do it ourselves, without a bugzilla request. See User:JamesA/Tourist Office as an example. JamesA >talk 03:07, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh cool! Well I say, why not put this into effect? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:42, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
If we're going to do this, it would be nice if our answers could all be links to our articles. That way we're still focussed on improving the guide, rather than being a Q&A service for those who can't be bothered to read them. --Inas (talk) 03:47, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

[unindent] A lot of answers might not relate to things already in guides, although the answers may stimulate edits to the guides. I doubt every restaurant that's worthwhile and which I might recommend for someone is listed in New York City guides. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:19, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Good suggestion, where appropriate. There may be questions where the answer does not fit into the article structure. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:53, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
It's a good guideline for answering. The Wikipedia Reference Desk not only had guidelines for asking, for guidelines for answering. I haven't added them yet, as they were irrelevant to our wiki (things like fact-checking, references, etc). Maybe we should add it, but be more general in our guidelines. Also, we should probably move my example to the Project: space so we can ready this for a small-scale launch, and trial it for a few weeks before making a final decision. JamesA >talk 12:23, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Go ahead. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:12, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

(Re-indent) A caveat: our project has generally avoided using the word "tourist" in favor of "traveler". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:46, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

What about "departure gate" for the information page? K7L (talk) 16:20, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
A few name ideas:
  • Travellers' Check
  • Check-in Desk
  • Consulate/Embassy
  • The Outpost

Sorry for the dodgy puns in the first two! --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 16:53, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Some more:
  • Concierge Floor (favorite)
  • Trip Planner
  • Travel Agency
--Peter Talk 16:59, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Tourist Office works for me. It has a note of comedy that appeals to me. But I'd like to make this into a game: Puzzler might be a fun name (unless Car Talk Radio has a trademark on that which I doubt but we could ask legal; I love that we can ask legal and know they are batting for us, we never had that before). I'd like to see us have some fun with this. It might succeed on a note of challenge: "Dare you answer me this: ..." The oldest unanswered questions could be at top, new questions added at bottom, normal talk order. Answered questions get a bold A at beginning of answer, to be written under question, and archive after some time. A star, or light bulb, or rainbow, or some scale of comical icons, could be added to a question for each week it goes unanswered. Thus challenging questions would gain recognition and extra status would be earned by answering them. Easy questions would be encouraged as well, so that all would understand we are trying to crowd source our knowledge, help each other and have fun. This we could play right now → Wikivoyage:Puzzler (prototype to play with and rename at whim). --Rogerhc (talk) 04:31, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
That does sound like a good idea, though I'm not completely sure about the name - I'm a bit concerned it won't make its purpose clear to first-time users. It would be nice to get something similar to this up and running as the whole idea and discussion appears to have stalled a bit. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 11:45, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Right, I've had a play with Rogerhc's great design and come up with this. As you can see, it's going through a bit of an identity crisis - the page is named 'Tourist Office', but the title says 'Travel Bureau'. Feel free to change it if you like or suggest other names - we need a consensus on this issue! Thoughts, feelings, opinions, abuse are very welcome! --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 14:12, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Tourist Office Alpha[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi! A trial of the Tourist Office is now up and running here, as a place for travel questions to be asked and answered. Please plunge forward and ask or answer as many questions as you can! If you have any comments or queries about the page itself, please put them on the office's talk page. Thanks! --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 18:09, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, please everyone add questions, if only to get a better idea for how this will work. --Peter Talk 18:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I posted a selection of recent questions from the TA forum. As I spent several months there back in 2010, I can vouch for the abundance of such vaguely phrased or even silly questions in any general travel forum (LP's Thorn Tree is also a good example). Let's try to be realistic. Not more than 10% of questions will address serious issues. Most of the questions will ask about things that are: i) already written in our travel guides; ii) should be mentioned in our travel guides (although potentially useful, questions of this sort have a high risk of spurring unnecessary travel topics and other ad-hoc things); iii) fundamentally subjective (I can't give advice on a travel itinerary to an unknown person; what you should see always depends on what you want to see and what your interests are).
Anyone wants to respond to this flow of dull questions? Traveller's forum is a good thing, but most people ask questions that you do not want to answer. One serious problem is that this forum will distract knowledgeable people from writing and updating travel guides. It may give some hint on what to write, though. But I think that the enormous waste of time on reading and answering the questions (once again, check the TA forum, try to stay there and answer questions) outweighs this benefit. --Alexander (talk) 19:55, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
There's no "edit" button beside the headers for each question. The only way to edit the page is with the "edit" tab at the top. This needs to be fixed. AHeneen (talk) 21:18, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
A good point! Maybe we need some sort of specific 'answer' button. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 21:27, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing. --Peter Talk 21:37, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Tourist Office page name[edit]

I'm 100% in favor of title case, especially for pages like Wikivoyage:Tourist Office. However, if we are going to use title case, as in "Wikivoyage:Tourist Office" can we please also move the Pub to "Wikivoyage:Travellers' Pub". It is really silly using sentence case for stuff like this and I think we are old enough now to out-grow that. We use title case for place names of course without catastrophe. "Travelers' Pub" and "Tourist Office" are proper nouns and therefore, in English, demand title case just like your name and mine does. Sure, we would need to discuss a Pub name change in the Pub first. I like the title case. Let's keep the title case for the Tourist Office in any case. I've opened a thread in the Pub's talk page, discussing moving "Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub" to "Wikivoyage:Travellers' Pub".  :-)Rogerhc (talk) 01:18, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Name field in form editor[edit]

Is there a way to put a name field in the form you get when you click on "Ask a new question"? Since this is designed (in part, but not at all exclusively) to be a gateway of sorts to our travel information for beginners, it would be best to avoid any wiki markup whatsoever. As it stands, I expect we would get a lot of unsigned questions, and the "unsigned" template really isn't the friendliest way to handle those. --Peter Talk 17:34, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

I've tweaked the 'skeleton' created below to now provide a name, but not ask any questions for the moment. --Nick (talk) 11:58, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Q&A display[edit]

It would be great to move away from our Spartan wiki format for the questions and answers. Could we create something more colorful, along similar lines to this? --Peter Talk 17:40, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

There is this that I suppose we could adapt...? --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 22:40, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's more similar to what I was thinking. --Peter Talk 22:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not really familiar with MediaWiki extensions, but I'm sure it could be done! --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 23:32, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Could we use what Wikipedia uses in its Teahouse? --Nick (talk) 20:40, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely, I think that looks really nice: accessible for non-wiki folks, and comfortably familiar enough for wikiholics! --Peter Talk 04:16, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Site Notice[edit]

I'm a bit concerned about including this brand new feature in the site notice, and particularly so with the "Consult a travel expert" label. I think we want to be judicious with site notice links, and I don't think this feature warrants such prominence yet. Would it be OK to let this bake a bit longer to work out the kinks before we put it at the top of every page? And if I understand, this functionality is simply a travel topic Q&A area, so "consult an expert" seems like it may be misleading to those asking questions, and intimidating for those answering them. I don't have an alternate proposal as I'm still not 100% sure I understand where this is going, but for now I'd suggest advertising this functionality in the Pub and a few other places where we can solicit questions for a trial run prior to putting it in the site notice. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough—I have reverted my addition. "Consult an expert" was my thinking of how best to attract readers/beginners who we'll need to get this feature off the ground. It's an intriguing link. While a little misleading, looking at the page itself should clear up misconceptions. But if you have a better idea, please introduce it.
I don't think there are any kinks serious enough to hold up this idea's implementation, though. It is intended to be a Q&A area alternative to a certain tree-named site run by a certain well-known commercial travel publisher. And to a certain TA abbreviated site's mini-forums. So looking at those should give a good idea of where at least I think this should be going. --Peter Talk 17:57, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd suggest asking existing editors to try this out by submitting any questions they can think of as a trial run before advertising it for wider use. Right now there is one question that is unanswered, so it would be good to get a better idea on how this will actually be used and tweak as needed. I suspect most of the questions we'll get will already be answered in articles - things like "What is the best time of year to visit Madagascar?" - so it might be worthwhile trying to get a few dozen questions logged as a beta test just to see what fine-tuning is needed. Also, I apologize for not immediately recognizing the references you mention, but as a result I wasn't sure where to look to see what examples we're trying to emulate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:06, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
The Tourist Office will only work if we have a pretty high volume of readership. The forums I was thinking of belong to companies with names that start with trip and lonely. The use of this page would be to increase our readership and contributorship, and to generate content (CC-licensed) that we could plug directly back into the guides. --Peter Talk 18:18, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to stand in the way of getting this launched, so if I'm the only objector please move ahead as if I never said anything. My concern is primarily that, while I think this feature has some potential, I'm not sure that it will be used in a way that the creators envision, and will instead turn into a mass of "What is the weather like in England" questions that pile up and go unanswered unless we have a lot of people keeping an eye on every question and answering them quickly. I think soliciting a trial run as a usability test might help clear up how this functionality will be used in practice, and that would in turn allow some fine-tuning so that we can fully launch this in a way that generates some excitement, rather than creating a feature that may be largely ignored by most users after its initial launch. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:36, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I have the same concern you do. I think this feature is going to run, so I've been reluctant to express my strong reservations about it. I have a lot of doubt that it will be useful, at least at first. If it is, it will be useful because fellow readers respond to a lot of queries. It cannot depend on replies only from regular Wikivoyage editors who choose to monitor the questions. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:20, 22 February 2013 (UTC)


I've tried to tone down the colours on this page from the original 'heavy metal' version - is it an improvement? --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 18:04, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that's much calmer and Wikivoyagey. --Peter Talk 18:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Suppress page title[edit]

I think this page is one that could benefit from losing the site title - is it possible to do that? --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 18:06, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

I would assume we'd do it the same way we do so for our Main Pages in MediaWiki:Common.css, but I haven't gotten that to work using my personal common.css. --Peter Talk 18:31, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I've tried too and haven't had any luck. Initially I thought it might be the colon in the page title that was causing the issue, but even after I found a solution it still wasn't working. I'll keep looking at it. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 18:43, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Could it be that the common CSS is conflicting with what we're writing? From what I've seen, the following should work:\:Tourist_Office h1.firstHeading { display:none; } OR\3A Tourist_Office h1.firstHeading { display:none; }

--Nicholasjf21 (talk) 22:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

This CSS will hide the page title: h1#firstHeading { display:none; }
-- Ryan • (talk) • 23:37, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! That's brilliant! --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 23:40, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please could an admin do than in MediaWiki:Common.css and suppress Site Notice on Tourist Office as well? The page is too complex at top and would benefit from losing those Site Notice links. Thx --Rogerhc (talk) 20:14, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I added the page title suppress code[1], but it appears to have not worked. --Peter Talk 22:07, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I think you might have missed a } off the end :) --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 22:18, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Notification System[edit]

Would it be possible to implement some sort of notification system for individual questions, so users could be notified of a response to their specific question rather than a change to the page as a whole? --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 18:15, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Guiding user questions[edit]

One major concern I have with the existing implementation is that casual readers will use it as a replacement for the site "Search" functionality, we'll get a bunch of questions that are already covered in articles, and after the initial launch no one will want to answer anything due to the work required to wade through a mountain of questions best answered with "Read the Yellowstone#Climate section" (replace with your favorite article/section). At a minimum can the "Question" link be updated to use a pre-filled edit box that includes a template to guide the user? Including something as simple as "What Wikivoyage articles did you look at to answer your question?" as part of the default edit text might go a long way in eliminating some newbie questions, giving us feedback, and reducing the work of those who spend time answering. There may be one or two other key items to include in the edit box that would improve this tool, but asking about the user's prior use of the site was the first one that popped into my head. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:27, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Another important point: some people will ask questions that should be, but are not yet covered by our travel guides. How can we make sure that the answer goes directly into the travel guide and does not remain buried under tons of spam in the Tourist Office section? --Alexander (talk) 20:36, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
To Ryan's point, there was a note recommending to search the guides first, but I removed it [2] to encourage more contributions to get this started. Re-adding it later would certainly make sense. Also, some people simply prefer this format to sifting through guides, and I think that's fine.
To Alexander's point, this is one of the big potential benefits of this feature. By keeping an eye on the questions and answers here, we can simply copy-paste answers into the guides themselves as appropriate (while providing attribution in the edit summary). --Peter Talk 20:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure that a note asking the user to search first will be sufficient, but forcing them to state what pages they looked at when asking a question will ensure that they actually DO search first. Something like:

That would (hopefully) eliminate some questions that can be answered with a simple article search. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:06, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, Peter, you are welcome to try, but we need a large team of editors who are willing to sweep this content into appropriate articles. It is going to be more difficult than sweeping the Pub, because new content should be merged into existing articles. --Alexander (talk) 21:26, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure it would be too arduous a task to do that as some questions would probably be too specific to be merged straight into articles. Moreover, we wouldn't necessarily sweep this content as it would have to be retained in question form in order for people to search it. For the moment, at least, things will be slow and we're unlikely to be deluged until we're completely sure what to expect from this system. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 21:31, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
It's not something we have to do. But it beats trying to research this information on other forums (something I do), from which we can't legally copy text.
Ryan, I like that idea, but I think it looks a little ugly. Maybe we could have preloaded directions in the form, instead of in the answer body? --Peter Talk 21:35, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Tourist Office/Skeleton question is the template that is preloaded - please modify as needed. My biggest concern is simply that we aren't creating unnecessary work for those who review and answer questions, so as long as there is some way to force those asking questions to prove they first tried to search the site (and anything else anyone wants to add to a template) then I'm happier. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:44, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Recent questions to top[edit]

Can we make this a little more forum-y, with the most recent posts at the top? --Peter Talk 21:35, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

That would be nice, definitely! That would keep answered questions from clogging it up as well. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 21:36, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Answer button[edit]

Would it be possible to include some sort of answer button by each question as well? That would make it easier for newcomers to add their responses. At present, the 'edit' button is suppressed in order to preserve the header. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 21:38, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

A 'supplementary question' button would also be good if it were do-able... --Nick (talk) 15:50, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

discussion moved to Travelers' pub


Does anyone have any ideas as to how can get this page more exposure? If it's to survive, we desperately need a ready supply of 'tourists' and 'advisers'. Would it be worth promoting it outside of Wikivoyage? --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 15:12, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm concerned that this page isn't getting more attention from even the users and editors who are already here. We've only gotten involvement on the question/answer request from four people, despite a request in the Pub and on the RFC page. Thus far the goal (as I understand it) is to simply create a forum-like page, with no defined processes for re-incorporating answers into articles, archiving questions in an organized way, encouraging contributors to stay here as editors, etc. In all honesty, at this time that's not something that I would be likely to participate in, and I think the lack of wider participation thus far might be a warning sign that other regular editors here feel the same. Adding some structure, vision, and usability enhancements to what this page is supposed to be might improve that situation, but right now it seems very half-baked with no clear purpose.
As stated before, I definitely do not want my comments to be seen as opposition preventing others from moving ahead with a project they are interested in, but while I think the idea has merit, my guess is that in its current form it is unlikely to succeed, and that greater exposure isn't the solution. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:23, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the only way a travel forum like this works is with wide exposure to a casual audience. If there are only 25 people aware of it (probably a reasonable estimate right now), then we can't expect it to be very active.
That said, with just the four interested parties, I got a very good response to one of my outstanding questions, and Alexander's example questions spurred my creative juices enough to rewrite the Saint Petersburg article, plugging stuff here directly back into it [3]. --Peter Talk 18:53, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I think there must be some fundamental misunderstanding though. Why should we need to have a defined process to reincorporate answers into articles? That sort of bureaucracy could make this genuinely hard to maintain (instead of borderline self-maintaining), while to me the ability to reincorporate answers is a clear benefit, regardless of whether it's done every time.
Why should we need everyone already working here to be interested in this particular project? There are already people here interested in it who can maintain it, and a clear goal is to bring in new contributors?
Why is an archiving process a concern before there's anything to archive? Regarding your point about not having a way of encouraging contributors to stay as editors—that's something we can develop over time in response to how this develops, but it's also just something inherent in getting travelers to share their information here. Participating begets participating.
On a very fundamental level, I think we need more features to encourage readers to turn into contributors, who aren't lured in alone by the joys of wiki editing. We kneed to tap the knowledge of a broader audience, and this is one of the ways to do that. It's also just fun (for some, anyway) to chat with other travelers about plans and ideas. The Tourist Office seems like something that's just so easy and cheap to add—I'm perplexed by the doubts! --Peter Talk 19:18, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
As noted, please don't let my concerns hold up this project - I think we should be trying new things, and I don't want to get in the way of that. I really, really mean that, and am commenting only in the interest of stating some concerns that hopefully would make the project more successful; ignore me if I'm getting in the way of moving this forward.
With that said, I'm looking at the existing proposal and as I understand it in a perfect world we get a hundred brand new users adding questions each day to a single page. Then what? Are we expecting readers to daily scroll through hundreds of questions in the hopes that they might be able to answer one, or that someone asked the specific question they want an answer to? As a regular editor, should I be checking this page each day to see if there is something I might be able to copy into an existing article? What is the specific goal? Just to have a Q&A forum? To attract new readers? To attract new editors? Maybe I'm missing something key, but I don't get what a successful tourist office is supposed to look like, and how it is supposed to fit in with the rest of the site. I'm not looking for a step-by-step "this is how you use the tourist office" guide, but I would like to understand what it's for beyond "If you have a question ask it and someone will answer it", which I don't think will be successful in the context of our site as it exists today. Is there another wiki-based project similar to this one that could be used as a template for how to do this successfully? I tried something similar in using JAMWiki as a bug tracker, and it failed miserably because a wiki is inherently a clunky tool for such a task, and I see the same pitfalls in trying to use a wiki as a message board. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:41, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
The way other travel sites handle forum navigation is either through categories (e.g., country and topic categories) or by a direct link from destination pages. I think both would work here, although we should probably wait before splitting up content on this particular page (the more content, the less this looks like a forgotten area that shouldn't be used). Having a field in the question generator like "What country are you asking about" that could add a category like Category:Questions/Argentina could perhaps be a way of helping sort. We could link the questions from either our destination guides (further out) or possibly from pages like the Wikivoyage:Brazil Expedition, which would help editors find useful answers and questions that they themselves could answer.
There is more than one goal. First and foremost is to simply have a travel forum—it's a useful thing in its own right. Subsidiary aims (which tie into why we should operate a travel forum, rather than just leaving it to other websites) are: 1) To direct travel content-related traffic to our site, rather than competitors—adding a potentially popular travel forum to our site will increase our profile. 2) To ensure that travel forum content is available under the CC license, allowing us to use it in our guides. 3) To turn readers into contributors: the mere act of asking a question here, not to mention answering one, turns a passive reader into an interactive contributor. It could be a gateway drug to actual wiki editing, but I'd be thrilled just to have more readers stop, register an account, and participate in a meaningful way like that—we begin to become their travel portal, rather than just something to glance at before a trip.
I agree that the wiki format is a clumsy way to handle this, and that we may need to install a forum extension (or something like that) in the future for this to work better. But I'm also a big believer that the best way to get stuff like this done is to just do it, and work out the kinks as things develop. If we plop a site notice up referring readers to here, then they may actually ask some questions. That may help us understand what to expect and how better to frame this (Beta) project, and also may attract users interested in helping us develop this project. We need to reach beyond our usual world of several dozen people who follow discussions in the pub. --Peter Talk 20:27, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree with everything Peter has said. I think with this particular project we need to start small and grow and evolve as circumstances change. The limited audience on the Pub is not there with travel questions in mind, so is unlikely to post anything other than answers here. Let's get people through the door and then tweak what we have here. --Nick (talk) 20:52, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I think I may have done more harm than good in raising my concerns, so I'll get out of the way in order to let this idea proceed - I think we need more freedom to experiment with new ideas, and I don't want to stand in the way of this one. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:04, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Reference Desk Link[edit]

Just two random ideas:
  1. Why not get this linked from Wikipedia's Reference Desk?
  2. Perhaps you can collaborate in some way with, their content also seems to be licensed under CC-BY-SA. I'm not seeing any ads either, by apparently they do sell ad space, so that might just be my ad-blocker.
Ruud 21:39, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion! I've asked the Reference Desk here. --Nick (talk) 22:30, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
They've asked if we'd be willing to link to the Reference Desk in return, in case our readers have non-travel-related questions. Any objections? --Avenue (talk) 23:53, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Sounds fair to me. JamesA >talk 00:04, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Sounds fair to me too!
Any thoughts on wording? For questions regarding specific factual information about a destination, please submit your query to the Wikipedia Reference Desk --Nick (talk) 00:16, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
w:Wikipedia:Help desk has "This page is only for questions about how to use or edit Wikipedia. For other types of questions, use the search box or the Reference desk" and then w:Wikipedia:Reference desk has "For help specific to the operation of Wikipedia: / For Wikipedia reference information:" pointing back. I'm sure we could do something similar. "This page is for travel-related questions which have not yet been addressed in Wikivoyage's destination guides. Inquiries for general information on other topics can be had from Wikipedia's Reference desk; information on how to contribute to Wikivoyage is at Help:Contents and questions about Wikivoyage may be posed at the Wikivoyage:Travellers' Pub." K7L (talk) 01:14, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

That's a nice wording and would also prevent people from asking for help with the site on there too. --Nick (talk) 01:20, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Added - any thoughts?
Looks good to me. --Peter Talk 04:19, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
"Inquiries [...] can be had from" doesn't sound right to me. Partly a question of English dialect; I gather that in US English "enquiries" is uncommon, and "inquiries" doesn't have the more formal/official connotation that it does for me. But more importantly "had" seems odd here - I've changed it to "made at". Otherwise it seems good to me, apart from the colour of the links. Why are they black, not blue? --Avenue (talk) 10:12, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Would queries be better? I've changed the links to blue too. --Nick (talk) 10:25, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

They're now asking on Wikipedia whether we'll be dispensing medical or legal advice. I find the former unlikely, but perhaps visas would fall under the second heading. They're also a little concerned about our much freer policy on recommendations. Any thoughts? --Nick (talk) 11:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia has now added a link - hopefully we'll see some activity! --Nick (talk) 01:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

That's annoying - They've moved it to the very bottom of the page in an 'external links' section. If you look at the last question in the TO (on the 11th) and their edit (on the 12th) there's an unfortunate correlation... Discussion here. --Nick (talk) 19:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

I've reinstated it - hopefully it'll remain there this time! --Nick (talk) 19:44, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
There appears to be some user over there who thinks he can act unilaterally against consensus. I've responded to that post you created. JamesA >talk 10:28, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Improving popularity[edit]

We are starting, so it seems, to get a few people through the door of the Tourist Office. It would be interesting to see whether these people are directed from Wikipedia or have come through this site. Personally, I think it must be the former as the TO is actually very hard to find through Wikivoyage - perhaps we could put a link in somewhere? --Nick (talk) 19:50, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm near certain that those two individuals would've came through Wikipedia, so that link was a great idea! I'd recommend adding a link to our sidebar. It could possibly go below "Travellers' pub", however, it is not really a "Get involved" sort of thing. Therefore, maybe it'd be better to put it under "Star articles" near the top? JamesA >talk 05:45, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
That would be really great! I think that position sounds like the best place for it. --Nick (talk) 11:02, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Under the main navigation at the top? JamesA >talk 11:40, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah - just under "Star articles" if that's ok. --Nick (talk) 13:55, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I've added it. I'd like to publicize it in the sitenotice too, to really get things rolling, but it might not even be worthwhile until we have more eyes hitting our site—I think our current casual readership is pretty low compared to what our site really needs. Maybe we should wait until we have a jump in traffic. --Peter Talk 18:53, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that! I think you're probably right that we don't need a site notice mention just yet - hopefully this is something that can grow organically with Wikivoyage. --Nick (talk) 20:09, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd also recommend the sitenotice later. I highly suspect that our viewership is actually fairly low, and will only grow in time as our Google ranking improves. I wonder where we could work on that? *cough* Wikivoyage:Search Expedition *cough* JamesA >talk 01:29, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I think your subtle plug is absolutely right though User:JamesA - getting more people in is critical to both this little project and the whole of Wikivoyage. --Nick (talk) 07:41, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

General Travel Information?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I just discovered this website and it looks very promising. However, most of the topics I found in my quick survey seemed to be regarding the format of the site itself. Maybe I am missing the important pages. Is there going to be a forum for travelers on the go, some sort of on-line Lonely Planet? I'd be looking for hints for things to do, places to stay, and things to avoid advised by fellow travelers.

The mission of Wikivoyage is to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide, not a travel forum (See our Goals and non-goals). By on-line Lonely Planet are you referring to the Thorn Tree forum? Then no. However, just have a look at the guides themselves for advice on things to do & places to stay. After all, this is the travel guide that anyone can edit...users should Plunge forward and add interesting places and restaurants/accommodations to the destination pages for everyone to don't need to search dozens of threads with useful info buried among several pages of posts. While travel forums are useful, they don't fall into the scope of Wikivoyage and actually detract from our goals (again, content being added in a thread rather than on proper destination page). AHeneen (talk) 17:39, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Most of the content is actually travel topics. Click Random page to get an idea of what you can find here. By the way, welcome to Wikivoyage! :-) Nicolas1981 (talk) 17:51, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Type the name of any country, province or city you please into the search box at top right of page. Tada! Or if you prefer to browse by region, start with one of the little bulleted links at top of Main Page to find your way. Happy trails! -- 18:45, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't predict that we'll have a forum a la Thorntree, but new ways of sharing tips should definitely be in our future, about listings in particular. We had such an experiment in development back around 2007, but it failed for lack of tech support/development. This is still a bit over the horizon, but it almost certainly will become possible. --Peter Talk 20:57, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Archive Time[edit]

How long should we leave questions up here before we archive them? --Nick (talk) 22:22, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Two weeks? LtPowers (talk) 00:00, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
That sounds fair to me! --Nick (talk) 00:09, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Should we leave unanswered questions indefinitely? --Nick (talk) 00:26, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
My experience on the Wikipedia Reference desks leads me to suspect that if a question is not answered within two weeks, it may be that nobody is going to answer it; in any case, as it moves away from the bottom of the page, it gets a lot less attention. While it might seem useful to leave such a question, how long is somebody going to keep checking back to see if his or her question is answered, and then how cluttered would it be acceptable for the page to get with months-old unanswered questions? Just my 2¢ worth. Falconusp t c 02:52, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I think you're right! 2 weeks is long enough. :) --Nick (talk) 11:06, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Generally forums don't give up on questions, but leave them open indefinitely. Could we sweep them to geographic subpages (by continent for now?) and not call them archived? --Peter Talk 16:59, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I think I'll leave unanswered questions open for the moment and just see how that works. --Nick (talk) 21:48, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Archive Search not working[edit]

Any ideas why the archive search function is not working at present? As far as I'm aware I've used the same system WP uses on its Reference Desk. --Nick (talk) 00:46, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Now appears to be fixed. --Nick (talk) 22:00, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Template: Asked in Tourist Office.[edit]

I was thinking, perhaps when a question about a certain topic was archived the following template could be placed on the relevant article's talk page to notify editors that some useful information might be here - any thoughts?

The code: {{Asked in Tourist Office|[[Wikivoyage:Tourist_Office/Archives/February#Virunga_National_Park]] --~~~~}}

--Nick (talk) 18:05, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Sound like a good idea to get more peoples attention. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:18, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Could be useful. But I don't think we should automatically put this on every article someone has asked something about. Very often there is nothing in any of the replies that can be included in the article as new information. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:40, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


I'm wondering if we should mention Wikivoyage:Docents somewhere in the introduction. Along with a recommendation to check the destination guide for the petitioner's destination before asking. I thought about adding them but I didn't want to make the intro too long; if it's too long people won't read it! LtPowers (talk) 11:04, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

What do we do with edits like...[edit]

...this one, which have nothing to do with travel but are not obviously touting or vandalism? We've gotten several of those lately, and we'll probably deal with stuff like that more and more as traffic grows. Is it okay to just revert them without comment? The guidelines for the Tourist Office's scope are spelled out pretty unambiguously on the top of the page, so I'm not sure how much good would be done by reminding misguided users over and over again of what does and does not belong here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:35, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps we leave a sort of generic, automatic response, saying that this is not the best place for that question and pointing them towards the WP Reference Desk? The example you've given could, I suppose be considered 'travel' (in its broadest sense), so maybe we need to narrow our remit on the Reference Desk as well? --Nick talk 22:01, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Such persons have probably already been to w:WP:RD, and were directed here because they clicked on the "Travel" category on that page. Powers (talk) 01:58, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Questions about vehicles (as engineering) might be best directed to w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science and geopolitical questions to w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities if they're outside our scope, but I'm not sure from looking at w:WP:RD if there is any obvious place to direct other questions (such as general geography) if they're not travel or tourism related. Sending people back to w:WP:RD makes no sense if they came here from there, but a topic-specific subdesk is valid if one exists for a specific question. K7L (talk) 19:52, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I would direct human geography to the humanities desk, and physical geography to the science desk. Generally if it has to do with natural processes, it's good for the science desk, and if it has to do with culture or society (other than what falls into the "Language" or "Entertainment" desks), it is good for the humanities desk. If you truly can't figure out where a question belongs, feel free to ask on the talk page or direct the question to the Miscellaneous desk. It is not always clear that the question belongs to one desk specifically (was the car question looking for science-related reasons that the car didn't work, or social reasons?); in that case, just direct the OP to one of the desks that you think makes sense. Cheers, Falconusp t c 06:13, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I've added links to Science and Humanity desks to Wikivoyage:Tourist Office/Header. K7L (talk) 16:08, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Reference Desk[edit]

There's currently a discussion going on at the WP Reference Desk about whether it's right to directly move questions here if they relate specifically to travel - might it be worth us saying hello? --Nick talk 11:05, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Your response there looks good. On a side note, despite my initial skepticism I think the tourist office has worked out as a good source for bringing in additional readers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:15, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Wherefore the Tourist Office?[edit]

By way of continuing the discussions above: it seems that a large proportion of users still think the Tourist Office is an appropriate place to ask random trivia questions and other matters that are, at best, only tangentially related to travel (e.g. this current one and this one from last month).

We've kicked the idea around in the discussions above, but we really need to get into the habit of bouncing out-of-scope questions back to the Wikipedia Reference Desk or some other place that is better equipped to handle matters that are not germane to the purposes of Wikivoyage. I know we all want to be helpful, but if we answer out-of-scope questions here and/or let them stay up on the page and visible for significant lengths of time, it will confuse new users as to the true purpose of the Tourist Office and encourage them to clutter up the page with still more irrelevancies.

Also, to further head off problems like this, we need to find a better way to proactively communicate to users (and perhaps to the Wikipedia Reference Desk or other such pages that refer their users here) the parameters of the Tourist Office's scope, particularly vis-à-vis Wikivoyage's scope.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:28, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

A huge red warning box? ϒpsilon (talk) 17:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem with bouncing them back to w:Wikipedia:Reference desk is that page directs Travel (Tourism, vacations, and travel) enquiries here. If a specific reference desk makes sense (for instance, "what keeps the aeroplane aloft" → Science and Technology), say so, but even then there is the risk that bouncing out-and-out trivia to other reference desks can create a loop where Wikipedia sends the question back to us. K7L (talk) 18:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Be that as it may, I think it's a little early to throw our hands up. We can try to educate the regulars at the WP Reference Desk about what is and is not a good question to refer to the Tourist Office. Failing that, at the very least we should quickly archive out-of-scope questions so that they're not visible to impressionable newbies who don't realize that's not what's supposed to be covered here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:16, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if WP editors are routinely sending people here. And I think we can avoid loop concerns if we specify the appropriate WP reference desk when we direct queriers there. Powers (talk) 01:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
The page header on w:Wikipedia:Reference Desk sends "Travel" here, listing individual WP reference desks for everything else. De facto, that's directing general geography and transport enquiries here which might better fit the "science" (physical geography, transportation and infrastructure) or "humanities" (sociology and politics) desks. K7L (talk) 01:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
As long as there's someone here who can acceptably answer these types of questions, I think it's no huge problem for them to be sent here, and it might be more complicated to resolve the problem any other way. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
K7L, I'm aware of that, but Andre was talking about educating regulars so that they don't send people here unnecessarily; I assume that's referring to people posting on their reference desks, not the general directive you mention. Powers (talk) 17:12, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Events at Wikivoyage:Tourist Office[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Apologies if this message should go on a different page. This isn't exactly a user ban issue, and Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress is a ghost town, so I figured this was the most appropriate well-trafficked page for it.

There's an extremely stubborn anonymous vandal who, over the past few weeks, has continually posted and reposted a spammy off-topic message in the Tourist Office regarding some video produced by CNN. Ryan and myself have been doing a pretty good job reverting the vandalism when it happens, but the user's persistence makes me wonder whether an Abuse Filter might get the job done more efficiently. As you can see from this diff, there's a lot of very specific words and phrases in the boilerplate text that keeps getting reposted (i.e. "CNN Deltalina") that we could almost certainly blacklist without catching too many false positives. Can I get some support for this?

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:12, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I support it. But if Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress is a ghost town, that's a problem. Enough people, especially admins, should be checking recent changes to see posts on pages like that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
BUMP. Just reverted another instance. Can some more users comment on this, please? I'd really like to get this issue taken care of. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Support. Or should we politely answer the person's questions as well as we can and give him/her the e-mail address to CNN's complaints department? :) ϒpsilon (talk) 20:42, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
We can do both, if you like ;) A filter seems very appropriate. JuliasTravels (talk) 21:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Blacklisting "CNN Deltalina" for some time sounds reasonable, I would say. Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say we should blacklist a number of different word combinations just to be safe - while largely made up of boilerplate text, the message has changed slightly from iteration to iteration (i.e. this one, which ends in "And by the way this video is related to travel" as a response to the edit summary of an earlier reversion of the vandalism explaining that the Tourist Office is for travel-related content only). I have no knowledge of how to construct an Abuse Filter, but it looks like we have a solid enough consensus to put one into action at this point. Would someone who knows what they're doing like to volunteer? (Andrewssi2?) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:15, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@AndreCarrotflower: I've edited abuse filters on other MediaWiki wikis (e.g. WikiIndex) and I have some familiarity with regex. If no one else steps up and you think I'd be okay with the tools, I'll do it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Looks like no one else is going to bite, Justin. Does anyone object to having him set up a filter: Ikan, Ryan, Ypsi, Julias or Nicolas1981? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Go ahead. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I didn't comment earlier because it seems to me that this user rarely turns up and is easily handled with the rollback button, but I have no opposition to using the spam blacklist or a similar tool so long as we don't accidentally block any good edits with whatever approach is implemented. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I already said upthread that I was OK with a filter. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:40, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. Good luck Justin and let me know if you want any help. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Since this seems to have stalled, I just went ahead created the filter (number 20) and tested.
Presently it is very simple, only disallowing edits to the Tourist Office page that contain 'CNN Deltalina'. I agree with AndreCarrotflower that a combination should be tested for, however I'm nervous to blacklist 'CNN' and 'Delta' since both are legitimate terms for travel.
Please provide suggestions for other terms to detect, or otherwise just let me know when the vandal is back :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:18, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
AbuseFilter I didn't realize that my userrights had actually been changed until just now. I'm happy to help as well. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:34, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Well the abuse filter is now created and running, so not really anything to do technically now. Further work required is to refine the key word detection, and discuss what those key words should be. (i.e. catch this user's edits, but not 'legitimate' users) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:27, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
A belated thanks for setting the filter in motion, Andrewssi2. In looking back at the relevant edits, it looks like the user changes the wording a little bit from instance to instance, which might make it hard to identify specific phrases to blacklist (was this intentional?)
(rest of this message redacted due to ongoing vandalism issue)
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:11, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

"Tourist Office" or "Tourist office"?[edit]

I tried linking to Wikivoyage:Tourist office and got a redlink. Standard practice on this site is for only the first word of a title to be capitalized unless it's the name of a place like New York or New London in which both words are always capitalized. Though some of us suggested for "Travellers' Pub" to be treated as a name and have both words capitalized, we were overruled. No doubt, if we were talking about a town in which there was one tourism office, I'd consider that a name and capitalize it as Tourism Office or Office of Tourism (Ufficio di Turismo, etc.). However, I think in this case, maybe for the sake of consistency we should call this corner of the site the "Tourist office" with "Tourist Office" being a redirect. The consensus on this question obviously won't make or break the site, but what do you all think? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:33, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

I support keeping it as is, because it is just more aesthetically pleasing to me. Also I like capitalizing nouns. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:13, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek, it should match the same capitalization scheme we've used for not only article pages and "Travellers' pub", but for dozens of other pages in the Wikivoyage: namespace as well. Barring consensus on some justification for an exception, I support changing it immediately as a mere correction. Texugo (talk) 12:23, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Any further thoughts from anyone? Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:47, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
I can't disagree that they should match. Powers (talk) 20:13, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to move it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:58, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
If the page has been moved, any inbound links to it (such as the ones from WP) need to be updated. K7L (talk) 09:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
There are loads of pages that link. It would be a nightmare to change them all manually. Can this process be automated somehow? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:12, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
They all still redirect to the right place. If that's somehow not good enough, we can pretty easily use AWB to fix all the links. Texugo (talk) 17:22, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Consequences of the move[edit]

I was against the move from Tourist Office to Tourist office, and one of the consequences seems to be, that a bunch of users edit the redirect page. Also it says very clearly welcome to the Tourist Office at the head of this page and it is also spelled with a capital letter in the sidebar... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:45, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

If editing the redirect page becomes a persistent problem, it can easily be protected, but I somehow doubt that will be a big problem. Changing the way it appears in the sidebar is a simple issue I have just fixed, and that should drastically reduce the number of people being taken to the redirect page in the first place. Texugo (talk) 17:19, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
We also have to fix the incoming link at WP, which I believe brings many people here... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:07, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess i don't understand. What incoming link at WP? Texugo (talk) 19:10, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
When they refer to us in their reference desk... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:55, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Done. Texugo (talk) 20:20, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Tourist office is not working correctly[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I just tried to ask a new question at the Tourist office by clicking "Ready? Ask a new question". After I typed my question and clicked "Save", my question did not appear at the Tourist office but on a page that had "#redirect [[Wikivoyage:Tourist office]]" and my question after that. I had to edit the Tourist office page directly to get my question to appear there. What's going on here? JIP (talk) 19:30, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

This issue should now be fixed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
The whole thing is a result of the move from Tourist Office to Tourist office. I think before we do a similar move (the whole transport(ation) issue was somewhat similar) we should consider these kind of things... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:58, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Eh, most page moves are uncomplicated so we assumed this one would be too. With that kind of thing, it's pretty unlikely for anyone to think of it ahead of time even if we sat and said "what do we need to do to make way for this move?" But anyway, I don't think any real harm was done. Texugo (talk) 21:19, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Newbie biting?[edit]

Ryan, Pashley: are we really sure this is a troll? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:10, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Special:Diff/2892594/2892596 and Special:Diff/2892591/2892592 seemed blatantly obvious to me. Combine that with the fact that the user has a checkered edit history on Wikipedia and was making increasingly questionable edits here (Current safety in Paris? reasonable question. Syria? less so. A tourist traveling to a disputed Russian territory wondering if it's OK to ask people about their murdered children? not realistic.) As always please just revert me if you feel otherwise, but I don't usually do anything about trolling unless I feel 99% certain that the user really is a troll. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:58, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
When that user asked whether it was safe to travel to Syria, s/he'd have to have paid no attention to any news in years for that to be a serious question, and when s/he then said s/he might visit the school where the terrorists massacred people in Beslan, it was completely obvious s/he was a troll. You seriously question that? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:45, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I suspected the user might be a troll but couldn't rule out the possibility that he wasn't. The question about Syria was "is it safe to travel to any part of the country?", and I don't think it's unreasonable to think an especially intrepid traveller might wonder whether the portions of Syria still under the control of Assad's government might be comparatively safer than the IS-controlled region. As for Beslan, I had no familiarity with the terrorist attack there until the user posed the question here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:52, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
The user did, and I did, too: It was a huge massacre: w:Beslan school siege. At least 385 dead - worse than the horror in Paris a few days ago. And it was very safe to conclude s/he was a troll even before things got even worse: I hadn't seen the last remark: "Would it be disrespectful to talk about September 2004 in beslan or at the remains of the school?" I mean, really, come on! If this isn't an obvious troll, who would be? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:56, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I didn't think it was obvious either. I can certainly imagine much more blatant trolling than this. Powers (talk) 18:44, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Misplaced enquiries[edit]

A bit unsure about this edit - a user asked a question about trains that might be better suited to Wikipedia's "science and technology" reference desk and one of our users (instead of directing the user there) merely reverted the post with "Mumbai CST to Pune Junction (Maharashtra): archived as not travel-related - questions about why trains are routed along particular tracks are way outside WV's wheelhouse".

This looks problematic for one reason: Wikipedia's reference desk is displaying a note saying to send "travel-related questions" here. Some of those questions might be geography (sociology, so WP "humanities" desk) or transportation (infrastructure or physical geography are "science and tech", again another WP desk). A valid question for some other reference desk should be directed there, not simply reverted, if it was posted here in good faith. w:WP:BITE? —The preceding comment was added by K7L (talkcontribs)

I agree with you. I'd suggest reinstating the comment and responding by saying that in this travel guide, we simply report on transportation as it exists, for the benefit of informing travellers, and don't criticize it with a view toward suggesting how a rail line could be improved. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:15, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
I concur. The link here from WP's RD is great but I'm certain it does lead to some confusion. Powers (talk) 18:08, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
I've reinstated the post and replied to it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:19, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Mobile "ask a question" button[edit]

On the mobile version of this site ( the button "Ready? Ask a new question!" links to which doesn't have the usual preloaded Tourist office stuff, but just shows the code for the header bit (<noinclude>{{Wikivoyage:Tourist office/Header}}</noinclude> __TOC__ {{Auto archiving |archiveheader = {{talk archive}}...) Is there a way to fix this, as people without knowledge of Wikivoyage may just leave as they may be confused by this. Thanks.  Seagull123  Φ  12:31, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

The level of attention to this page is pitiful[edit]

What I said above. And a lot of questions never get answered. What should be done about this? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:53, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

The assumption I have about this page is that if someone wants a simple answer to a question like the ones raised here, they can always Google it. Since they're asking here instead, then, it would stand to reason that they're looking for more in-depth information from someone who has personal knowledge of the subject. When I'm in a position to provide that kind of insight, I usually do so, but it doesn't happen very often: the range of things with which I have that level of familiarity is only a thin sliver of the Tourist Office pie.
To answer your question, then, I think we at Wikivoyage need to come to terms with the fact that our editing community is small currently and will almost certainly remain so for the foreseeable future, and that there are certain things we just don't have the manpower to maintain. The Tourist Office is likely one of those things; the Collaboration of the "Month" which hasn't been touched since 2014 is another. (I could go on: DotM is in good shape for the time being, but sad to say, all it would take to put that feature in this category would be one or two more users going AWOL). When the situation is like this, the thing to do IMO is concentrate our efforts on the basics of what we offer readers: our content. Expand articles, differentiate the prose from what's on the other site, revert vandalism, detout. And if that means some of the ancillary bells and whistles need to be put out to pasture, so be it. A site like the English Wikipedia is in more of a position to be all things to all people, but we're not at that level, probably never will be, and should stop pretending to be. (And that's not a slight against Wikivoyage: there's something to be said for a site like ours keeping a more circumscribed wheelhouse.)
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 06:48, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
Also sites such as are a better format than a Wiki talk page (and have a larger community to answer such questions).
Possibly what we need is a better version of Wikivoyage:Requested articles, where people have questions that can't be answered by the articles we have and give us inspiration to create / update them in order to meet the gap. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:12, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
How would a better version of Wikivoyage:Requested articles differ from the current version? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:17, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
The current version is just a wish list of article names, some with a short explanation. What I would like is 'I came to Wikivoyage looking for a guide for seeing Tigers in India, and couldn't find it' or 'I'm really interested in aircraft carriers, how can I plan a trip to see some?'. Sorry, for the lack of imagination, but I hope you get what I mean. Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:40, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
The million dollar question, I think, is what would keep this retooled version of Wikivoyage:Requested articles from becoming just as neglected as the Tourist Office currently is? It all boils down to the number of hands we have on deck. If we can't do this kind of thing, we can't do it, and maybe it's best to just accept it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:12, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
I might be entirely wrong, but I assume every time regular editors come to Wikivoyage, the first thing they do is taking a look at Recent changes. Therefore edits to pages like the Tourist office, the pub, the requests for comment page and other pages where people ask important questions should by default be highlighted on Recent changes, for instance in red or in bold text like pages on one's personal watchlist. I've no idea if this is technically possible, though. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:52, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
I'm with Andre on this. We should focus on what we're doing well, and this isn't it. I don't think it's a matter of contributors not being aware of the questions, I think it's a matter of our contributor base being too small to have people who can provide good answers to the questions that are asked. Let's stop offering a service we're not able to provide effectively at this stage. Ground Zero (talk) 22:11, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
This page is currently linked from w:Wikipedia:Reference desk as "Travel"; maybe we should unlink that but leave the rest as-is? K7L (talk) 17:10, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
I think that this page generally does work when regular contributors post questions, but is less good at answering questions from IPs & new contributors. I think that we should keep the page,as an alternative to the pub for asking about travel, but make it less prominent, and unlink from WP. AlasdairW (talk)
I would disagree. No-one answered my recent question and I've seen other regulars' questions go unanswered, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:50, 1 July 2017 (UTC)