Touts are an unfortunate category of contributors in Wikitravel.
Some of our most prolific contributors belong to the more specific category of American hotel touts (spammers, at that). Characteristics of these contributors include:
- Only ever making edits related to (their) hotels
- Only making edits to hotels that are owned by a (their) hotel conglomerate
- Always using the add listing feature at the top of the sleep section, so that their listing remains unsorted by price
- Always including the name of the town, zip code, state, or even country in the address, presumably because there is a good old fashioned copy paste job involved
- Never (or nearly never) adding useful information, in particular price ranges, to their listings—thereby ever increasing the chances that our travel guides be mistaken for the yellow pages
- Using promotional language that is so absurd that no traveler would ever pay it any attention (Seriously touts, why do you do this? I swear to you that we, the hotel using public, are not so dumb as to be influenced by you telling us that your "luxurious" "experience" "right near every attraction in the article" is so great.)
- Consistently updating the same listings over and over, especially to restore policy violations that some other editor had taken the time to clean up
- Violating the Wikitravel:Don't tout and Wikitravel:External links policies in more variations than I could possibly list
- Never responding to messages left on talk pages
- Adding multiple listings for one hotel
- Doing a variation of combinations of the above (and occasionally none of the above) in seemingly random fashion, indicating that probably more than one person is at work
[add listing] Do
I collect you guys. If you see your IP or user name in this list, it does not mean you are a tout. It does not mean I think you are contributing in bad faith. It does not mean you are in the same "standing" or what have you as the rest of the users on this list.
It does mean I will check over every single one of your contributions. Depending on a combination of how useful the content is that you added, and how egregiously it violates Wikitravel policies, I will either leave it alone, clean it up, or just remove it altogether. Chain hotels with no useful information beyond addresses & phone numbers are, in my view, good candidates to be simply removed—anyone can just go on Expedia or whatever site they please and find your hotel. Personally, I also give preference to hotels that don't pay their employees to spam useless listings all over the site.
- For reference, the worst offenders, in my opinion, are as follows in order:
- 1. Intercontinental Hotels Group
- 3. Wyndham Worldwide
- 2. Choice Hotels
- 4. Best Western
- The individual hotel brands are listed via those links. My apologies if I've missed any of you.
For anyone else wondering what I'm up to in my mass deletions, please see Wikitravel talk:Accommodation listings#Tout spammers.
And if you see marking a sleep section as "checked," that means that the sleep section is fully in order up to that edit in the article history.
I'm getting kind of tired of contacting you and leaving advice that gets ignored or unread. I would, however, be thrilled if you express interest in getting your edits to conform to policy (and therefore become useful), and would be happy to help you understand how to do so. You can contact me on my talk page.
If you have noticed some other contributor following the above patterns, and would like me to take a look, please just go right ahead and add them to the list, and I'll give it a look. Moreover, if you are interested in jumping into the effort cleaning up after the touts, please do! Feel free to modify this page below this line to note what has and has not been checked, and up to what date things have been checked.
If your ip starts with 122.169, you likely work for Wikitravel's single worst offending spam agency. I urge fellow Wikitravelers to add ips from this company to the list below, and to help revert their edits.
[add listing] See
 Checked through 9/8
 Checked through 9/8
Not recently active:
- Special:Contributions/Biggie54 (checked through 19 Apr)