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Tours policy?[edit]

While patrolling, I was looking at this edit and realized that I'm not sure what our policy is regarding tour agencies. My general feeling is that we should not list them—Wikitravel is the "tour guide" and the only reason why someone would need anything else would be that a particular article is incomplete. But then again, we really should list the London Walks—they are excellent and it wouldn't really be possible (or desirable) to duplicate their information here. Have I just not found our policy yet? Can anyone point me towards a discussion? --Peter Talk 20:52, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

Ideally, over time, we should be adding our own walking tours. London is a particularly fine example for a London Walking Tours article (and I would be happy to contribute something for Regent's Park-Primrose Hill-Regent's Canal or even for the Heath. It would be far better for wikitravel to have well described walking tours that the traveler can print and follow than to recommend a particular walking tour. I think the current policy on external links is quite good and we should try not to subvert it - to put it another way, my walking tour company is better than your walking tour company :-).--Wandering 21:56, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
When I say recommend a particular walking tour, I of course mean a particular tour company that organizes walking tours.--Wandering 21:57, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
I like our external links policy as well, but I bring this up because nothing is said in that policy regarding links to tour agencies (as opposed to other tour guides). London Walks is a good recommendation because the company employs excellent guides for the walking tours, but perhaps linking to them is a slippery slope in that it would open the doors for all sorts of useless tour agency listings? Ultimately, if no policy deals with this directly, we should change that—I see similar listings often and am not sure what to do with them. --Peter Talk 22:39, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
Me too... – cacahuate talk 01:33, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
Me three. My feeling is that they should not be allowed except in cases where doing it without a tour guide would be dangerous or certain to get you lost, i.e. hiking in the Amazon, etc. Otherwise I think we should be concentrating on making a guide that would allow you to do it yourself. Texugo 19:17, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
Could we benefit from a policy stating that tour companies/guides should not be listed without first achieving consensus on the appropriate talk page regarding an exceptional situation? This would be a bit more cumbersome than "No tour agency listings," but would allow us the flexibility to include Himalayan climbing outfits, Amazon tours, or other tours that really deserve a mention in any city guide. In any rate, if we totally ban tours listings, that would be a disadvantage for Wikitravel vis-a-vis printed guides, which regularly point out tour agencies that deserve mention (like London Walks). --Peter Talk 20:33, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
I'd agree to that. Should this discussion be moved to Wikitravel talk:External links? Texugo 21:42, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
A policy for making exceptions could apply to any kind of external link (restaurant listings, nightlife). This discussion should definitely be moved to Wikitravel talk:External links. I hated this no external link policy at first, and was miffed when seat61.com was removed from the Myanmar page, but quite like it now. That way, there are no gray areas. For tours, I really feel that wikitravel contributers should write their own walking tours.--Wandering 21:54, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

Hmm, I haven't been quite clear enough. What I have been talking about is not whether to list external links to tour agencies, it is whether to list tour agencies (in the Do section). So this really should not have any impact on our Wikitravel:External links policy—it still would only allow official links to primary sources for listings without exception. So again, this is just a question of whether to list tour agencies and I think our answer so far is tour agencies should not be listed, unless a specific agency is determined an exceptional case by consensus on the talk page. I'm not sure exactly where this discussion should be moved. To Wikitravel:Where you can stick it? Or to Wikitravel:Activity listings? --Peter Talk 02:09, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

I agree that this is not an External links issue, but I think that we should allow tours on our guides. Wikitravel is never going to take me on a bus around San Francisco, but the tour company did (I forget which, unfortunately). I agree that it is a crummy way to see a city, but if you have just one day, crummy is better than nothing. I think tours should be listed under See or Do. If they get too long, we should keep a few good ones, just as we do with restaurants. — Ravikiran 02:24, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
Ah, yeah, I understood what you were saying- I just didn't wasn't thinking when I suggested Wikitravel talk:External links. I think it should go here :Wikitravel talk:Attraction listings since this issue will almost always be a See or Do thing.
With respect to what Ravikiran said, I disagree. Wikitravel can take you on a bus trip around San Francisco, given the proper itinerary article. Actually though, I don't really think a tourist bus is necessarily what we're concerned about here. A lot of cities have a tourist bus service, sometimes run by the city itself. Typically a city never has dozens and dozens of competing tourist bus services, whereas some places have lots of small companies and individuals offering to be personal tourist guides. Another point is that often the companies that offer these services are the same kind of tourist agent that offer hotel and ticket finder services, something which is already banned here. Texugo 02:42, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
I guess the real problem I am still having with this issue is that I recognize tours listings that don't belong, like these two, but then there are a lot of tours that I recognize as belonging in our guides, like the London Walks or this commercial art gallery tour that User:Gorilla Jones just added. What I can't figure out, though, is how a policy would distinguish the "right" kind of tours from the "wrong" ones.
As an example, London Walks is worth listing for two reasons. First, it employs excellent native Londoner guides, with whom it is a pleasure to chat. Second, their tours are a good way to meet Londoners and other travelers. Third, they offer really good, in-depth tours of their subjects. Now we could say that Wikitravel could provide at least the third of these positives by creating hundreds of excellent itineraries for London, but that's not being very realistic, at least in the short term.
I guess the reason why the two on the Rome page appear to not belong is that they are tour agencies that aim to replace our guides entirely, rather than supplement them—someone on this sort of tour would have no reason to bring a WT print out. Perhaps a tour agency needs a specific "angle" to be included? So a tour agency offering "tours of London" would not be allowable, but a tour agency offering "guided walks to discuss the history of London neighborhoods" would be fine? Or as Texugo suggested, we could exclude tour agencies that find accommodation for travelers. Sorry for this stream of consciousness—I'm just trying to wrap my head around this issue ;) --Peter Talk 03:13, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
Continuing the restaurant analogy, when a city article has no restaurant listing at all, we're okay with someone listing a McDonalds or a Dominos or a boring Chinese joint. But when it has too many listings, someone who has decided that it is now time to make this a real guide will decide that only a few good ones will be kept. He will gather a consensus and cull out the repetitive and boring ones. I think that the same things can happen with tour guides too. — Ravikiran 03:27, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Ravi -- a blanket ban on all tour companies is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. (For example, the only way to visit some places like Panmunjeom or Kumgangsan is with a tour company.) It's a slippery slope to be sure, but we'll just have to deal with it. One criterion I'd like to establish, though, is that any tour company on WT has to be the primary service provider, not just a reseller. Jpatokal 04:34, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
I see where you're coming from. Listing a tour company is, I suppose, not the same as listing a consolidated restaurant site. I do have two caveats though,
How do you define a consensus? In the case of Peter's walking tour company, if he is the only wikitravel writer who has used the company, does that mean we have a consensus? I've lived in London but, if presented with a choice of two companies that offer London Walks, would be unable to evaluate either. I am new to this site but it does seem to me that there are very few people actually writing stuff in articles and many more people acting as editors, which means that finding enough people that have used a particular tour company won't be easy. My guess is you'll be hard pressed to get a meaningful consensus.
Unlike a regular travel guide, wikitravel does not have a Tony Wheeler or a Tom Masters that the user relies on to have done the legwork in evaluating listings. The weakness of wikitravel is that there are no 'experts'. However, in my opinion, its strength lies in codifying the collective knowledge of many, something a Lonely Planet cannot hope to do. That's why, frequent travelers like me are also frequent readers and posters on Thorn Tree. Over time, this collective knowledge can lead to itineraries and walking tours that are far better than anything London Walks can offer (albeit without the personal touch). You gotta think long term.
All that said, I agree that not having a link the double decker tours of New York would be a bit silly. Of course, we'd have to link to Grayline, New York Double Decker Tours, and anybody else that provides the service. In the same spirit, I suggest we list all walking tours of London rather than a fuzzily defined consensus one. --Wandering 10:23, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
Consensus is for policies; for articles, the basic principle is "assume good faith". So if somebody adds a tour company, and they aren't obvious sleaze, then IMHO it can stick until somebody else has a reasonable complaint. Jpatokal 11:19, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
I don't agree that there are no 'experts' in Wikitravel. Take a look at Peter's articles for the South Side of Chicago, or Singapore and other Jpatokal fiefdoms. We have experts, they just work for free. In the case that you describe, if you know London Walks to be notably good because you've taken some of their tours - or you've heard from several trusted sources that they're notably good - then add it. If you know nothing of them other than their name, then you don't have grounds to recommend them, so don't add a listing for them if one doesn't already exist. We wouldn't have to link to every New York double decker service because we're not encyclopedic, we're not Wikipedia, and we're not objective - we're biased in favor of what's good. In the case of London, it's big enough that the number of users here who've been to (or live in) London acts as a de facto check on rubbish listings.
I'd welcome any possible clarification on this policy, though, and I'm glad to see this discussion. I'm often not sure whether a certain tour agency should be added under the extlinks policy, but I basically trust that someone else will smack me upside the head if necessary. In each case, I've been asking myself whether the traveler needs a guide's help to make this decision - e.g. Hanoi is chock full of men, women, children and parrots begging you to book your Ha Long Bay trip through them, and the simple way to sift through the masses is that if you pay more, you're more likely to get a better boat. And anyone can get screwed by a travel agent on Khao San Road - they don't need our help finding a specific screwer. But in the case of London Walks, that is an exceptional service (I've done one) and they are worth seeking out. New Orleans is similar case where walking tours are a standard part of the experience of the city and are done both well and poorly. If we didn't include at least one, we're offering an incomplete guide. Not that we need to take all of our cues from the print guides, but they give advice in that regard, so why shouldn't we? (And that doesn't stop them from developing their own walking tours, as we should continue to do.) Gorilla Jones 11:28, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

I agree with the objections in this thread to the original framing of a tours policy—that a blanket ban is too restrictive and that trying to establish consensus for every tour agency that should be in our guides is not going to be very effective. I think though that the restaurant analogy doesn't quite work because some tour agencies/guides are in direct competition with Wikitravel in that they aim do the trip planning themselves. Here are the guidelines that I think have come up in this discussion that might work in a tours policy:

  1. Don't list tour agencies that act as a booking agent for the traveler—we are looking for tour agencies that offer something as a supplement, rather than a replacement for our guides.
  2. As with accommodations, it is not permissible to list resellers of tours, only list the actual tour operators.
  3. Always list tour agencies (even if they do not meet other criteria) if they are requisite to visit a certain area. Examples include tours that are required by law (e.g., North Korea) or for places that would simply be too dangerous to tour without a guide (war zones and extreme environments such as the Amazon, Antarctica, Space, etc).

Do these sound sensible? And do they leave out anything important? --Peter Talk 12:31, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

One thing -- where do we list them? Is the easy answer is "wherever appropriate" (walking guides in On foot, rafting expedition organizers in Do, etc) OK? Jpatokal 13:06, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
I definitely lean towards not listing tours, unless really necessary. I would say unless it's required/safer to go with a guide (Soweto), that we should pull them out like rotting weeds. I almost think that #3 should start "Only" not "Always". It's tempting to also allow if they are providing something really unique and that can't be described easily in our guides, but then that gets fuzzy, and hard to patrol. I would think most city tours can just be described as our own itinerary with a map, no need to farm that out to a tour guide. In most places like Hollywood, Bangkok, Kathmandu, etc you can just point people to the right neighborhood for booking a tour, if they're interested. "Want to tour the stars homes? Head to Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd, where tour operators abound" - that's more than enough in my opinion. I know there are a few exceptions, and it's hard to throw the baby out with the bathwater... but it's also hard to then explain to one operator/editor why his tour agency can't be here when we list others. We've had persistent editors who really want to list audio tours, and we were militant about avoiding that... but then may allow listings to human tour operators doing the same thing? The external links policy was set up to avoid grey areas and to be useful in policing newly added links... and yes, unfortunately, there are a few times when it really sucks to not be able to add something like a nightlife guide... but for the most part it works. I don't see why the tour policy has to be any different. Perhaps Extra can figure into this equation in the future... a place to talk about your specific experiences with a tour operator? – cacahuate talk 13:09, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
I like Peter's guidelines and they seem like a good foundation to me. Generally, I want to be able to list a tour agency if they can take a traveler to a place they wouldn't otherwise have access to go - not for reasons of laziness or lack of independent spirit, but because they simply aren't allowed into the place without a guide. North Korea is a big example, but I'm also thinking about architecture fans visiting Chicago who'd like to be able to see interiors of classic commercial buildings that aren't open to tourists, only to the Chicago Architecture Foundation. No matter how mapped and detailed our walking tour might be, they can't use it to get inside, and they'd want to. (And let me clarify that I mean access period, not more access to an already accessible place, like a kewl behind-the-scenes peek at the dressing room where so-and-so got ready in 1968.) Gorilla Jones 15:39, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
In response to Cacahuate's comment, I think we often should list tours even when they are not necessary. It's not necessary (or at all cool) to tour downtown Chicago with a horde of segway riders, but that is kind of interesting, clearly a supplement to our guides, and some readers might be interested. We should not farm out itineraries/maps to tour agencies, but we should also recognize that certain types of tours offer things we cannot. For example, no matter how much effort goes into the Chicago skyline guide, we cannot actually fly someone around the skyline on a prop-plane as "Tri-Star Pilot Service Tours" can. So I still think the trick is to clearly delineate what kind of tours belong.
As for where to stick tours, I think we should mandate that they go in the "do" section to emphasize that any tours listed must constitute a value-added activity. If a tour is not an activity, then it probably does not belong in our guides (so no generic "sightseeing" tours where someone is just taking you around, but the lame double-decker bus London tours would be ok). I'm thinking of drafting a policy based on this discussion at Wikitravel:Activity listings. That article should exist in any rate. --Peter Talk 02:42, 20 July 2007 (EDT)
Generally, I agree with Peter's proposed criteria because they help prevent touting. However, I think there are other cases to take account of. Quite a few travellers do prefer travelling with a guide in areas where there is much history to be explained and the traveller may not speak the local language — Beijing or Agra for example. I'd consider it myself, if only because a guide tends to drive off touts. Also, in places like Yangshuo, many travellers hire guides for bicycle tours through the countryside. In general, if "the traveller comes first", who are we to say he/she should not hire a guide or take a tour where available? List the info and let the traveller decide. Pashley 02:54, 20 July 2007 (EDT)
I understand your point that travelers may want to travel with guides who speak local languages and drive off touts. These clearly are functions that we can't provide (although we at least try with the language issue). But I still think that opening this particular door is too much of a slippery slope. Allowing any tour operators to be listed without some restrictive guidelines would permit any borderline-criminal-"Oh yes I have small restaurant won't you come have Pepsi with me so we can talk"-"guide" to add their personal phone number to our site. Another reason that I think we should avoid an all-inclusive tour operator policy is that this would allow advertising for companies that are in direct competition with Wikitravel to be listed. In my view, listing tours that serve as booking agents and that make all the general travel decisions for someone are just as much a competitor as other printed travel guides; we do not, as a rule, list the latter and I think we should also avoid listing the former.
Well, we still have opinions ranging from Pashley and Ravikiran's "allow all tours" to Cacahuate's "no tours," but I nonetheless think we can come up with a policy that would be at least acceptable to all of us. I will take a stab at it today. If it turns out impossible we can always get rid of it. --Peter Talk 14:47, 21 July 2007 (EDT)
OK, I just created an activity listings policy article, based on Wikitravel:Accommodation listings, which includes a draft tours policy. Lets continue this discussion over here. --Peter Talk 05:22, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

Revisited[edit]

This is becoming an increasing nuisance, particularly in our Italian guides - don't know what it is with them Italian tourism professionals and wikitravel, but darn they can be a pain sometimes - thoughts? --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:13, 27 July 2009 (EDT)

As far as I can see, they don't comply with the existing policy, as far as they aren't doing anything that a traveller couldn't accomplish by themselves. A tour to see Rome or Venice is entirely valid way to see the cities, but if that is the travellers choice, they don't really need the Wikitravel guide. Tours should only listed when they constitute an activity within the city. Perhaps we need to summarise these policies more effectively in Wikitravel:Welcome, business owners. That document goes too far in making people think that a listing is a right IMO. --inas 21:31, 27 July 2009 (EDT)
That's what I've been telling myself - and the touts - until I read the discussion above, the policy was explicitly drafted the way it is, to allow walking tours. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:33, 27 July 2009 (EDT)
A little off-topic, but I've come to the opinion that touting/spam increases regionally when that region is unattended. Our Italy guides went pretty much unmoderated and uncared for until this year, and were overrun with garbage. Same happened with Costa Rica, but when I cleaned up the majority of the Costa Rica articles (there aren't that many, since it's such a small country), the spam deluge halted within a matter of 1-2 months. Business owners usually don't care to use their time reading policies—they just want to pop in and boost their exposure as cheaply as possible—so they follow the existing models on the page they're editing.
Any "consensus" we may have established on walking tours is a lot more nuanced than the policy article indicates (and it's best to keep it that way to make moderating easier). The emphasis is, I think, on the "value-added" part. The one legit walking tour on the Rome article, for example, was for fine-grained neighborhood tours led by history professors—I'm not sure it's even desirable for us to try and duplicate such specialized and detailed information, so that one struck me as having value-added. --Peter Talk 22:05, 27 July 2009 (EDT)

How about we made the same rule as with the car rental outfits. If there are more than 9 tour operators in the city we list none of them? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:35, 16 January 2010 (EST)

Once something becomes a commodity, listing it becomes more of a yellowpages then a travel guide. But are there many examples of when a tour that would comply with our existing policy on value-adding would fall foul of a nine-tour limit? --inas 18:47, 17 January 2010 (EST)

Tour listings in cities only[edit]

I'd like to add a clause that tour listings may not be listed outside city articles, and must be tied to a real world office in that city. This would be an extension of the basic policy that a tour must exist to provide a specific activity, and nothing related to general travel planning. Having a quick, easy way to get rid of rubbish like this is the motivation. --Peter Talk 15:53, 10 August 2009 (EDT)

It doesn't really make sense to put tours of a country or region or island group in a city article. Wouldn't this exclude a class of tours --inas 18:36, 10 August 2009 (EDT)
That's the aim. --Peter Talk 18:41, 10 August 2009 (EDT)
So, Australia#By tour operators would go - arguably they would already be excluded by the existing policy. But what about places like Galapagos Islands, where a tour is more likely than not required to get around? What about a policy such as "tours entries are limited to value added operators, that offer an experience or access different to what what could ever be accomplished by an individual with a a travel guide - accordingly tours would not normally be included in regional articles". --inas 19:12, 10 August 2009 (EDT)
Yes, I like that wording. --Peter Talk 20:59, 10 August 2009 (EDT)

Tour agencies[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere, but I don't know where. For apartment agencies, we have the policy that they must have a physical address, and that the listing only appear in the article of the destination where that physical office is located. I would like to think that the same applies for companies that arrange tours, if we allow them at all. For example, the Do section of the Brazil article currently lists a couple of such agencies. Can someone point me to the appropriate place where discussion of this issue is? I'm sure I've come across it before, but haven't found it just now. Texugo 07:44, 21 November 2008 (EST)

tour. I love this policy. --Peter Talk 14:30, 21 November 2008 (EST)
I think direct only is the best policy. Think of how many tour agencies we would have in HCMC is we allowed every tour agency with a physical sddress there. Tour companies should only be listed here if they own a bus, and take people around. People can always find an agency to book with if they want one. No agencies, no consolidators. Apartment listings only when direct to the apartment leasor, i.e the person who will give you the key, not to an agency or consolidator. Anything else could 1000's of agencies in even small cities.. floodgates... --Inas 16:28, 24 November 2008 (EST)


Vienna walking tour link[edit]

What adds value for a traveler more than a free detailed self-guided walking tour with a free printable map? I many understand how wiki is looking out against spam, but when good free walking tours are instantly being deleted something is wrong.

I have just been quite confused why especially free walking tours cannot be listed on wikitravel. I can understand why paid tours might be denied but the free ones should be allowed to be posted. It seems like wiki is afraid of losing traffic to sites that offer better information. Example: I started a free travel website recently (it is non-profit with zero ads) which includes free self-guided walking tours in different cities. One of those cities on my site Vienna, Austria gets 400 new hits per week with a lot of return visitors so the tours are well liked. I tried to submit my walking tour under the title "free walking tour" in the external link section of wiki and it was instantly deleted. I also tried to submit the info for my tour with the map and it was also instantly deleted. The reasoning i was given is that it competes with wiki as a travel guide and can't be allowed, the second submission was denied because it was said to lack vaule. I also was denied while posting to the Salton Sea section of wiki, however other than my post the Salton Sea section was blank, if my free tour doesn't add value to a blank page what does?

This is the site i attempted to submit to the vienna page: http://www.bigboytravel.com/europe/austria/vienna as a link.
Since wiki promotes paid attractions in every city, why not promote free walking tours, especially good ones with printable maps? Jonathanleighmiller 22:26, 27 July 2009 (EDT)
I think you are misunderstanding the concept of competition - as it applies to Wikitravel. Our primary objective is to provide free travel guides, that can be copied, used incorporated into other websites, published etc. If there are freely available walking tours with maps, we can incorporate the details here on wikitravel. However, once we start to link to the information, rather than hosting it, then it is a slippery slope to becoming a directory of links, rather than a fully self-contained travel guide. If your information is free, and good, then add the information to the guide - not just a link to it. No one is really afraid of losing traffic from Wikitravel to bigboytravel.com. People will find the best guides to suit them and their purposes. We are afraid of losing contributions and information in the guide if we merely provide links to it and don't mandate that the information be in the guide.
You are also misunderstanding what it means to add value. When we say add value we mean that a tour adds something above what could be contained in the wikitravel guide. Takes you somewhere you couldn't otherwise go, gives you an experience that you couldn't otherwise get just by using the Wikitravel guide. We are not talking about adding value to the wikitravel guide, which is something different entirely. --inas 22:50, 27 July 2009 (EDT)
your goal of offering free travel guides is the same as mine, I will supply my info for the free walking tour to wiki and the map i made for it today to the Vienna, Austria site on wiki and we'll see if i sticks this time. It is just interesting that other cities such as Rome, Sydney, ect. are allowed to have tours listed which not only provide external links but are links where the 3rd party makes money off of web traffic, while free non-profit tour sites in other locations can not have external links. It gets even more confusing when attractions and activities in each city are allowed to provide external links. There just needs to be a more uniformed consensus/implementation from wiki on how external links and tours, especially free tours are handled. Things seem to differ a lot by country/city/section. An absolute yes or no may not be the best but possible a submission process to whoever overseas the city/country's content.
Constructive criticism: If wiki really wants people to walk around with WT travel guides while touring cities they need something like what i tried to provide the Vienna page with, that's why Rick Steve's guide books are the best. If wiki is only going to provide straight text book info without free walking tours w/maps then people might as well just carry an encyclopedia with them Jonathanleighmiller 23:16, 27 July 2009 (EDT)
Your observation that policies are erratically enforced is no doubt true - but that is wiki for you, people watch different articles, and areas. It probably will always be that way. There are no paid administrators here, and everybody has their own priorities, available time, etc. No one oversees the city or countries content - it simply doesn't work that way, so an absolute yes or no will probably never be possible. It is a post - revert - discuss cycle. I don't think Wikitravel provides text book info. As I have said, itineraries for city walks are welcome on wikitravel, people can update them, add things, change things etc on the site. The site will only ever be as good as its contributions. --inas 23:33, 27 July 2009 (EDT)

Food tours[edit]

(swept from the pub)

A business owner has been placing his food tours on the Bangkok page. I reverted [1] this edit, citing policy that we don't add tours that are not "value-added". The business owner objected [2] to this on my user page, and cited that there are some other WT pages that feature food tours, including Miami [3], Stratford [4] and even Star-quality San Francisco [5]. As the last one is peer-reviewed by the community, would this constitute that food tours fall within policy? I am wondering what the community thinks of this case. --globe-trotter 08:51, 12 June 2011 (EDT)

We are not perfect, and letting some listings slip through in a star nomination is not a suicide pact. If we missed a typo in a star article, that doesn't mean that proper spelling is no longer required. That said, these sorts of listings are right on the borderline. The food sampling could be seen as a value-added activity since it allows you to try a variety of foods for a single flat rate. In this case, I'd be tempted to say it's okay: the flat rate means the company likely has an agreement with the local vendors, and it's not just some dude in a van driving you around to different restaurants. But I'm open to other arguments. LtPowers 09:36, 12 June 2011 (EDT)
The anon's argument ironically sums up why I don't wish to see this type of tour listed: Most food tours around the world that I have been to usually bring travelers to restaurants or local eateries that are "not tourist-adjusted". So these tours do support local neighborhoods that most of them are not within reach by most travelers. These are exactly the type of eateries and deep coverage that we want in our guides, not available only via link. --Peter Talk 17:45, 12 June 2011 (EDT)
Do you think the listing in 'cisco's Chinatown article ought to go, then? It seems legit to me. LtPowers 11:25, 13 June 2011 (EDT)
Actually, to my eye, despite being very well presented, the whole walking tours section looks like a violation of the tour policy. Sometimes I'm loathe to remove tours that are in violation, though, like the one at New Orleans/Tremé#Do—I imagine that many travelers would be nervous to tour the area without a guide, but I would hate that to stop people from exploring the area on foot, and that tour seems likely the best way to get people with a lower urban comfort level to do so. --Peter Talk 16:49, 13 June 2011 (EDT)
As LtP says, this is a borderline case. I'd be inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt, leave it in unless it gets toutish. I can readily imagine travellers wanting to know that for $x they can visit $n out-of-the way restaurants. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to read marketing hype here, though. Pashley 07:06, 15 June 2011 (EDT)

Hey, what is the policy regarding pub crawls? On one hand, going to several places and getting drunk isn't hard and traveller can "fulfill the substance of the tour on their own", but maybe meeting other crawlers is added value? Most of pub crawls advertise as showing good, underground or not touristy venues but this kind of information we want IN WT. -- Jjtk 17:21, 24 March 2012 (EDT)

Warsaw Tour[edit]

Hello, I would like to find solution of one problem. I was trying to edit info about exploring Warsaw and information about tours was erased according to [6]. I asked User:LtPowers to change back information because mentioned tours have got "value-added activity". Warsaw during WWII was destroyed in 90% and many interesting places are covered by modern buildings (eg.last pieces of Ghetto Wall). Whats more there is lack of book which describes Warsaw architecture in English. Thats why Wiki users should have access to erased information. Thank you for helping with this case. 85.222.21.83 06:30, 9 January 2012 (EST) Zaginiony

Hi. As I said in the pub, I see this as highlighting our raison d'etre. WT offers the opportunity to give this information wide distribution. To just point somewhere else to get the information isn't what we're here for - we're trying to make this information free and available to all. To maintain the incentive to put the information in our freely distributable guide, we don't generally link to other guides, or to tours which are just guides. --Inas 17:24, 9 January 2012 (EST)


Hi. Thank you for your answer. I really do understand the main idea of WT - and I have no doubt that tourists should have as much as it's possible free and available information about places which they're visiting. Which is difficult to understand is that eg. in Moscow, Amsterdam and Berlin I found tour guides list and here I can't add the 1st one. Believe me - if you ask in the hotel for tour guide you'll pay 3times more than [7]. I'd like to answer to [8] who gently (thank you) answered to me hereWikitravel:Travellers' pub - yes, point 1-4 of Wikitravel:Activity listings "Tour listings" is fulfilled. I have real office, as supplement I am offering "social realism" tours,architecture tours - also old bus tours. All the tours are organised by me and only licensed tour guides (cause in Warsaw you need to have tour guide if you visit sights in a group of 10 or more). I understand that from your point of view is difficult to recognize which tour guide company is commercial one which is not - if you still have doubts please read testimonials of my clients [9]. Thank you!

85.222.21.83 04:29, 10 January 2012 (EST) Zaginiony

Tour listings - rules[edit]

SWEPT IN FROM PUB

Hello, I would like to find solution of one problem. I was trying to edit info about exploring Warsaw and information about tours was erased according to [10]. I asked User:LtPowers to change back information because mentioned tours have got "value-added activity". Warsaw during WWII was destroyed in 90% and many interesting places are covered by modern buildings (eg.last pieces of Ghetto Wall). Whats more there is lack of book which describes Warsaw architecture in English. Thats why Wiki users should have access to erased information.

A better place for this discussion would be Wikitravel_talk:Activity_listings, the talk page for the policy in question. Have a look at older discussions there too.
Please sign messages by typing four tildes( ~~~~); that adds date, time & your ID,like this: Pashley 05:53, 9 January 2012 (EST)
I agree. Users should have access to the information. I suggest that you kindly put the information in Wikitravel. It is a guide, then people will have the information. We're here to provide open information, accessible and free. Anyone can then use our free and open information on their site, for their tour, or for their personal information. --Inas 06:32, 9 January 2012 (EST)
Yes, perhaps this should be discussed at Wikitravel_talk:Activity_listings, so please do raise your concerns and inquiry there if you wish. However do consider first if the tours being offered are something that requires the experienced and specialist guidance of someone such as that offered by the tour company. I note you have mentioned there is apparently a lack of readily available information, such as from a book. Please consider if a visitor to Warsaw can go and visit (or 'tour') these sites independently and without the support of guide services. If so then the Tour service is probably precluded from listing in the Wikitravel articles. Also of course have a good read of Activity listings. Consider what it is that the tours is offering. Does it offers something as a supplement to that a person would be able to sufficiently derive from a visit to the location on their own? Also consider if the tour operators are are a requisite to visit a certain area, this would include provisions where a guide is required by law or safety regulations of some kind, or where un-supervised access is denied without an official guide or supervisor.-- felix 06:38, 9 January 2012 (EST)

"Guided Tours" listings in Prague?[edit]

Dear Madam / Sir, After reading Wikitravel policy, I added my company "Private Prague Guide" in the Prague Wikitravel, under "Guided Tours". Being the oldest private tour company in Prague (operating since 1993), I believe we provide travelers with added value activities as we do tours nobody else does. e.g. tours to the Bohemian crystal factory where one can blow out a vase or wind beads, balloon flights over medieval castles, thematic tours like the Velvet revolution, special tours for people with impaired mobility, etc. Next day, my listing was removed and I was informed that Wikitravel doesn´t aloow lisitngs of "generic tours and providers". I had a look on the three companies listed under "Guided Tours" in Prague. I know them very well and to my surprice all of them fall under the category of "generic tours and providers" in one way or another. One is a booking agency for commom walking tours in Prague, another has a wider offer like food tours, but everybody is doing food tours today. I don´t want any of these agencies being removed, but I think that my company would be an alternative to the existing listings and therefore an added value activity for your readers. Best wishes Jay Pesta, Private Prague Guide.

—The preceding comment was added by User:PrivatePragueGuide (talkcontribs)

Hello Jay. I understand your point of view and the reason why I undo just this edit as opposed to all the other tour listings on the site is that I was just looking at this one particular edit. I now checked all the other listings on the page and came to the conclusion that two of the listings did not add any value or something that the traveler could not do on their own. About your listing, I wanted to clarify that what is the added value of the tour, what is it about it that the traveler could not arrange / do on their own; as per the part of the tour guideline: Tours should offer something as a supplement, rather than as a replacement for Wikitravel guides? If you think the tour adds value and you can back it up with something we would love to have your tours listed on the page! --OVK (talk) 09:09, 8 December 2013 (EST)

Dear Otso Karvinen, Thank you for your reply and sorry for my late answer as I was busy with our clients over Xmas holidays and then with taxes. Back to your question whether our tours offer a supplement rather than replacement to the existing wiki listings. I believe that we do offer several supplements to your listings: Czech Republic is very famous for its Bohemia Crystal which I think should be mentioned on the Prague Wiki Travel page and we take clients to places which are NOT opened to the public and where they can blow out a crystal vase and wind beads themselves (the owner has retired and does it only for my company). Also, every year we are do genealogy research for people looking for their ancestors, we travel to their ancestors´ home town prior their arrival and research the archives, or we simply do what regural group tours companies don´t: when a client asks us to take him for example to a castle in Bohemia where Giacomo Casanova spent his last days we tailor such tour. Another example: No travel agency in Prague does tours around threee World War II places in three countries in one day - Terezin (CZ) - Dresden (DE) - Sagan/Zagan (PL), etc. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your further questions. Kind regards Jay Pesta —The preceding comment was added by User:PrivatePragueGuide (talkcontribs)

Hello again Jay and thank you for your reply. Also don't worry about time, wikitalk takes a long time :) In this case I believe that your company does add value to the article and I suggest you add a listing to that city page where your company operates in. To avoid misunderstandings with other admins try to explain the situation in the edit summary as well as the city talk page. Something in the lines of "The talk page has in depth information why this company should be listed in this page". I'll let the other admins that I know of know how this turned out, but I can't promise we all agree on this matter. In any case thank you for participating in the development of Wikitravel and don't forget to hit us up in the social media as well! --OVK (talk) 08:46, 2 February 2014 (EST)

Well, as more than 90% of tourists come to Prague and then look for our tailor-made day trips from Prague, I think it would make more sence to add our Day trips from Prague on the Prague Travel wiki page because. I will be more than happy to put the wiki travel page on our social media. Let me know. Jay

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