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Wikitravel talk:External links

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Some things that have moved:


linking policy[edit]

The policy of not linking to local culture, news sites and blogs is a real disservice to wikitravel visitors. Locally-written sites help a visitor know and understand a city better than wikitravel or any travel guide ever could. This policy is extremely self-defeating. It also will discourage local sites from seeing wikitravel as a partner. The internet is all about interconnection and this policy is an anti-social one that serves only to pointlessly isolate wikitravel from the wider community. What is the process of having this policy changed? [re:] -- 12:11, 29 January 2007 (EST)

The process for changing the policy is to discuss your opinion and to try to build a consensus that the policy should be changed. I don't think there is any disagreement that there are lots of good sites out there that would be useful to travelers, but it will be an uphill battle to change the current policy for a few reasons:
  1. We don't want our guides to simply be link farms for every web site out there with a remote connection to a travel-related service. This is a huge issue, and we need a clear guideline that allow us to police links easily.
the policy is simple: "If I was traveling to Berlin (or any other place) might I be happy to have this link? Wanting something simpler than that is unrealistic and a cop-out. This wiki is human edited, not machine edited. The ability to distinguish fuzzy categories is among the things that distinguish humans from machines.-- 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
  1. It is very difficult to determine what is a "good" site vs. what is junk. As a result we've implemented the "primary site only" policy, which makes it crystal clear what sites are appropriate. It is not realistic to expect editors to extensively research every web site to verify its quality, so we simply state that if a site is not the official site of a hotel, museum, restaurant, etc then it should not be included in the guide.
how is this different for a news site vs. a hotel site, the hotel, museum, restaurant, etc could be bad too, or even fictitious, how are online sites of interest to travellers different or somehow more work to manage for quality? -- 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
  1. There is also an incentive issue. We don't want to allow links to other sites at the expense of including content within Wikitravel.
I agree with this, but news sites and blogs are time-based dynamic content, wikitravel is evergreen data, they serve different purposes. Wikitravel can not give a personal impression of a city and what goes on there like a blog can. -- 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
Please read the other discussions on this page, and if you have a suggestion of how the policy can be changed and still address the three points above please let us know. -- Ryan 12:27, 29 January 2007 (EST)
The policy should be same as the rest of the information on the page, if it is usefull to travellers it should be kept, "no reason, just policy" is an incredibly short-sighted reason to alienate the community news sites and the blogger communities, who could and would contribute to the success of wikitravel. -- 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
There are hundreds of sites on the Web for aggregating lists of Web sites located in or related to a particular place. We have links to one such project, the Open Directory, as a service to readers. Aside from that, direct links to the sites and services we describe in our guides makes sense. Roaming further afield in our guides doesn't. --Evan 13:45, 29 January 2007 (EST)
Another cop-out. Might as well say they could just google it. Check this link:] Can you honestly claim that serves any useful purposes at all? Please let me know how many clicks it took you to find even 1 interesting news item or blog entry from or about Berlin? -- 14:56, 29 January 2007 (EST)
1. The correct link is [1] (which is on the Berlin page).
equally useless, please provide the click count I asked for to demonstrate the point. -- 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)
2. Right on the page is Cityvox Berlin, which looks sorta interesting.
sorry, I failed to see any news items or blogs on that site. Just a commercial listings site. I am talking about local community news sites and local blogs about the city. Sites that give you local flavour, that is exactly what I look for when I travel. -- 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)
3. To the extent that the dmoz links are uninteresting, it shows why we don't want to start collecting that sort of thing here. -- Jonboy 15:23, 29 January 2007 (EST)
It is exactly a lack of human editing for context that makes them uninteresting.-- 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST)
You are wrong -- dmoz is edited by humans. That's why we're pointing at it: if they are "uninteresting" when their entire purpose is to make a human edited directory, imagine how much more poorly we will do the same job when our main purpose is to write a travel guide! -- Colin 16:35, 29 January 2007 (EST)
Sorry Colin if my comment was unclear, the key words are for context, dmoz categories are much broader than wikitravel articles, making it far more difficult to manage and entirely unlikely that they may produce a handy set of links for local community news sites and local blogs to match a particular wikitravel article, since that is not their goal.-- 04:07, 30 January 2007 (EST)

Policy Suggestions: 1. Only allow external links to sites which publish content under a compatible "share alike" license. 2. Have a maximum number so that after a certain number of sites is reached consensus is needed to replace one if a new one is recommended. 3. Perhaps have a link-back policy, only allowing links to site that link to wiktravel 4. Of course, the primary language of the site should match the page it is being linked from.

IMO, The above rules would be manageable and would eliminate pretty much all overtly commercial, bad or spammy content. -- 15:39, 29 January 2007 (EST), I would second your ideas in theory--but it's even better if you have a number of news sources/blogs that, in your belief, complements wikitravel content in a proper way. Maybe having several examples in hand would make your suggestions even more convincing? --DenisYurkin 16:04, 29 January 2007 (EST) is the one in specific that I though would compliment the Berlin article, as I am involved with the project I know that the site is intended to be useful and interesting for those who are interested in visiting Berlin, as for others I might recommend a few of these:,,,, etc, these are the sorts of sites that I look for when I travel, finding hotels is easy, they advertise and have conspicuous signs, finding a place to eat is not so hard either, getting a feel for the flavour, tone and goings on in a city from an insider is far more difficult and interesting. -- 04:07, 30 January 2007 (EST) and is now: --Tricknik 04:12, 30 January 2007 (EST)

Reading through the different here's my suggestion:

1. As the internet is becoming a handy tool even while travelling one could consider certain blogs and personal pages as information sites like a physical existing tourist information. Thus such a blog's URL would be primary in the sense of hotels, museums, etc.
2. as WikiTravel is meant to be unbiased these external pages would be adding to the idea and information WikiTravel caters without breaking the rules on the page.
3. in return the bloggers (supposed to be locals) could add unbiased info to WikiTravel, which is one of the main rules anyway (don't make rivals, make friends). A certain special area would be needed, maybe even added to the templates like: Locals, what locals say - whatever..
4. The external link to the blog then could be in the sense "more of my local opinion"
5. the link back then could be in the sense "more general information about..."

All I am saying is - it's not either that or this, but something in the middle. But like advertisement in newspapers, these local opinions should be separate and not confused with general information in the "TravelGuide".

And for all those PageRankers you just invent a special format or make it a rule, that a NO-FOLLOW tag must be used..

have fun

SonarTom 13:15, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

I like the idea of "opinion from real people's blogs" criteria, linking in return, showing it in special section and NO-FOLLOW (is it really pagerank-neutral?).
One question is to define criteria for that "opinion from real people's blogs". I don't think it should be from locals, BTW--as we're focusing on traveller's point of view (resident's point may be quite different for variety of reasons). --DenisYurkin 14:09, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Just a quick note to say that even when nofollow is enabled for external links it unfortunately doesn't usually have any effect on people adding links; most of the time people just want advertising for their site, and nofollow-or-not, having a lot of links out there accomplishes that goal. At the moment while blog links aren't allowed in articles it's generally considered OK to add them to talk pages, and Wikitravel Extra will allow a place for recording personal experiences.
Regarding any attempts to change external links policy, it's been stated repeatedly elsewhere, but any new external links policy must be totally obvious, and there hasn't really been a suggestion that meets that requirement. By "totally obvious" I mean:
  1. There CAN NOT be ambiguity about what is OK and what is not.
  2. It must be EASY for someone who is unfamiliar with the link or destination to patrol, since it's not reasonable to wait for someone from Jaboo to come along and say whether or not meets a guideline. Similarly, if an article has fifty blog links there needs to be some way to determine when a personal blog by someone living in Jaboo is inappropriate.
The present guideline is overly restrictive, but it meets the "totally obvious" criteria. Until someone comes up with a new guideline that allows additional sites and still meets those criteria I don't see that changing the current policy would be a good thing. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:24, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
I think that we've done a pretty decent job of expanding space by adding a shared bookmark feature to Wikitravel Extra. That means we have a place for photo albums, blog entries, newspaper articles, and all that other stuff. It won't be there when you print out an article to take with you, but that's really a good thing. --Evan 16:16, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

Policy Suggestion:[edit]

Allow external links to community created sites which publish content under a compatible "share alike" license.

Where should (or can) links to local community wikis go? They are not exactly blogs or news sites or review sites (though they share some similarities) but they also can have a wealth of local knowledge that can be invaluable to the traveler and that we really cannot hope to duplicate (nor would we want to - cluttering wikitravel with information about local hair salons would seem a bit excessive). For example the entire wikispot "community of communities" has a gazillion local wikis under its umbrella - the largest of which is probably the Davis CA wiki According to their stats at on a given day, about 1 in 6 residents visits the site. Over the course of one week, nearly half of the residents. And over a month, they have found that just about every Davisite visits the wiki. Even more incredible: 1 in 7 residents actually contribute their own knowledge to the wiki. Clearly if you are visiting Davis and are not told about you are missing out on a wealth of local information (all of it under a permissive license). However, if we find a place for that type of resource we might run into the problem of a similar style of website that might not yet meet some sort of size/participation/notability level. Would we want to include for example or each of which only has a few hundred pages and a handful of active editors. Over time these sites might grow in usefulness but arguably now there are not too useful to our traveling readers.

So how should we usefully include resources like ? J-beda 11:57, 25 September 2010 (EDT)

At present such links are disallowed. In the past, for sites such as wikispot we might have set up interwiki links, which allows inclusion of links to useful sites without opening up a flood of external link additions, and in the case of wikispot I would think that might be a reasonable way to proceed if there is consensus that it is a useful enough resource. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:45, 26 September 2010 (EDT)
I see that has made a interwiki link for, so they at least do it from the other direction. I would say that the wikispot wikis useful enough to do the "interwiki" thing. Where (if anywhere) are the interwiki links listed in wikitravel? J-beda 21:56, 27 September 2010 (EDT)


Should links to maps be allowed?

See also Mapmaking_Expedition

As long as there are none in Wikitravel itself, yes. Good maps, and route planners are sometimes hard to find. For instance, it´s not obvious that map24's route planner for Brazil is also valid for the whole of South America. These kind of facts are very useful for travellers. I think in general, these rules are too focused on rules. The question should first be "is this useful information for travellers?", which is a bit vague of course... Guaka (not capable of locating tildes)
No -- this is one of those things where we're supposed to be self-contained, and like the "don't extlink other guides" rule, we ought not lean on outside content while waiting for our own content to happen. -- Colin 02:33, 25 April 2006 (EDT)
I've said this before and I'll say it again: Wikitravel cannot ever hope to complete with pro-grade searchable map sites like [2] or [3], and links to these should be allowed. I do agree that ordinary "flat" maps can be ruled out. Jpatokal 02:39, 25 April 2006 (EDT)

I'm curious as to why the ban on links to "map services" in the first place. Sure, you want a printable guide, but you can get *far* more information with, say, Google Maps than you could ever capture into a single picture or a group of pictures.

For example:

  • Getting directions from where you are going to be
  • Finding obscure locations
  • Huge amounts of detail that could never be captured by a reasonable sized map (for example, zoom in on Tokyo and scroll around)

In the case I've dealt with, for Japan, there's a huge list of campsites in Japan available ( We're talking almost a thousand campsites. There's no way that these are all going to get their own page on here. Probably no more than a few will ever get their own page; perhaps a handful will have directions to them mentioned. Yet, knowing where campsites are is critical to backpacking in Japan.

By not allowing map links, we're, in short, making it more difficult for users to figure out where they're going. With Google Maps, they can paste the campsite addresses into the map and figure out where they are -- even figure out what bus stops they're near or how to get directions to them from a different location. It'd be a very helpful link to put alongside the campjo link, but it's currently not allowed. Sure, it wouldn't come up in printing -- but that's no reason not to add something helpful for those who could use it.

I see no good reason to force the handicapping of readers. Just my two cents. -- 22:24, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

It's not a question of handicapping anyone; they're just as able to consult online mapping sites as they are now. We just aren't hand-holding anyone, by pointing them there. The reason is based more on the fear of limiting Wikitravel: linking to Googlexpedia for a map is (fundamentally) no different from linking to Rough Planet for accommodation listings. Sure, that'd be a handy shortcut, and it would useful to the (online) reader in the near term, but it would effectively stifle the motivation to produce our own accommodation listings, which we could distribute offline. Same with maps: a free-as-in-speech map is better than a free-as-in-beer map. (analogy explained) I'm not dogmatic about that preference (and I realize how daunting a task it is to produce maps for these articles), but if we're going to link to external maps, that has to go hand-in-hand with a decision to mothball the Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition. - Todd VerBeek 19:02, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

I'd like to bump back this discussion, especially in light of IB's new ideas over at Shared. While I agree that external links to mapping services for individual listings are bad for the reasons listed above, the Get around section should list the one (1) best interactive mapping service for the place. For example, Helsinki has a great online map run by the city itself [4], and Singapore's [5] whups the butt of the competition. The "evil competition" argument just doesn't fly with me here: the Mapmaking Expedition's goal is to produce tourist maps, not massive searchable online databases of every single residential street in the city, and Helsinki and Singapore both already have WT maps, making the argument doubly moot. Jpatokal 23:42, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

I think it's clear that there are a lot of external links out there that would be useful, but we don't have any way to easily figure out where we draw the line between useful and not-useful. I don't think there's any way we can create a clear set of guidelines for that situation that is less stringent then the current "primary links only" guideline. The only alternative I can think of is some sort of external link nominations page. That would be a lot of overhead for something as simple as an external link, but it would at least give us a way to deal with some of these "hugely useful but non-primary" cases that come up.
If that idea is something people support I'd suggest we come up with criteria for what should make it through a nomination process. First thoughts are that a link should provide a service that is out-of-scope for Wikitravel (and WikiExtra/Wikipedia), something that provides an obvious service or benefit to travelers, and something that at least three Wikitravelers support with no unaddressed objections. There should be more - those are just some ideas. In addition, I'd suggest some sort of template to use when including these links so that we can easily track what's gone through the nomination process - something like {{extlink|url|text|pointer-to-nomination}}. That's a LOT of overhead for a simple external link, but it would also keep the barrier for entry for external links high while keeping patrolling easy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:27, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
Jani, can you propose an alternative policy for us to evaluate? I presume you want something that allows (since you reverted my removal of it), but do you want this sort of edit? I'm generally pretty hard-line on external links, but I'm willing to keep an open mind. --Jonboy 18:14, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
Frankly, at this stage, I'm beyond caring how we approve the extlinks, as long as it's done. I've previously suggested just allowing one of each for maps, restaurant guides and nightlife guides, but Ryan's style would be more flexible in the long run and easier to monitor. I'd cut down the "votes" needed to two though. Jpatokal 23:05, 19 September 2007 (EDT)
If we go with a nomination process here are some criteria that might be useful:
  • External link must provide a service that is out-of-scope for Wikitravel, Wikipedia, and WikiExtra. That means no links to personal travelogues, photo galleries, or travel guides. Sites that might be OK include online event calendars, location-specific booking engines such as Expedia or, Jani's interactive map example, or something like the "how to get your money back in the case of getting duped in a gem scam" site that is referenced elsewhere on this page.
  • The site must provide an obvious benefit to travelers. If there is any question as to how the site would be useful to the average traveler, it should not be listed.
  • At least two Wikitravel users must support the nomination, with no unresolved objections. In the case of objections, consensus determines whether the link is appropriate or not.
  • Webmasters should not list their own sites. If a site is useful for travel then users of that site will eventually nominate it, and this helps prevent Wikitravel from being used for advertising. This one is a guideline that would be impossible to enforce, but it's probably worth stating just to make it clear that Wikitravel isn't an opportunity for webmasters to improve page rank.
  • Nominations must be listed for at least one week before the link should be added to an article.
  • Once approved the nomination should be archived, and the link can be added to an article using a template that contains the link, the link text, and a pointer to the nomination. That will make patrolling easy.
  • Removing a link would be the same process in reverse: consensus to remove, with a minimum one week waiting period.
  • I'd suggest the nomination page be named something like "Wikitravel:External link nominations". Having a single page will make this easier to manage.
  • Links should be nominated for addition to ONE article. Just as an attraction is listed in only one place, an external link does not need to appear in numerous articles.
That's a ton of red-tape for approving something as simple as a URL. I'm not hugely excited about the idea, but if it addresses some of the concerns with the current policy then it may be worth the hassle. Thoughts, additions, flames, other? -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:42, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
I support the overall idea and Wrh2 nomination process, with only exception:
 :Webmasters should not list their own sites.
Beyond non-enforceable, we should also welcome useful links regardless of their initiator. If there's anything wrong with the link, the rest of the procedure will prevent it from appearing. If a better link appear for the same purpose, it will quickly remove the previous one. The only problem is to have enough eye pairs to expect objections--what about requiring that article should be at least Usable status? --DenisYurkin 03:56, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
OK, now that I've trimmed this page down to size so I can *find* this discussion again...
Is "WikiExtra"="Wikitravel Extra"?
I generally oppose the idea, but I am sympathetic to the desire to try this out.
If we're going to go forward with this, could we test it out on a subset of Wikitravel first? E.g., Mid-Atlantic or Western Europe, so that it's easier to roll back if it turns out poorly? --Jonboy 11:18, 20 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm generally opposed to the idea as well, but would suggest a longer comment period if it goes forward--say two weeks. Also a requiement of 3 people supporting. OldPine 16:14, 5 October 2007 (EDT)

I was about to make my first contribution to the site. I'd bumped into your Martha's Vineyard page and thought that the list of lighthouses, while informative, was significantly unhelpful in that it didn't provide any guide on how to find them. Being a frequent traveler to MV I thought I'd slap a few quick links to Google Maps to show the location. But it seems that that is a no-no on wikitravel. The only alternatives I see are either to provide street addresses (which I don't know and may not even exist for lighthouses) or maybe some sort of hand drawn map? After thinking on the objections to external map links, I'll throw out an idea. What about allowing geo-location tags? One could then associate lat/lon coordinates to objects on the site and then wikitravel can decide on how/where to link to maps. I think wikipedia has something like this. --Kyrrigle 11:21, 22 January 2008 (EST) OK, so I just noted the "Geo: {{geo|lat|long}}" markup and tried it out but it doesn't seem to do anything?? --Kyrrigle 12:27, 22 January 2008 (EST)

Welcome! I'm not an expert on the geo things yet, but I believe the template you referred to above is only for the whole city... it places the geo coords in the "toolbox" in the left navigation bar, check out the Singapore page for an example. If I'm not mistaken there's a way to add individual coordinates for a place within a city using our handy listing tags such as:
* <see name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></see>
But, a field needs to be added, and I'm not sure what it's called exactly or where to stick... can anyone else help out with that? – cacahuate talk 00:28, 23 January 2008 (EST)

I am not all that experienced a contributor on Wikitravel as to fully understand all the above reasoning, but I have a very specific case of links to external maps: I live in Fortaleza, and also do a lot of editing on its article on Wikitravel. Since I couldn't find any good maps covering the city's public transport on the internet, I drew a few of my own on Google maps, -for my own personal use, -and then added links on Wikitravel. As far as I understand the policy, such links would be perfectly ok if they directed to primary sources, e.g. the city's public transport authority. In this case, there is no primary source. Still, I think the maps are obviously useful. Could we not allow these links when a primary source lacks? Mariusm98 23:04, 19 October 2008 (EDT)

Mariusm98, thank you for your efforts in Wikitravel. If and when I visit Fortaleza, I'm sure I will be very grateful for the information you've put there. You make a good point about it being helpful to have access to a user-created map. But remember, that we want to make Wikitravel useable by a variety of people in a variety of circumstances. One case is the traveller who prints out the Wikitravel article and travels with the paper copy. They won't be able to use links to maps! So the best thing is for you to transfer your information from the Google map to a free-content map, and upload it to Wikitravel Shared. Then everybody will be able to use the map freely, including all the language versions of Wikitravel. Does this make the policy clearer? JimDeLaHunt 00:44, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
I contributed links to multi-page printable PDF maps of two locations (at the bottom of their Understand sections). I believe these can be very useful to travellers, and I don't see how this kind of content can be included in Wikitravel directly. This is a free resource (Inkatlas). This is not Google Maps or similar. Why were they removed? Kontextify (talk) 09:27, 14 October 2016 (EDT)
Hi Kontextify, thank you for your contributions on Wikitravel. I've downloaded your map, very detailed. However, the articles you post your download link to already have maps, and like discussed above we want Wikitravel to be usable to travelers in all possible ways. Adding a download link may not be the best way to help travelers. Maybe you can upload your maps to Wikitravel shared so that everyone (including travelers who use other language version of Wikitravel) can use them? What do you think? --Binbin (talk) 00:15, 15 October 2016 (EDT)
Hello Binbin. Thanks for your reply! I did try to add the PDF's to articles, but looks like the system only supports media files. :( In some articles it may be enough to include a one-page map as a high quality image, but it would not be possible to include multi-page atlases in this way. My idea is to give travelers a single document that they can print on an ordinary printer, and get a proper paper map of their destination. This would be especially useful in articles about places like national parks, where visitors really need offline maps. Would it not be acceptable to include links to these in addition to the on-screen, less detailed maps that are already part of Wikitravel? I see plenty of links to external media, resources, and businesses in articles. Not sure why maps should be an exception, as long as other editors agree that they are useful to readers. Kontextify (talk) 10:32, 17 October 2016 (EDT)

deletion of last "External links" sections[edit]

I just deleted the sentence "Although some older articles still have an external links section, these sections are currently being removed" because (as far as I can tell) there are now only 4 such articles left:

  • Cheap airline travel in North America - Todd VerBeek 16:58, 18 July 2006 (EDT)
  • Discount airlines in Australasia - deleted (12 August 2006)
  • Buying or renting a car in Australia - the last "External links" section heading, removed 28 April 2007
  • Renting a motorhome in New Zealand - moved into other sections (12 August 2006)


  • Aberystwyth - moved to Talk:Aberystwyth (22 July 2006)
  • Driving in Australia - moved most into other sections, deleted remainder (12 August 2006)
  • Electronics and entertainment shopping in Thailand - moved into other sections (12 August 2006)
  • Hitchhiking in Europe
  • Leuven - moved to Talk:Leuven (22 July 2006)
  • Orkney Islands - moved to Talk:Orkney Islands (22 July 2006)

~ 16:18, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

Vacation Travel Guides Content Approval[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

My question to you guys, is that we would like to provide this content to WikiTravel if we could post a link back to the original source. What do you think?

Below are some examples so you see: (forget everything at the bottom of the guide, that’s something I added on, so just look at the main content excluding the bottom links they do not go with it) View Maui Vacation Travel Guide View Key West Vacation Travel Guide View Kissimmee Vacation Travel Guide View Gatlinburg Vacation Travel Guide View Hawaii Vacation Travel Guide

What do you think of these and do you think we could essentially contribute these and a lot more to WikiTravel? I am not completely familiar with WikiTravel and I didn’t mean to bug you but would rather contact you as I see you edit information then just spam the wiki page for each city asking for help.

Please get back with me or forward me to the correct location and how to submit.

Thanks and have a great day!

The above is from User:Richhoward and his user page covers the licensing issues. I think we should try to work out how to use these contributions, but there are problems in relation to policies like Wikitravel:Don't_tout and Wikitravel:External_links. Pashley 09:53, 14 November 2006 (EST)

No other comment, and no contributions from the user, in some months. Can someone who knows Hawaii take a look and work out if there's valuable stuff there? Mostly advertising, but some of it might be worth taking or linking to. Pashley 23:39, 25 May 2007 (EDT)

The problem is that form of attribution he's requesting doesn't fit with the ex-links policy. He gets a gold star for being a nice guy by asking rather than spamming, and even though the statement on his user page technically authorizes us to start copy-pasting and attributing the source only in the edit summaries (i.e. no links), I don't think we should. - Todd VerBeek 09:38, 26 May 2007 (EDT)

External links[edit]

swept in from the pub

Hi Ryan so I cand post only pages for south america, i Post the chat becouse I see people posting it also so i figueroa i do it. Thank you Giovanna I don't knnow How to send messages on here" Sorry

Please feel free to create or edit pages for any city in South America or anywhere else, but you may want to read Wikitravel:What is an article? first to understand what topics normally get their own articles. In addition, Wikitravel:External links has guidelines about what types of sites we normally link to - a short summary is that we discourage external links unless it is to the official site for a hotel, museum, or other primary source that is in an article. Thanks for contributing! -- Ryan 21:29, 18 November 2006 (EST)

links to current exchange rates[edit]

We have the following piece for checking exchange rates in Egypt:

Online rate check: USD | GBP | EUR | AUD | NZD | CAD | JPY | INR |

I wonder whether it complies to ExtLinks policy, or maybe should be just removed? --DenisYurkin 17:25, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Sounds like it doesn't comply. If necessary, we can give an approximate exchange rate in the text. If someone's off-line, it's more useful than the links. If they're on-line, they can just Google the exact rates fairly easily. --Jonboy 18:26, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
No! I pretty much agree with what Jonboy said, though I'd really like to see my tech request become implemented to solve part of the problem. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:08, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I'd possibly support something that actually shows the current rate/cost, but not in the form that is shown above... I've come across that recently on a few pages... they should probably go... Sapphire, I think your tech request has potential, but that's not my area of expertise... looking forward to how it develops though... – cacahuate talk 01:05, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I generally just add a link to the central or reserve bank of the country in question. It is generally (except maybe in the case of Zimbabwe) the best source for the current official exchange rate.

Google Transit[edit]

For areas where the public transit is serviced by Google Transit, is a link to that kosher? --Improv 13:30, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

We typically just don't lean on external services like that. --Evan 15:00, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

Guide services[edit]

Is it appropriate to link to guide services? I don't mean online travel guides that compete with Wikitravel but websites of people that work as travel guides. If it is appropriate, where should such links go? To exactly understand what I am talking about, take a look at article Lucerne. Tristram Shandy 13:23, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

This is a bit of a gray area, as are travel agencies in general. I'd be tempted to say they are OK, because a good guide/agency can be invaluable, but it's a definite slippery slope because most larger cities have hundreds and it's difficult to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Jpatokal 13:31, 21 June 2007 (EDT)

Use short readable links -[edit]

As a Newbie who's made a few mistakes with external links (hey, I have to learn somehow!), I have been directed to the External links part of the MoS.

One of the sub-sections here states that we should try to use short readable links wherever possible. Something that may help here and that people may not be aware of is a site called Baiscally it provides a shortened version of any url entered (for example, the url links to, i.e., reducing a 55 character link to one of 25 characters). The longer the original website page is, the better value the tinyurl link would be.

Are these links allowed? I think they'd be very useful, particularly if a traveller prints off the guide, but then wishes to check out a website. Any thoughts? --The.Q 10:09, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

P.S. Just to point out, I'm not in any way affiliated to tinyurl, but I do use the service, and find it very handy.

--The.Q 10:09, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

I believe that "short, readable links" is meant as a way to tell people to use instead of Using tinyurl would make it more difficult to police links to make sure that they actually go to the official site of the place in question - currently I can tell that is likely the official site for Disney World without clicking on the link, but I couldn't do the same with an article filled with http://tinyurl/12345 links. The idea is good, but the implementation would likely end up being more work for those patrolling articles. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:36, 17 July 2007 (EDT)

WorldFlicks [6][edit]

Please see the discussion at User talk:RonaldR regarding links to this service. Due to my sense of fairness (and well-known wishy-washyness), I'm soliciting comment on external links to this before it becomes an edit war. OldPine 06:43, 9 August 2007 (EDT)

I don't think links to WorldFlicks are appropriate. It's a nifty idea, but it's not an official site for anything, nor is there much to distinguish it from a link to my image gallery or Flickr itself. Jpatokal 07:37, 9 August 2007 (EDT)
I agree. Best wishes to the people who run the site, but Flickr "selected by millions of users" is still Flickr. Gorilla Jones 11:02, 9 August 2007 (EDT)

Wikipedia "Different subject" links[edit]

Can anyone provide an example of an acceptable Wikitravel:Links to Wikipedia#Different subject link? - ie one that does not conflict with Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to? ~ 04:15, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

The only thing I can think of is linking to articles about the Wiki-Wiki web and how it works, and then only from the Wikitravel namespace. -- Mark 04:26, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
OK, lets revise that slightly - as before, but acceptable in a "Main namespace" article? ~ 04:32, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
In that case I can't think of a reason to do it. Remember these guides are meant to work when printed out on paper. Each guide should have a single interwiki link to the cooresponding Wikipedia article, and that's plenty, since the Wikipedia article will have lots of links going off to different things. If you want to add encyclopeadic information about a destination then that should probably go there, in Wikipedia. -- Mark 05:32, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
Ah, now I see why you're asking. You're helping us get the policy page wording right. Thanks! -- Mark 05:36, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

I can think of a reason. Here's a paragraph from our Quanzhou article:

There's an enormous equestrian statue of Koxinga (鄭成功, Zhèng Chénggōng) that appears to be guarding the town, up on a hill. He was a local boy whose family were seafarers, merchants trading with Japan, and pirates. On land, he became a general, resisting the then-new Qing (Manchu) dynasty. His base on Xiamen's Gulang Yu is one of the tourist sites there. He is best known for driving the Dutch out of Taiwan in the 1660s; the first major wave of Chinese immigration to Taiwan was his soldiers settling down and bringing their families. He is one of the few people seen as a hero by the current governments on both sides of the straights; beating the foreign devils makes you a good guy in everyone's books.

Wikipedia has an article on him. When I wrote the above text, I chose not to link to it; I think our text covers all a traveller needs to know and if someone wants more they can do a web search. However, this is a case where I think there's an argument for going the other way; it would not be wrong to add the link.

There are other cases. For example in a city article that covers a specialised museum it might be appropriate to add a link for dinosaurs or Van Gogh or whatever; some travellers might want the background. Pashley 04:39, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

I don't think I'd be comfortable starting down that slope. If we say it's okay to link to Wikipedia in article text, we risk getting inundated with links because someone "might want the background" on any number of topics. That not only affects the appearance of our articles, but it also encourages users to leave the Wikitravel site via these external links. LtPowers 09:13, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

wedding agencies[edit]

How do we deal with wedding agencies, and others "special occasion" travel agencies, like [mentioned in Santorini]? Is it just the same as any other external link to a booking agency, or someone sees a reason to keep them? (personally, I don't) --DenisYurkin 15:36, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

I can see how an exception might be made for a place that is an internationally famous place to get married, like Las Vegas, but otherwise I'd say kill it. The percentage of wikitravellers for whom that listing would be useful is bound to be extremely low, and no one should expect to find wedding planners for every destination in a travel guide. When people post chamber of commerce info about available venues for planning a massive seminar or conference, I delete it for the same reason. Texugo 20:35, 11 September 2007 (EDT)
I don't think evan Vegas should list wedding agencies or planners. Chapels and other places that actually perform weddings, though, are OK. Jpatokal 23:24, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, I removed links to wedding agencies from Santorini. --DenisYurkin 17:10, 12 September 2007 (EDT)

Condo booking sites[edit]

Do we allow these? Refer specifically to Breckenridge (Colorado). If they also listed restaurants, I'd revert them without asking, but what if they do not? OldPine 15:55, 5 October 2007 (EDT)

See Wikitravel:Accommodation listings#Apartment listings ~ 06:44, 6 October 2007 (EDT)

further reading / movies on destination / music from destination[edit]

Please join the discussion in Wikitravel talk:Where you can stick it#BUMP recommended media. --DenisYurkin 02:55, 8 January 2008 (EST)

I'll join that discussion, but want to quickly note here that I don't think that external references are appropriate for these categories. --Peter Talk 03:24, 8 January 2008 (EST)

Official links at the beginning of articles[edit]

Where there's one official website for a region, and an official website that's linked to from the very top of the region article, should that same official link be placed at the head of each article for each place in the region?

Example - region: Collier County & official website:

Do we also want to link to from the top of Everglades City, Marco Island, and Naples (Florida)? ~ 15:08, 9 January 2008 (EST)

I think we should only link subregions to dedicated pages for that subregion. So if there was a, that would be allowable, but otherwise multiple links to the same website across many pages seems too spammy to me. --Peter Talk 15:18, 9 January 2008 (EST)

I don't see why not. If the purpose of allowing official sites is to provide the traveler with an official list of things to do, places to stay and eat, etc., then the link should be included in the sub-region as well - if no official sub-region site exists. A wikitravel user may not think about looking at the region article for an official link. --Wandering 16:07, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Employment agencies[edit]

I suspect that employment agencies are valid candidates for the What not to link to list - anyone disagree? ~ 04:38, 22 January 2008 (EST)

BUMP & last call for any objections to employment agencies being added to the What not to link to list. ~ 07:50, 24 January 2008 (EST)
I'd say that in articles like Teaching English or Working abroad that are specifically about work, links to job search sites are OK. I would not link to recruiters, but others may not share my bias there; we can debate that when it comes up. Pashley 01:15, 25 January 2008 (EST)
I was tempted just to go ahead and specify those two as exceptions, but I can't help but feel that maybe Working abroad has too broad a scope for it to be practicable to permit employment agency links there. ~ 01:33, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Suppose I added this to the list:

  • Employment agencies and job search websites (with two exceptions: see here & here for details)

And then guidelines on what is and isn't acceptable for those two specific "special case" articles can be addressed on their respective Talk pages? ~ 07:25, 25 January 2008 (EST)

So if there are no objections, I propose to action the above suggestion tomorrow. ~ 05:27, 29 January 2008 (EST)
I do object: narrowly-focused employment agencies are a useful primary resource and outside Wikitravel's scope. For example, Finland points to the official Ministry of Labour work-hunting site and lists several major temp-staffing agencies that hire foreigners. So IMHO relevant, best-of-breed sites can and should stay in countries' Work sections. Jpatokal 05:57, 29 January 2008 (EST)

How about this then:

  • Employment agencies and job search websites (with three exceptions - 1: the Work section in country articles; 2: the Jobs available section of the Working abroad article; 3: the Looking for work section of the Teaching English article).

Is that acceptable to everyone? ~ 09:49, 29 January 2008 (EST)

BUMP & another last call for any objections to the re-revised proposal (the "with three exceptions" version) being added to the What not to link to list. ~ 11:31, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Seems to me that the work section exception could lead to very long lists! A quick search reveals upward of 2000 agencies in New York City alone. My suggestion is drop the Work exception. Relevance is kind of hard because it is so job specific (Polish plumbers and Indian IT guys will want different agencies) and wikitravel is not a job search yellow pages substitute. --Wandering 13:11, 31 January 2008 (EST)

rating of traditional airlines[edit]

Moved in from the Pub.

I am considering to create a "rating of service quality" article for traditional (i.e. non-discount) airlines.

The aim is to help to choose between competing flights basing on service level, not only on price. Anyone willing to join such initiative? Does it sound potentially helpful? And if so, where to stick it?

For me, it looks easiest to start with European carriers only. I know that Iberia, Alitalia, Aeroflot and Olympic tend to be in the end of the list, while Austrian, Lufthansa, SAS and Swiss are closer to the top. --DenisYurkin 19:08, 11 January 2008 (EST)

There is already a web site devoted to this, which I find is very good. Have a look at Davidbstanley 03:44, 12 January 2008 (EST)
Can we link to it from either Fundamentals of flying or Tips for flying? It's very close to being a secondary source; however it's next to impossible to do all the same job in here at Wikitravel. --DenisYurkin 07:25, 26 January 2008 (EST)
BUMP. --DenisYurkin 04:39, 15 February 2008 (EST)
Sounds impossible to determine and maintain... I think it's a bit out of our scope, personally – cacahuate talk 21:39, 15 February 2008 (EST)
I agree that it's difficult to maintain, that is why I propose to linke to from Fundamentals of flying. Any objections on adding the extlink? --DenisYurkin 02:31, 16 February 2008 (EST)
We should probably move this to Wikitravel talk:External links then... I'd say it pretty much conflicts with that policy don't you think? We don't allow links to nightlife reviews or hotel reviews... I don't really care much either way, but it does seem to conflict with the current consensus – cacahuate talk 13:06, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Eh, I don't like it as I think it is too much like the "guides" for which we specifically prohibit external links. Addition to the "flying" travel topics of a phrase which indicates such quality guides are available should suffice. --OldPine 14:58, 16 February 2008 (EST)
The main reason we prohibit "guides" is that we don't want direct a reader to an external resource for the content we are aiming to create and maintain here--assuming we're able to maintain such content. When we definitely can't, while we all believe an external site helps a reader, we do allow, don't we?
How is different from or we already have in Fundamentals of flying? (and more in Tips for flying#Choosing a good seat) --DenisYurkin 16:41, 16 February 2008 (EST)
BUMP :-) --DenisYurkin 12:05, 5 March 2008 (EST)
I decided to plunge forward: [7]. --DenisYurkin 10:34, 22 March 2008 (EDT)
Dennis, what are you wanting to do here? Add a link (or however many do this same sort of thing) to the articles at Fundamentals of flying or Tips for flying? If this is your aim, I'd support it, but I don't want it to creep into mainspace articles. OldPine 16:47, 5 March 2008 (EST)
Rating airlines based on experiences? Sounds like exactly the subjective sort of thing Wikitravel Extra is for. I'd druther not see it here. -- Colin 19:22, 16 February 2008 (EST)
How you see information like this can be practically (a) written, collected and organized at Extra, (b) used and retrieved by a reader? --DenisYurkin 03:04, 17 February 2008 (EST)

External links[edit]

I noticed that external links within articles all have only numbers. I have been changing the numbers to actual words, that make the article look nicer. Is this perferred, or is the preference to just leave numbers? Flowergirl 16:22, 11 July 2007 (EDT)

See Wikitravel:External links. The "[1]" format is actually the agreed-upon format. Wikitravel:Accommodation listings, Wikitravel:Restaurant listings and a few other pages also detail this guideline. Hope that helps! -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:48, 11 July 2007 (EDT)
Actually, the number thing was just kinda left there (it's a leftover from Wikipedia-style references, I think), IMHO it looks pretty terrible. Something like "web" would be much nicer -- but this should be handled programmatically by Mediawiki. Jpatokal 22:32, 11 July 2007 (EDT)
I agree... [web] or something would look nicer. I would propose the same for email. I've done so herecacahuate talk 00:02, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I'd like that, too. The escalating number-links are odd. Gorilla Jones 00:25, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
Another vote for [web] from me for listings; not sure it will fit links placed in the middle of regular text, though. --DenisYurkin 01:56, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I would actually lean more towards using icons, if we do this. A flying envelope icon for mail is straightforward, although I admit I don't have a weblink icon in mind. --Peter Talk 02:04, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
I second the idea of using just an icon. What's wrong with the icon we already have that appears next to the number? Texugo 02:47, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
Absolutely nothing, I think that could work great. Should we move our discussion to Wikitravel_talk:Listings#web/email_format? --Peter Talk 17:26, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
YES, please continue to comment THEREcacahuate talk 03:57, 13 July 2007 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub: Is it wise to list a number of taxi companies in city guides? If so, how many? Nine? -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:57, 19 February 2008 (EST)

I suggest three. Really, you just need the name of one taxi company, but three would give the opportunity for one to go out of business since the last edit, and for the traveler to have a bad experience with another and decide to use the third. That's just off the top of my head, but I can't imagine wanting to see nine. --Jonboy 23:27, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Ha - nine. That was a ridiculous suggestion based on the idea of nine cities. Three sounds good to me. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 00:25, 20 February 2008 (EST)
I've found that taxi information is entirely missing or woefully inadequate for even some big-city articles. I've updated some, such as Philadelphia, that I know about. But it when writing a city article it would be helpful to include: 1) Typical taxifare from the airport to downtown. 2) If taxis are metered or not, and if so, current rates, and if credit cards are accepted 3) If street hales or possible, or street taxi stands, or can a taxi only be summoned by calling ahead. 4) A link, where appropriate, to the local taxi regulating agency for those who need further information.SONORAMA 08:10, 30 April 2008 (EDT)
Sonorama, all your suggestions sounds reasonable to me. --DenisYurkin 15:18, 30 April 2008 (EDT)
Me too. After this length of time, I think it's safe to update our policy with this consensus. --118dot93dot73dot30 23:15, 11 March 2013 (EDT)

Travel aggregator-booker?- RedBus[edit]

Would people kindly check the edits of Special:Contributions/Kumar and provide an opinion? I let this go at first and now find myself wondering if the links 1)violate policy, 2)should be fewer in number and more regionally placed. See also my comment on his talk page. -- OldPine 10:57, 20 February 2008 (EST)

I'm never too sure about these sorts of links also. But for certain, the link should only be on the region/country page for which it is relevant, not on every sub-destination. --Peter Talk 00:23, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Links to educational and cultural programs for travelers[edit]

I put some links on the Greece page to the web sites of several schools offering Greek language instruction programs for English speakers. Since they typically offer programs designed for travelers to Greece who want to combine a vacation with language study, it seems like these would be useful and appropriate links, and I don't see such links excluded by the "What not to link to" guidelines. On the other hand, it's not specifically covered by the description of "primary sources". Maybe there could be a clarification: should web sites of educational programs designed for travelers -- language schools, cooking courses, ecological programs, and things like that -- specifically be listed as acceptable? It seems to me they should be at least as acceptable as links to hotels or restaurant web sites. Sailsetter 11:49, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

My feeling is that yes, as long as those are the people you'd contact if you wanted to sign up for the educational program. We want to avoid "guides to educational programs" or "travel agents specializing in educational programs". To me, however, this is no different than linking to the web site of a dive shop. --Jonboy 11:55, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, the links I put are definitely links to the schools or programs themselves -- on some you can even print off applications there or sign up on line. Eventually if there's no objections I may change the external links guidelines to say such links are acceptable. I assume I can do this. Sailsetter 20:03, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
I think there are already OK under the "primary links" guideline, and you're free to amend the examples if you think it should be explicitly listed. Jpatokal 03:50, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
OK, I added a line there. Sailsetter 10:14, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Rule simplification[edit]

I actually didn't realize our link format policy was as convoluted as it is—that we proscribe footnote-style links within listings and for the first link on the page (i.e., in the vast majority of situations), but front-linked links for external links within prose that occurs outside of listings. I know there's a ton of discussion about which link formats people like, but can we agree to simplify this rule and just use the footnotes only, regardless of where they occur? That would shorten this article a good bit, and make it much more digestible. Objections? --Peter Talk 21:48, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

Do you mean use footnote links for all links, or just for all external links? The simplified policy should still specify exactly what sorts of links are used in all cases: external, internal to Wikitravel, crossreferences to Wikipedia, ... any others? Sailsetter 10:54, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, just for all external links. This policy only covers external links—we have separate policy articles for internal links, and links to wikipedia. I've now tried to make this a bit more user-friendly by putting all the various link policy articles into the "see also" section of this one.
Now any objections to simplifying this policy & making the footnote-format rule categorical? --Peter Talk 14:17, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Ok, if I understand, the policy is: All external links, i.e. links to any URL not beginning with the Wikitravel URL or with another Wiki... project URL, must be footnote links (example: the British Museum [8],) period end of story no exceptions." If that's the policy I think it's a good one, and will assume that I can change any non-footnote external links to footnote ones if they're not. If I've got it wrong, someone please tell me. Sailsetter 16:04, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I've added this discussion to Wikitravel:RFC. Let's wait a bit before rushing forward with this change. -- Colin 17:33, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I'd really like to not stop there and reopen the discussion about getting rid of the numbering as well. We were on a good path here, but then it kinda got forgotten – cacahuate talk 21:22, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Footnote style for all external links sounds good to me. Among other things, it makes it easy for the reader so see if a link will take him out of WT --Nick 01:59, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
I agree with the proposed change. And the numbering thing could be easily fixed by hacking at the Mediawiki source code. Jpatokal 03:48, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Agree with making all external links to some consistent and compact notation. I prefer Cacahuate's suggestion of using something like "[link]", but would agree with footnote numbers like "[1]". JimDeLaHunt 16:01, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
A different possibility for consideration. If what's important is simplicity, consistency, and understandability, then maybe the best solution (ignoring for the moment programming and retrofitting considerations) would be to have only one sort of link, the text link. Wiki markup could be changed to make a link only out of the following string (e.g.): double begin bracket, URL, space, text, double end bracket. This would produce the text as a hyperlink to the URL, and this would be the only way of making any internal, cross-Wiki, or external link. The current facility for turning anything beginning with what looks like a URL into a native-html footnote link would be turned off. All links would then be highlighted text. Simple, consistent, easy to understand, and producing pages that look like most others on the internet. There would of course be programming and retrofitting considerations, and it would require a little more work on the part of contributors -- e.g. you'd have to code the internal links -- but maybe these problems aren't unsolveable. Sailsetter 10:20, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
I think this aims for the wrong simplicity and consistency, making understandability worse. We should focus primarily on our readers, secondarily on our contributors. I think it is important for understandability by readers that external links have a different appearance from internal-to-wikitravel links or links to partner sites like Wikipedia or Route66. Making all these classes of link look the same would be confusing. Also, the above proposal doesn't require any change to existing source text, it just changes how the formatter interprets that source. It's much different to propose changing source text, which is what I read in your proposal. Am I understanding you correctly? JimDeLaHunt 16:01, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, as I said the change might involve retrofitting and programming challenges. But changing source text could be anything from trivially easy to impossibly difficult, depending on what resources the project has, which is something I don't have a clear idea of. At any rate, it's not clear to me why readers would be confused by having an internal link look the same as an external one; it's all just more information. Any confusion might be minimized byt the proper use of front text; for example, text that was just a place name would refer to another Wikitravel page, text referring to a Wikitravel page section could be introduced with See Also ... My proposal above though was just a suggestion to see if anyone else likes it. If no one does, then I'd go back to supporting the original proposal to make all external links footnotes. Sailsetter 16:35, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Rule simplification, simplified[edit]

Er... um, I purposely delimited my above proposal to something vary narrow, because these discussions get bogged down, nearly every time, in the morass of slightly diverging preferences. We can and should discuss other more ambitious proposals for the policy in separate threads. But I'd like to keep the discussion within this heading delimited to whether or not people think that the following very unambitious proposal is a good idea:

Extend the rule, that external links be formatted via footnotes, to in-prose links occurring outside of listings.

This is a very narrow category of external links that for some reason we have mandated a link format different from all other external links, and I think we would gain from this change in that the policy would become more succinct and easier to follow (all other preferences aside). Despite having pushed more than a dozen articles (that violated this arcane formatting rule) through the star-nom process and having referenced this policy hundreds of times, this formatting nuance was sufficiently obscure that I never actually realized it existed. So, any objections to this particular simplification? --Peter Talk 16:19, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Support --Nick 16:39, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I'd support it, and let my other proposal just be tabled. There's one point though that I think should be cleared up at the same time, since I for one am still confused by it. What is the standard for footnote links including highlighted front text? For instance, should it be The British Museum or The British Museum [9]? If I understand the standards, it's supposed to be latter, but I see the former if anything more often. And if the latter, should it be an explicit standard that the leading text be in bold, like my example? I know this isn't strictly part of the proposal, but it might be advantageous to include a restatment/clarification of this when making the proposed change to have only footnote links. And I'm sorry to exasperatingly respond to a request to not complicate things by introducing a complication, but I really think it's unavoidable: if we're going to say "OK from now on all links must be footnote links," it really is necessary to be sure everyone understands what footnote links are. Sailsetter 16:58, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
That's exactly what Peter is asking... at the moment we advocate both... the first one for links within a paragraph of text, the second for an actual business listing. By "footnote style links" he's referring to The British Museum [10]... he's proposing that ALL links be like that, even if it's within a sentence in a paragraph – cacahuate talk 19:54, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Sure I'll support that, and I'll try to shut up about it now. Sailsetter
Support [11] -- Colin 18:37, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
  • Support for the sake of simplicity... but for the record you just bogged down my suggestion again, damn you. I forgive you only because even if we came to a consensus for [web] or web or whatever it would involve one of those retched tech requests that would be ignored for 2 years – cacahuate talk 19:54, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
(That's a very generous estimate.) --Peter Talk 00:55, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

OK, I've now implemented this change. We now allow only footnote style links per policy. I also cut a bunch of prose & examples that struck me as unnecessary and dilutive of the impact of the article. Hopefully we'll be able to move from the footnotes to an icon-only format? --Peter Talk 16:09, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

Great edit, Peter. It's really plain simple and absolutely readable now. --DenisYurkin 17:05, 11 April 2008 (EDT)

guidebooks again[edit]

As long as previous discussion on traditional guidebooks was archived (as VFD and a talk page for article), I post a question here.

How acceptable is the following piece from Vatican City#Do?

> Guidebooks such as Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Let's Go, etc provide a valid starting point for planning your time at the Vatican.

And if not acceptable, how should we change it to comply? --DenisYurkin 17:58, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

It's not exactly helpful, and it should just be deleted en toto. -- Colin 18:40, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Agreed with Colin. Gorilla Jones 19:20, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

So should we completely remove the whole quoted sentence from the article? --DenisYurkin 19:21, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Yes, "en toto" is an expression that means "in total" - it should be totally removed. Gorilla Jones 19:28, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Done. --DenisYurkin 02:58, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Formatting of external links[edit]

This is a suggestion about external links, but it's separate from the current discussion about when to use footnote links. It concerns the format of those links, whenever they're used. Currently the example under "Links in Listings" says to do it like this:

Asian Civilization Museums at Empress Place, 1 Empress Place, tel. +66 633  27798 [12].

What would people think of making the standard instead:

Asian Civilization Museums at Empress Place, [13]1 Empress Place, tel. +66 633  27798 .

(Sorry if one example is in a box and one not; I can't figure out how to turn the box off.)

[Putting in a space at the beginning of the line formats the line in fixed-pitch font and puts a box around it. I've made this correction. JimDeLaHunt]

It seems to me much tidier and easier on the eye to have the link right after the name, especially in a list, since the contact information can be a string ranging from null to very long, with the result that in the first format the eyecatching highlighted links end up scattered all over the page. Of course retrofitting would be a problem, but maybe it should be decided first if the latter format is better, then decide if it's too much trouble to implement. I've used the latter format already in a couple places since I didn't notice the example until now, I'll go back and change them if this proposal doesn't go anywhere. Sailsetter 10:33, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Sailsetter: thank you for your contributions and your suggestions! Now me, I don't feel strongly about the difference. Part of the philosphy if WikiTravel is that it seeks to be usable offline, as a print-out. In that case the link is useless, and the address and phone number are more important. Thus they come first. But you could also argue that on-line use matters too. (Shrug.) One thing to note is that some listings are entered with the "eat" and "sleep" entities, so we could move the placement of the link for those listings with a single edit. [Editorial changes: Corrected formatting of second example above. Promoted this section to level 2 header ("==").] JimDeLaHunt 15:25, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

English-language sites[edit]

I question the following policy:

Some sites have a main page in a non-English language with a cryptic link to an English page, such as This might not be a permanent link, so it is better to use the URL of the main page and let Wikitravel users find the current link to the English version.

I've used a lot of sites with such links, sometimes for years, and I've never seen such a link disappear. My personal bookmarks contain a lot of links directly to such pages, and I've never had a problem. On the other hand, the frequent clicking on a link in Wikitravel to a non-English page, on which I have to then search for the English link, is a continual irritant and I think puts people off. Is there really such a problem with these English links that it justifies not linking to them? Sailsetter 12:00, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

Another problem with the policy as stated is that it distiguishes "good" links to English pages from "bad" ones, but it's not clear from the examples how to tell the difference, even to me, and I'm fairly knowledgeable about such things. Some links from non-English to English language pages that I've used involve very long and cumbersome URLs, but they've always worked fine and seem perfectly 'good' to me. Many contributors, I think, are going to be confused by this. And I note that very often contributions link to the non-English version of the page even when there is a perfectly 'good' simple URL. Sailsetter 13:50, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

In my experience at least Japanese sites have a terrible habits of breaking all their links every half year or so. That said, I don't think this is a huge problem either way: it's usually pretty easy to find the "English" link from the main page, and conversely, if the direct link breaks it's not too hard to head back to the root page. Jpatokal 03:52, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Well maybe other people can weigh in on this: do other people find that links from non-English to English external pages are unreliable? And are they irritated by clicking on a Wikitravel link and finding themselves staring at a language they can't read? And does is the irritation a bigger or smaller problem than the unreliability? Sailsetter 09:52, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Travel agents[edit]

On the Symi (Greece) page I listed a travel agent and linked to their web site. It isn't clear to me from the policy page and discussion if this is ok. On the one hand, the agency has a web site which offers to find accommodation and other travel services; on the other hand, I think they're just local to Symi, and they have an office there that travelers can walk into. I used them there and found them good. Any comments? (Maybe I should just list them with contact info but no link?) Sailsetter 20:12, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

My understanding of the general principle is not linking to secondary sites. Travel agents in general are intermediaries. They may be a great travel agent, but we want to be the ones helping travelers find accommodation, etc. --Jonboy 11:32, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
So does this mean we just shouldn't link to travel agents' web sites, or that we shouldn't even mention travel agents or the specific office they might have in a specific location? I think not mentioning them at all can in some cases be a real disservice to travelers. For instance, knowing about the travel agent's office I mention on Symi could be a real help to someone who arrives there without a room and finds everything booked up, as I know from experience. Another example: I mentioned on the page for Sifnos (Greece) that organized, guided walks are available on the island. I also mentioned that information about them is available at the Sifnos office of a certain travel agent (I gave the office's name and town but didn't link to their web site, since in this case the web site looks like a general Greek travel service agency.) The information about walks is certainly useful and appropriate, but so far as I know, that travel agency office on Sifnos is the only place to get details and sign up for them. So if the information is justified, it would seem that naming that travel agent's office also has to be justified, since without naming it the information would be pretty useless. Sailsetter 11:53, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
In the latter case, since the travel agency is the way to sign up for the walks, that seems reasonable. In the former case, I'm hesitant to open up the door a crack. We would rather give travelers a list of hotels, etc. to try than devote space to travel agents, I think. --Jonboy 12:10, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
I think the hope is that our guides become good enough, where the booking agencies become irrelevant. I think keeping booking agencies listed on the site can be a deterrent to contributors actually adding the contact details for the hotels, since they'll see the booking agency and figure that anyone can just get their contact info taken care of through the agency. Moreover, as is natural for a wiki, we have a pretty strong DIY culture here, and booking agencies grate against that ideal. Another reason why our external links policy is so categorical about booking agencies is that experience has taught Wikitravel that this can be a very slippery slope, where all sorts of useless (and quite possibly unscrupulous) booking agencies start spamming their links all over our guides. (So, even if the Symi agency is useful, its inclusion could undermine a rule that works really well across the site.)
The walks are a separate issue, and sound like a borderline case for our tour policy. I guess my feeling would be to include the walks as a "do listing" and provide the contact info for Sifnos there, without mentioning that it is a travel agency. That is kind of odd advice, but that stays in line with our policies and avoids running afoul of any slippery slopes. --Peter Talk 12:22, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
If there's a consensus on the first point above I'll remove the Symi agency (might not get to it right away though.) The advice about the walks isn't going to work though. The only contact information I can give for that agency is its name and town and the advice to inquire locally for the exact location. This is actually fairly common on Greek islands: many travel agents, hotels, etc. have no address but something like "Odysseus Travel Agency, 81000 Naxos Greece" (made up example.) So I'm not sure what to do. Sailsetter 12:39, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Another problematic example. There's a couple of hotels I'd recommend on the Greek island of Spetses (though I haven't listed them yet) which are run by a travel agency. That is, it's a family business and the family runs a travel agency and two hotels. The contact information for the hotels is the travel agency: whether you are there personally or contacting them from afar, you need to go to their travel agency office to book their hotel. And again, you can't give the contact information without giving the name of the travel agency, since there's no street address: people have to look for the travel agency sign when they get off the boat, or ask, "Where's the XYZ travel agency?" I'm sure this isn't a unique example. So what to do in a case like that? Another point: most travel guides don't share the reluctance to mention travel agents. Frommers and Rough Guides, for instance, both make it a standard practice to recommend at least one travel agent with contact information and sometimes web sites at each destination they discuss. Sailsetter 12:49, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

A check of my book shelf shows that Lonely Planet also routinely lists at least one recommended travel agency for each destination. DK Eyewitness Guides don't routinely recommend them, but they do sometimes include travel agents listings for special purposes (tours, hikes, etc.) I don't have any Fodor's around, but I think I remember they may include travel agents too. It seems to be pretty standard in the travel guide industry. Sailsetter 13:43, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Footnote links should print as footnotes?[edit]

What if... when you printed a page, these links that we call footnote style links actually printed as footnotes at the bottom of the page. I think it would improve readability tremendously in some cases, such as the many article that have a few lines like this: This, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this airlines service city X. If the person is on the internet, they can presumably pull up the wikitravel page and work from there. If it's a printed version, I see no reason for the traveller to need to see the URL at all, except as a footnote. What's our feeling there? Texugo 02:56, 12 April 2008 (EDT)

This seems like a good idea. But Wikitravel doesn't have a special print format function, does it? Sailsetter 10:44, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
There is indeed, look for the "printable version" link in the toolbox on the left sidebar. I also think this is a good idea. --Peter Talk 11:28, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, don't know how I missed that. But the printable version isn't formatted in pages, so where would the footnotes go? Sailsetter 12:02, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
I was thinking to just throw them all at the end of the article. I guess technically that style is called endnotes. Texugo 10:25, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

Car rental agencies[edit]

What's the policy, or what should it be, for listing or linking to car rental agencies? Is it allowed at all? If it is, is there a distinction between local, national, or world-wide agencies? What about a national agency whose web site lists an office in a local destination? Sailsetter 10:20, 15 April 2008 (EDT)

No policy that I know of. I usually only list them if there's a large/cheap local agency that's not one of the big boys (Hertz, Avis, Budget, etc). Jpatokal 10:54, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Also don't think there is a set policy. Normally I list the big ones in the country listing with their national contact details. Smaller local ones as well as the big ones with local offices in city articles. Same with specialist rentals (Camper vans, 4x4 etc) and train services. --Nick 01:28, 16 April 2008 (EDT)

No links to non-English sites[edit]

So, there's a rule that says "Do not link to sites/pages that have no English language content". I've been wilfully ignoring this for years now, and I think it's time to change this: the official site of any listing should always be linked to, whether it be in English, Hebrew or Klingon. Even on the English WT there are travellers who will understand the language in question and who would find them useful; basic pattern matching is enough to read almost any timetable; and even without a word of the language eg. pictures of hotel rooms are still quite handy. Jpatokal 05:17, 4 June 2008 (EDT)

I concur with your reasoning. The only caveat I have is that in some instances it is difficult to know what is being linked to--primarily in the case of non-Western alphabets (sorry, I don't know how best to express that). This can cause difficulty when patrolling non-primary links. -OldPine 06:59, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
I think that can be dealt with as per usual: assume good faith, and nuke it if somebody who does speak the language comes along and spots the spam. Jpatokal 09:53, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
Since there are no dissenting opinions, I've gone ahead and struck that out. Jpatokal 07:53, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
Hear, hear! (Better late than never.) JimDeLaHunt 15:15, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

Link to scanned flyer with Viennese train schedule?[edit]

In Vienna Westbahnhof, the OEBB spreads a flyer with a summary of train connections from and to East, West and Med. Europe. I scanned it and added it to Vienna, and the respective European pages, as Vienna is quite railway hub. However, Colin removed the information, as it was not primary source, and WT wants to be a printed guide too. I responded that a lot of people use mobile devices, and the table-like information is not includable in WT pages, nor are pdf uploadable as files.

The phrase I added, in different variations, was [14]. the flyer is here and here.

As the traveller comes first, and there's no useful info in the several European pages, I wonder if I'm the only one who believes this info should be on the European pages. Also, to me it doesn't seem to be necesarily kicked out under this policy. What do other people think? -- Eiland 11:03, 5 July 2008 (EDT)

No-one reacts so I re-add it. -- Eiland 17:43, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
I believe Colin is correct, the link is not to a primary source and is against policy. I have reverted your re-adds. -- OldPine 18:38, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
To clarify, do you believe you links are within policy, or that policy should be changed to allow your links? -- Colin 20:47, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
The timetable is a primary source. Its is not commented, analysed or summarized in any way. Therefore I think it falls within the primary source policy. It does not fall in the "What not to link"-section. So I dont see a need to change the policy, or you want to add something about scanned resources? Regarding the policy that wikitravel aims to be standalone, without external information, where is that policy written down? As I already mentioned somewhere, if this is the policy, I believe this should be subject for discussion, considering the increasing usage of mobile devices. -- Eiland 06:25, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
Heh, I see your point. The information is a scan of a primary source. I'm still thinking the link is not a primary source though. Let's see if we can get a few more opinions. For other policy info, see Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals. I apologize for not referencing that policy -- I thought the info was in the External links policy. -- Colin 15:23, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
I've added this discussion to Wikitravel:RFC to try to get more opinions. -- Colin 15:25, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
I noticed that there. While a scanned timetable might be a primary source, it would also be a copyright violation unless the person scanning it had permission from the copyright owner to copy the timetable. I don't think that Wikitravel should link to things that are copyright violations, regardless of whether they are primary sources or not, as it could be seen as a form of contributory infringement. If the person scanning does have permission, it might be alright to link to it, but my preference, if possible (it isn't always possible), would be for the person to ask for permission to distribute it under a Creative Commons license, and add the information here directly. JYolkowski 20:33, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, if the official website of the train service had a schedule page, the first preference I think would be to link to that... if not, and you can legally scan a copy of one, wouldn't it be better to just upload it to shared and put it in the article? Personally, if I were writing a city article, I would summarize the main points like "trains run hourly to x y and z, listing common destinations, rather than trying to host info on every possible place they service – cacahuate talk 20:56, 9 July 2008 (EDT)
Regarding the copyright, I see your point, but I think it is taking it a bit too far to want every linked resource also to fall under WT's copyright policy. As the timetable is a handout in the train station, I think scanning and linking it from a travel wiki would qualify as fair use? Also, it is technically not possible to upload pdf's into WT. Does this now mean I can re-add the links? 2008 is slowly running out. -- Eiland 04:11, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
Wikitravel:Copyright details#Fair_use seems to indicate that fair use images shouldn't be used on Wikitravel. Thinking about possible reusers of this material, I would tend to disagree with linking to this without permission. I couldn't imagine a printed travel guide providing a URL to something that is technically a copyright violation, for example. JYolkowski 20:58, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
I still object to this as a non-primary link. It may be a primary source, but the link is not. At any rate the most important thing in all these instances is a telephone number, and indication as to the cities served as Cacahuate points out. PDFs files can be printed and scanned and then uploaded to shared. In any case, this soon becomes old information--unlike a true primary link. OldPine 21:45, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
Actually, in this instance there is a web page at the bottom of the scanned flyer. This official web site appears to have all the information yours does, though in some ways it's a less convenient format. So your link is definitely non-official in this instance. -- Colin 21:52, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
The flyer has been very helpful to me, as it provided me with a clear overview of all connections, and how they might be combined, while planning my journeys. I thought this to be a great addition to Wikitravel, also concerning Ecotourism, and the general difficulty of obtaining clear train information (as opposed to that for airtravel, which is generally less cumbersome to plan, as planes leap over several countries at once, and the fierce market, which warrants better information). But by now, I think I've put enough effort in promoting it. If people who feel more ownership for the wikitravel project think its bollocks, risky from a legal perspective, or outdated before its outdated, I don't think I'll be able to convince them otherwise, and, unfortunately, leave it with this. -- Eiland 04:46, 11 July 2008 (EDT)
That was a little overdramatic. You're as welcome here as anyone... and I can assure you everyone involved in this conversation has been disagreed with on multiple occasions... welcome to your first time :) – cacahuate talk 01:47, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

Country/City repetitions[edit]

I think there should be a policy, or if there is one it should be better advertised, about where to put things that can apply to countries and cities. For instance, should a description of the Athens airport and its transit links be in the Get There Greece section or the Athens one? Should warnings of scams common in Italy be in the Stay Safe section of Italy or of Rome? Should remarks on how easy or hard it is to get by with English in Austria be just in the Talk section of Austria or of Vienna or both? Should descriptions of menu items be in the national or the city Eat section? There currently seems to be a great deal of inconsistency about this: sometimes such things are in the Country section, sometimes in the City section, and very often both. The most logical thing would be to put everything at the highest level and cross-reference from the lowest, for instance, give warnings against Italian tourist scams in the Stay Safe section of Italy and then put pointers to them in that section of the Rome, Naples, and Florence pages. But in practice applying this would involve quite a bit of rewriting of some pages, and it would be better if this could be justified by pointing to a specific policy. Sailsetter 10:14, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

I vote for "put everything at the highest level which info is applicable to", even without cross-referencing to it from lower levels. --DenisYurkin 13:03, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
I totally disagree. Information should be at the lowest correct level, with plenty of cross-references from higher levels. Eg. Rome's airport belongs in Rome, and the Italy article should link to it (while also mentioning that Milan is a big hub and worthy alternative). Jpatokal 08:16, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

Yes, I tend to think that's the best policy. Cross-references give a cluttered look, and people can learn that they should read "from the top down" to get all the information on destinations. But it would be good to have an explicit policy statement to point to in case anyone objects to the necessary retrofitting. Sailsetter 13:31, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

I would caution that even if the Athens airport is in the Greece article I would want to see it in the Athens article as well and certainly referenced (without links other than the internal link to Athens) in any subregion of Greece that includes Athens. The smaller cities accessed through that airport could then just refer to the airport at Athens. OldPine 22:18, 10 July 2008 (EDT)
Regarding airports, I think the best and most logical thing to do is to include the general descriptions (size, how many airlines served, how easy or hard it is to get through, relevant web site and telephone numbers) for all international airports in the country page, and then put information about connections from the airport to the city on the City page. With this method I don't think there would really need to be an explicit cross reference from the city By Air entry to the country one, though I suppose it couldn't hurt to make the airport name a link the first time it's mentioned on the City page, e.g. in the Athens Get In/By Air section, it would begin "Getting from Athens Airport ..." (the link would be to the Athens Airport heading in the Country/Get In/By Air section.)
Our policy is actually pretty clearly defined already (though whether it's clearly followed is another story :))... See Wikitravel:Country_article_template#By_plane. The United States article is a good example of how a country "By plane" section should look – cacahuate talk 01:54, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

Do we really have disagreement here? Isn't "the highest level reasonable" the same as "the lowest correct level"? It seems to me the following examples are the best way to do things and could be described as either:

  • Dishes common throughout Greece, like moussaka or souvlaki, should be in the Greece Eat section and shouldn't appear on the Crete Eat section, while specifically Cretan specialties like dakos should be in the Crete Eat secction, and not the Greece Eat section.
  • Information on the "clip joint scam," which is found in various places in Greece, should be in the Greece Stay Safe section, though since it's most to be watched out for in Athens, there could be a mention of it in the Athens Stay Safe section with a link to the Greece Stay Safe section for details.
  • Advice to watch out for sunburn, jellyfish, and other dangers common throughout Greece should be only in the Greece Stay Safe section and don't need to be repeated elsewhere.
  • My experience in Austria is that English is commonly spoken in Vienna, though not as commonly as in Amsterdam or Munich, and that elsewhere in Austria English is less common than you might expect. In this case it would be justified to have comments on English prevalence in the country outside Vienna on the country page, and on English in Vienna in the city page.

As for cross references, I think this is mostly a matter of stylistic preference -- personally, I know enough to read all "levels" in a travel guide relevant to a destination and find too many cross-reference give a messy look. But if it's decided to make cross references routine via internal links, I'll do it, but I think there should be a specific policy statement to this effect.

Avoid news links[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

I was about to add [15][16] to China#Shopping as the warning was something I wasn't sure of until I googled it. As this is something verified in reliable sources, I would think it would be useful and not POV to add them. But I know this isn't Wikipedia, so I'm asking. Tenerife 08:58, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

It depends on how relevant such information is to the typical traveler. If they're likely to pick up pre-1911 items while browsing for souvenirs, and if the restrictions apply to everyone and not just "dealers and collectors", then it's absolutely worth a mention. LtPowers 11:04, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

I propose to follow the principles exemplified in the above examples -- what is the agreement/disagreement on this? Sailsetter 12:53, 12 July 2008 (EDT)

None here, I think you have it exactly right. Also agree that excessive cross-referencing should be avoided. We also have a budding internal links policy, which is still a bit of a skeleton.
Re: lowest/highest levels, it depends what you're talking about... I think Jpatokal above is thinking about airline info, etc... in which case it should be at the lowest level (city), with pointers from the country article. But info about a particular kind of food, etc, should be at the highest applicable level, with, IMO, little to no cross referencing – cacahuate talk 23:40, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the comments. I'll keep checking to see if there's further discussion. But it looks like for the present I can at least follow the principles above in making and revising pages, for instance, leave "wear sunscreen" or "eat moussaka" out of all the Greek pages except the Greece one (unless there's some special reason to leave them in, like "This taverna on Mykonos has the best moussaka in Greece.) Sailsetter 11:46, 14 July 2008 (EDT)

External Link Glitch[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

It looks like the format for links added using the "add listing" tool has been changed and is now a glitch. "www." has been replaced with "", as if searching for an internal page.Lake Buena Vista#Eat is one example article. Jtesla16 19:13, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

No glitch, they just need "http://" before the rest of the url. It would be nice if the external link formatting automatically understood this w/o the extra code, but that's the way it is. --Peter Talk 20:19, 10 September 2008 (EDT)

Virtual tour of Albuquerque[edit]

Would adding links to the pages on my websites, and be in violation of the External Linking Policy?

The sites are Multimedia Tours of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico that use 360°x 360° Interactive Imaging and Steaming Video to show visitors what Albuquerque and Santa Fe look like.

There are tours of historic sites, tourist attractions, museums, hotels, restaurants, etc and are commercial websites and not the official website of a convention bureau, chamber of commerce or the locations and events that appear on it.

What I would like is to add a link that reads "A Virtual tour of Sandia Peak Tramway" at the end of a paragraph or article, that links to that location's page on my sites.

Thanx for any feedback Doug Aurand

It would violate the policy, per What not to link to — "In particular, avoid links to other travel guides." Thanks for asking before adding them, though! It looks like you have a nice site, but the rule is useful ;) --Peter Talk 13:23, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

What if I provided links like this one for the Sandia Tramway?

No, the only links allowed are to official sites of the city in question, or official sites of individual listings, like restaurant sites, or museum sites. --Peter Talk 15:14, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Seams like a pretty closed minded policy, when you could show visitors to what the places look like rather just reading about them. Given the choice of looking at images of the Grand Canyon or reading about them, I'd chose the former. But if that's the policy, and it can't be changed, I'll respect it. Thanx Doug Aurand

The idea is that images should be on this site, not linked. That's especially important, given that we aim to be a printable guide as well as an online guide. --Peter Talk 15:42, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

So while the most popular sites on the Web like YouTube, TripAdvisor use "moving media", mostly video, you're staying with still photos only. Again, it seems prety closed minded in today's environment of the Internet that has re-runs of most television programs online and free to view at anytime. And the "official" website links that are allowed, have the same limitation my tour links do; they don't print well. Free professionally produced travel multimedia is hard to come by, and you're turning it down.

The non-official rule also stops spam. And while media can be nice for travel planning, it's worthless in a travel guide, which needs be a quick reference, and portable. You'll notice that Fodors and LP don't include youtube videos either. In any rate, Wikitravel seems to be doing fine as is ;) --Peter Talk 16:26, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
To add a bit more to Peter's responses, I think everyone agrees that the current policy is too "close-minded" / restrictive. However, until a new proposal is made that meets these three objectives then the current policy will remain the best that we've got:
  1. The policy MUST allow us to remove spammy links such as apartment rental aggregators and sites simply trying to raise their Google rank, and also provide a way to prevent Wikitravel articles from becoming overburdened with external links.
  2. The policy MUST NOT diminish contributor's incentive for adding content TO Wikitravel, rather than simply linking to another site.
  3. The policy MUST make it easy for an editor with limited knowledge of the destination and the web site to determine if a site is valid or not.
Anyone with a suggestion that fulfills these three objectives is welcome to propose it, although as yet no one has come up with an acceptable alternative. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:05, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

known exceptions[edit]

As long as the policy is being challenged quite frequently, I thought of creating a list of known exceptions from this policy--all of which reflect a long-standing consensus (and are not undiscussed extlinks-added-yesterday). Hopefully the list can be useful a bit in future battles :-)

If anyone find this idea useful, please contribute to the list below. BTW, is this talk page the best place to have such a list? --DenisYurkin 14:05, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

Exception list[edit]

What constitutes an "official" web site?[edit]

A link to an "official" web site is allowed in the first sentence of an article. Real-world example: Rochester (New York). Should that link be the city web site ( or the official tourism web site ( I note that New York (state) uses, which is the tourism web site, rather than Is that the precedent?

One complicating factor: Wikitravel:Where you can stick it says that data on visitor information centers go in the Understand section. If we use the tourism web site in the article lead, then it seems odd to link it again under "Visitor information" (see the Rochester article for what I mean).


-- LtPowers 15:42, 10 December 2008 (EST)

Definitely the official tourism organisation. - the Copenhagen municipality website is relevant for residents, while - the official tourism organisations website, is relevant to visitors. Same goes for Rochester and NY above - and I suspect the vast majority of cities and countries ( vs My own policy has been to add the municipality website, only when there is no official tourism agency for the city or region to link to. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 15:50, 10 December 2008 (EST)
If there is an official tourism site then it goes in the first sentence. If there is a visitor's information center with a street address then that would go under "Understand". If they share a URL that's fine. Note if there isn't a physical location then the official tourism link shouldn't be shown twice. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:53, 10 December 2008 (EST)


I think it is implied in the existing external links policy that we discourage links to faceoook groups - similar to discouraging links to flickr, youtube etc. Facebook is more a blog, photo collection, discussion board that an informational webpage. Does anybody have an issue if I add facebook to the end of that list we discourage linking to? --Inas 00:43, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

No objection here. Gorilla Jones 00:50, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
If a user wants to link from his user page to his Facebook page, that's fine. Anything else, no. Pashley 04:25, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
What is this Facebook of which you speak? and has anyone actually linked to it from a guide, anyway by all means go right ahead. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 04:35, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Yes, Its happening over in Panama and one other place currently. Thanks all for their consideration. I'll make the updates to the main article. --Inas 00:37, 6 April 2009 (EDT)
Facebook changed quite a bit since this discussion happened, and now encourages "business pages". Quite a lot of businesses like smaller hostels, bars etc. only have a facebook fan page. Should we reconsider the policy? -- Jjtk 08:06, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
I've never batted an eye at it when I've seen it. In general, Facebook should not be linked, but when an establishment uses Facebook as their only official web presence, I don't see a problem with it. LtPowers 10:16, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
I don't have a problem listing a business' Facebook page as the url in a listing...if they don't have a website. Problem is, many businesses maintain both a website and "social media" presence (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.). Although a Facebook page for a business likely has a link to their official website, said Facebook page probably won't list prices and related info (tours, hours, etc.). The official website should take preference before a Facebook page. From a traveler's prospective the official website in almost every case will be much more helpful. AHeneen 19:56, 8 April 2012 (EDT)
I'm right there with LtPowers—I've been adding Facebook pages to listings for businesses without any other website for some time. I didn't remember we still called it out in what not to link to! I have added an exception to the rule on the page. --Peter Talk 15:36, 5 July 2012 (EDT)

Car rental agencies again[edit]

Discussion moved here from Wikitravel talk:Where you can stick it

Car rental agencies love to spam our pages, and with good reason—our site can really boost linked site's search engine exposure, especially when spammed across loads of pages. I'd like to see some way to rein in the car rentals spam (we don't have any policy preventing it). The first idea that's come to mind is that we can put the major national rental agencies on the country article, and then ban further listings on any pages below. I don't think it's terribly helpful to have every Hertz office in the USA listed. And I don't recall seeing car rental agencies covered in other travel guides—no reason why travelers couldn't look them up, just as they would do for other services we don't cover (e.g., barber shops). Moreover, car rentals are usually available at the main points of entry like bus terminals and airports. --Peter Talk 09:49, 30 July 2009 (EDT)

I would probably agree completely, if not for the fact that national agencies have frequent-user programs; which agencies are available at a particular location thus becomes quite useful information. But I've never rented a car, so maybe I'm mistaken on the importance. LtPowers 10:39, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
Support limiting to the country level. Not support banning altogether, as in any given country there's some specifics on how an agency work, even if it's a global chain--as I remember from Morocco-booked-from-Moscow experience. --DenisYurkin 10:43, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I'm not sure on this one - the spam is annoying, but it's valuable to know that there's (for example) a Hertz rental agency at the airport when flying into a small town. Would it be sufficient to limit listing the URLs for national vendors at the country level and then simply mentioning the names of rental agencies available when arriving at a destination without including a URL? We could do something similar for all transportation - there's no need to include full listings for airlines, Greyhound, Amtrak, etc. in every single city article. Note that this discussion may be better suited for Wikitravel talk:External links. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:37, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
That's basically what I did for rental agencies on Rochester (New York)#Get around. No listings with phone numbers or anything, just a list of what agencies are there, like we'd say "Continental and American fly to this airport." LtPowers 12:17, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I agree this is a problem. I also like the solution of only mentioning the rental agencies (without links) in City articles, as was done in Rochester. My inclination would be to also avoid company links at the national level though. I think that is more in-line with the policy avoiding individual listing details in region articles. To my eyes, it would look more professional to bold the main company names, and leave out links and numbers (in both country and city articles). I don't think the link adds much value for a reader, and eliminating them would obviate the companies' motivation to spam.
That being said, if it isn't a major national rental agency, I think it would be helpful to have the individual listing in a city article (as may be the case for many cities outside the USA). --Jtesla16 19:37, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I like that suggestion, and suggest we do the same for airline companies. --Peter Talk 20:12, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I don't think we can be that absolute. I'm just doing some stuff on Kangaroo Island. There is no public transport there, and only two car rental companies operate on the island, the local links and local contact details make a lot of sense, even though they are national chains. I detest the Brisbane and Gold Coast car rental company lists, and they are mostly smaller local players. I delete the local car rental agencies when they appear in Sydney, because we could have a hundred, and there is nothing to say one is better than another.
However, knowing which rental agencies are in the terminal at particular airports sometimes helps, even at major airports. I notice that our star articles don't seem to have extensive rental car listings.
I think a general rule could be, if all the majors operate in a major city as well as smaller players, particularly in western nations, then we omit the listings entirely. People in these cities just aren't going to have difficulties getting a car rental - its just a commodity. If there is some reason to mention the rental agencies, just do so by name. However if in a smaller port, with limited facilities, then we feel free to list.
With regard to frequent rental deals, if you only ever rent with Avis, then you can easily check for yourself if Avis operate at your destination - If you have a deal with Avis, you would be stupid to rent with Hertz without checking just because Wikitravel only listed Hertz at your destination. --inas 20:32, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
I like that way of demarcating it, inas. I would suggest that we continue to provide links to national rental agencies on the country articles. A traveler to the U.S., for instance, who wants to rent a car will want to check at least a few of the national agencies' websites for price comparisons and policies. LtPowers 20:43, 30 July 2009 (EDT)
That's sounding good – cacahuate talk 20:18, 6 August 2009 (EDT)

(Re-indenting) I'm not 100% sure where consensus is heading on this issue - there seem to be voices in favor of restricting listings, but also a strong desire to allow exceptions. Based on discussions above, here's some proposed language to debate (please edit and update):

For car rental agencies, airline companies, bus companies, and other transportation options, if an area is served by only a handful of companies (five or fewer) then it is appropriate to list full company details including address, URL, and other relevant contact information. However, in cases where there are a large number of options available, particularly if national companies are involved, simply list the names of the companies. For example:

Six major rental agencies have desks at the Greater Rochester International Airport: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. Most also have locations scattered throughout the city and surrounding towns, and they will usually come pick you up. Contact your preferred agency for details and locations.

Note that URLs for national companies should be included in the country-level article.

The "five or fewer" guideline may not work for bus companies, trains, or other less common forms of transportation, so this probably needs further refinement, but hopefully this language gives us something more concrete to discuss. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:16, 8 August 2009 (EDT)

It looks good to me, but as the author of the example, I'm biased. =) LtPowers 13:35, 8 August 2009 (EDT)
I'll refrain from discussing buses, trains, etc until we've figured this out on a narrower scope. But for car rental agencies, I like this wording except for the bit about five or fewer companies—I say no listings below the country level for national agencies. (Major regional agencies could be listed in the appropriate region.) I think it's good enough to know that your preferred Hertz is there, and I don't think we need a full listing for national chains in every small town they serve. There may be times when an article would benefit from a couple full listings of a national chain, like perhaps in Ian's example, but I think the benefits of a simple rule would outweigh any negatives from exceptional cases.
That's my preference, anyway, (if we've ruled out excluding car rentals from WT altogether) but I'm happy to be flexible if I'm alone. --Peter Talk 13:52, 8 August 2009 (EDT)
I'll add that if this policy wouldn't work well worldwide, I'd be happy to see it implemented on a geographically restricted basis. --Peter Talk 14:06, 8 August 2009 (EDT)
Certainly I think no national chains listing details in local articles will work just about everywhere. Where there need to be exceptions, like I described above, that can be dealt with by consensus on the article itself.
This doesn't get rid of the issue of having listings for local car rentals in large cities. In Sydney, the yellowpages [17] has over 500 rental car agencies listed. Firstly, does it have any value to the traveller to list rental car agencies when it really is a commodity item? Secondly, how do we select a handful to list out of 500? What would we use as distinguishing characteristics?
In a country town with only one gas station, we might list the filling station. Listing them in a city of 4 million people is just stupid. What I am proposing is we draw a line where a listing rental cars is important for a city article, and when it is a such a commodity that the traveller doesn't really need a list of rental car agencies any longer. It is very useful to know there are only two agencies at West Yellowstone, but listing the agencies in New York just isn't useful. I proposed 5 majors operating as that threshold, where the listing was no longer useful. But I'd be equally happy to limit it to cities under a million people, or some similar themed restriction. --inas 20:09, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I like the idea of limiting car rental listings by size of city, rather than allowing, say, 500 rental agencies in one paragraph (even sans the contact details). I'd do it by number of rental agencies, though, rather than population. So I'd like a policy along the lines of:
Do not list car rental agencies if there are more than ten in the city. Do not add contact details for the agency locations if they are located at a central location like a bus terminal or airport; merely note that they are at that location.
That would prevent listing hundreds of agency locations in Sydney, while allowing something useful—say, a jeep rental agency in Tbilisi. --Peter Talk 21:40, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
Ok, so we come back to the maximum 9 in a list thing. That seems consistent. So our rental car policy would be:
We don't provide details for national chains in local articles, rather we list them once only in the country level article. Where not all national chains operate at a destination, it can be worthwhile to mention by name those that do. Where listing all the rental car agencies operating at a destination would make a list of greater than 9 agencies, the list should be trimmed to a maximum of nine or omitted entirely if there are no significant distinguishing features that can be used to trim the list. --inas 20:12, 24 August 2009 (EDT)

I think there is a sliver of consensus here. If there are no further opinions, I'll have a go at updating the main page. --inas 19:58, 30 September 2009 (EDT)

I was given a recommendation to use a rental broker which travelers say agregate unsold options and sell them with a discount. It's AutoEurope in Austria, and I'm willing to share that with Wikitravel (especially when they prove working fine). But it's clearly not a primary operator--so how should we deal with it? --DenisYurkin 12:22, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Per current policies I think that this is one of those sites that we don't currently allow, but which it would be helpful if we had some kind of exception that could be utilized. However, until someone comes up with a good way to allow exceptions that isn't prone to abuse I don't see the current policy changing - I proposed a nominations process a long while back that would have allowed us to vote on exceptions, but I'm the first to admit that it would have been a hassle and prone to abuse, and it didn't gain consensus. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:19, 29 December 2009 (EST)
What if I simply add the specific broker to Austria, and explicitly ask in Talk:Austria for objections? --DenisYurkin 14:55, 29 December 2009 (EST)
Normally, I'd say that's the way to handle one-time exceptions, but in this case, if we "allow" such a listing in Austria, we risk having every agency who comes in here point to Austria and say "how come this company gets a listing but we don't?" LtPowers 15:56, 29 December 2009 (EST)
And this returns us to the idea "what if businesses are not allowed to add listings on themselves at Wikitravel". Maybe we could try usign that principle specifically for car rental brokers [and apartment agencies]? --DenisYurkin 16:02, 29 December 2009 (EST)
I think that the past arguments given against such a rule still hold - enforcement would be very subjective since we can never really know if someone is associated with the business they are listing, and I'd be a bit hesitant about potentially preventing people who would be most interested in keeping information such as rates, hours, etc up-to-date from adding/modifying their own listings. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:17, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Print rendering[edit]

Stanislav pointed out (on the Russian version) that our preferred footnote-style format renders poorly on the printable version of a page ([18]). E.g., Norwegian [19] renders as Norwegian [x] in your browser window, while the printable version displays Norwegian [x] ( The printable version footnote is completely superfluous. (Unpacked links don't have this problem.) Do we have any way of fixing this? --Peter Talk 21:54, 17 September 2009 (EDT)

It seems that nobody really cares much, so I choose for myself to use the syntax "[ Norwegian]" (as it was intended by developers of the Wikimedia software) because it renders good both in web and printing versions. As far as I understand, the syntax "Norwegian []" is only chosen preferable because of reasons which have very little to do with how comfortable it is to the reader (i.e. not to attract spammers, and so on). Stanislav — Стас 18:59, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
Actually, a lot of users find front-linked external links to look really bad, especially when there are a lot of them, as the aesthetics over-emphasize the links at the expense of the other prose. Changing the preferred link format would be a really big deal, and would need a lot more input to create a new consensus. Personally, I'd prefer that we find a way to alter the print output. --Peter Talk 21:22, 20 September 2009 (EDT)
The reference number for extlinks is in its own class - so to hide it from displaying in the print version would be very straightforward, with access to the appropriate css. The current css defines the display properties for the class. I don't know enough about the mediawiki software, to know if we would have access to the appropriate css files through the mediawiki namespace. --inas 21:38, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

Couchsurfing et al[edit]

These are probably worth a mention somewhere, as a quite valid method of travel, but surely we don't want to mention these services in every article? No links to home exchanges, couchsurfing, etc in individual destination guides? --inas 18:30, 5 November 2009 (EST)

So you would disallow "If you prefer modern comforts consider one of the Hospitality exchange networks, for instance, has more than a 1000 available hosts in the city, and gives you the added bonus of having a local pointing you to the great spots."? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:10, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I strongly feel that it should be disallowed at city guide level, because the same text could be equally validly placed in many thousands of city guides. I could see an argument for placing this info at country guide level, but really, it is just an open invitation for every similar service to list there. It certainly is a way of seeing travel, so it belongs somewhere, I'm just not sure it belongs across all our destination guides. --inas 19:24, 5 November 2009 (EST)
Me no like. I am a Couchsurfer myself so I probably shouldn't have a voice here, but as long as specifics of the destination are mentioned; i.e. how many hosts there are in the city on the given network, I really don't see anything wrong with it, and I haven't noticed it as problem anywhere yet. I've always been dubious about a too hard stance on the no duplication policy, since most of our users are one click visitors who land on a destination through a search engine. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:35, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I'm not a big fan. Putting it in the article doesn't tell the couchsurfer anything he couldn't find out by simply going to the appropriate website. LtPowers 19:45, 5 November 2009 (EST)
If we really are going to allow it, we may as well just write a bot that copies the info into every destination article. At least then the info will be accurate. Surely that is the role of the couchsurfing website - to track their destination specifics? It is not as if the user is not going to have to go and link there anyway. After that we can work on the bot for the home exchange networks, etc..
Really though - there is much that could be written about couchsurfing, but it really can't be sensibly duplicated in every city guide. --inas 20:25, 5 November 2009 (EST)


Weather: It seems to me that a reliable weather forecast link would be useful for planning an immanent departure. In the USA, the National Weather Service has an excellent 7-Day forecast for every town in the country. Example: [20]. It is a long link, but the policy of converting links to a simple footnote format deals well with that. This link from each destination page seems like a helpful one, not detracting from the site. -- Algotruneman 16:52, 9 November 2009 (EST)

There is no policy restriction on doing this, and there are templates that make this easier to do already written. --inas 17:04, 9 November 2009 (EST)
Template:Climate is the best way to handle this information (see Chicago#Climate for an example). --Peter Talk 20:56, 9 November 2009 (EST)
Might not hurt to mention it here, though. I'll add something. LtPowers 21:57, 9 November 2009 (EST)

Re: Talk:Blue Mountains[edit]

Linking really is a simple concept...Look at the link, decide whether it is a good resource for a traveler or not. If you genuinely believe that it is not then delete it. I put up a link that one of the rule police even said was a "great site"...and then deleted it because of a technicality. Have a look at this Blue Mountains site ( Can anyone honestly say that this isn't a great resource for travelers?

There is a very strange culture here where good stuff is deleted because of hard and fast rules that seem unable to evolve.

The deletions seem not to be by real users just the rule police who prowl this site. If something seems inappropriate it would be much better to flag it as such and then let real users decide if it is worthwhile or not for their travels. I suspect you are losing a lot of contributors (like me) who just couldn't be bothered anymore because the rule police swoop straight onto good contributions to find what technicalities have been breached. Peter B—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

If you don't understand some of the perceived unwillingness to see your point of view please consider that the "rules police" that you cite have pointed you to the rationale behind our current policies, suggested ways you could contribute usefully, and in general ignored some fairly abusive name-calling, and yet you have continued to state and re-state the same opinion. As has been previously stated, you're welcome to read the discussions above and propose a change, but note that your "decide whether it is a good resource for the traveler" suggestion was how we initially handled external links, and it didn't work (see discussions above) - people, like yourself, have very broad opinions about what constitutes a "good resource", so the current policies were the result of a consensus developed among dozens of regular contributors over a period of months and years.
As others have suggested, if its important to you that the Blue Mountains have the best possible article, please contribute information to it other than the single video link that you have thus far added. However, if you really feel that this site is not worth contributing to unless you can include a link to a video then it's probably best that you look elsewhere to find ways of promoting that destination. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:14, 30 May 2010 (EDT)

Thanks Ryan, I've heard your opinion and I'm interested in what others think. What I linked to can not ever be replicated on wikitravel. Simply have a look at this Blue Mountains site and tell me truthfully if you don't think it a great resource for a traveler. There may have been problems before but your system is not working now either. Peter B.

A common theme in the discussions on this page is that there are clearly thousands of great websites out there that would enhance Wikitravel articles. The problem is that for every good website there are dozens of crappy ones, and it's ridiculously time-consuming to try to sort through them. Our current policies developed after several years of trying to sort the good from the bad - articles were turning into spammy messes, and we had no clear-cut way of being able to say "this link can stay but this one should go", so it was finally decided to draw a very hard, but very clear line as to what links were appropriate and what were not. In the process we realized we were thus excluding any number of valuable nightlife guides, art history sites, etc, but no one has been able to figure out how to allow those sites without re-opening the door to the spammy sites that threatened to make our guides worthless. With the current policies it is very easy for the "rule police" to identify links as appropriate or not, and thus prevent our guides from quickly degenerating as they would do otherwise.
As to your comment that the "system is not working now", the vast number of contributors here would disagree with you - external links are generally some of the least important contributions to any article when compared with maps, hotel reviews, attraction listings, etc, and while we could definitely do a better job of highlighting useful links, until someone comes up with a way of doing so that doesn't re-open the door to the problems we've faced in the past then it's tough to argue that the current external links policy doesn't make the site better then it would be without without it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:52, 30 May 2010 (EDT)

Ryan, Where are the vast number of contributors that disagree with me? All I ever hear from is you and about 2 others (who I call the "rule police"). Why arn't your "vast number of contributors" shouting me down? Apart from the "vast number of contributors" who supposedly agree with you what about the real users? They should be the ones who should be encouraged to cut out garbage that is not useful. A big awareness campaign to users would be a good start. These sort of wikis need to be able to evolve, not have rules set in stone for ever. Believe it or not that is the idea behind the concept. It works elsewhere. If pages start to degenerate it means that real users arn't going there or are not being encouraged to participate. Peter B.

I think that vast majority of regular users, can't really be bothered by yet another user hell bent on including their favourite link to Wikitravel - Especially since Ryan has so gracefully explained the reasoning above - but here you go. Administering this site is hard enough as it is, what you are suggesting would cost the unpaid volunteers countless hours arguing with individually with thousands of website owners and their fans over if their website is good enough to be included, and as it stands at the moment we just about have enough resources to get by.
And before you start going on about other wiki's, maybe you should re-check the external link policy of Wikipedia, it has consistently gotten harder and harder to include external links there as well, for much the same reasons. We're a volunteer organisation, that sees no profit, so coming here and making demands on our time, especially in the tone you put forth on the talk page, is pretty tactless if you ask me. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 02:27, 31 May 2010 (EDT)

It is an extraordinary thing that if someone questions how things are done that it is making unfair "demands on your time". You must not question our rules - they must be obeyed!

I'm retired and involved with many online groups but no one has such hard and fast rules...they certainly have guidelines and in a vibrant online community you don't need concrete rules - garbage gets deleted almost as soon as it is created. Real users do this - they get involved. You say the vast majority of users couldn't be bothered - That is so untrue. People love to get involved - just like me giving wikitravel a go. If real users are not getting involved you need to look in, not out - there is something wrong.

If you had problems with spammers in the past that real users wern't deleting straight away, I'm afraid your system isn't working.

Anyway I've said my bit and got a bit cranky which is silly because you are obviously not bad people and fundimentally trying to do a good thing....but I'm afraid you have lost the concept of what a true wiki is.

Enough said.Peter B

That's the thing though, had you done a bunch of work on the article, or other articles first, or helped out patrolling, or actually made a credible attempt of phrasing policy that addressed the concerns outline above, you'd have gotten a very different reception. Probably the same fundamental answer, but still. Furthermore, we have tried the approach you are suggesting, didn't work, so what are you on about "evolving"? the current policy has precisely evolved from your suggestion.
And we do evolve our policies, constantly, just see this page for recent examples.
Maybe it's also worth noting that we are one of the largest independently run wiki's outside the Wikia/Wikimedia framework. We nearly have 100.000 unique daily visitors [21], and we had over 2 million contributions last year, from over 45.000 registered users and countless more anonymous ones, there are hundreds of websites and iPhone apps reusing our content. So maybe, just maybe, we might be doing something right. And I for one believe that insisting on being a primary source, and not a collection of links, is a major part of our success.
"If you had problems with spammers in the past that real users wern't deleting straight away, I'm afraid your system isn't working."
That's not the issue, the issue is what happens if the spammer and the real user doesn't agree on whether the spammer is a spammer, whos right? The page might have some legitimate info, but mostly be load of crap. Then the real user will argue while the page is a load of crap, and the spammer (who may not be a spammer after all) will counter argue, and suddenly it takes weeks to remove a stupid link, which information should really be on wikitravel anyway. And that's not theory, that is precisely what happens - Trust us, we know.
Besides, you do know we have have 23.000 destinations guide on English alone right? New York might be fairly constantly monitored, but what about Kazimierz Dolny, hardly that many, and suddenly Wikitravel is a nice spam machine if you gather a list of obscure destinations. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:15, 31 May 2010 (EDT)
Is this still going on? I considered blacklisting this domain during the last round of spamming, and intend to do so if more links are added to this or any other page. Please also note that there is no longer any SEO to gain here, as we have enabled rel=nofollow, so spamming links to your site in talk page threads really isn't going to help you promote your site. --Peter Talk 20:01, 1 June 2010 (EDT)

What a remarkable reaction I am getting to my posts!.. I am certainly flattered that you think that I am the creator of the site that I linked to. Unfortunately I am just an old retired bloke in the Blue Mountains who put up some information on the Aboriginal people here and their extraordinary web site that I first found out about in the local newspaper. I'm sure that if I had the skills to create such a web site I would be spending my time making lots of money rather than putting up posts here.

I think everyone knows that links on these wikis are useless to spammers because of the no-follow tags - I just spoke to a friend who works in the business - he told me that it is widely known that link spamming wikis is a waste of time these days. I think you guys are living in the past, in an era where link spamming was a very attractive thing to do. It obviously isn't any more so maybe the policies should evolve with the times.

I keep saying, discussions like this are important - but you guys just seem to want close debate and no one with a different opinion is welcome. I am arguing that link policy needs discussion and it is immediately..."Link Spammer! Heretic! Burn Him!

Taking out the link from the discussion page so people can't see what I'm getting at is quite appalling. I think you should have the courage to put the link back....After all there is the no-follow tag so why close down the option for people to analyze my argument?

Peter B.

Well, you certainly don't seem to listen to ours either. And I believe we do have overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary, since we remove swaths of obvious SEO content every single day. Instead of going around circles, I'd suggest you phrase a suggestion for a policy that...
  • Still encourages the information to be added to wikitravel rather than just being linked to,
  • Allows users to remove links they don't deem to be of sufficient quality to be included.
    • outlines what exactly "sufficient quality" is.
    • ie: if I don't think your link is good enough for Wikitravel, how do we decide who's right.
  • Won't make the external links section the largest section on every single destination page. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:16, 3 June 2010 (EDT)
Point two is important, since we have so many links added every day, discussing every each one of them individually, simply is not feasible. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:16, 3 June 2010 (EDT)
Peter B.: I'm around here for a couple of years. Yes, no follow reduced the spam and there are excellent sites in the web. Nevertheless still loads of spam everyday are entered at Wikitravel. WT is a popular site, we want a comprehensive site and therefore try to integrate informations on our site instead of lazy linking. The you took to discuss would have been significantly better spent integrating the infos at WT instead of discussing to simply linking. That's just my two cent and if you were a bit more continiously around here you would see our daily battle against the marketers and spammers... jan 07:06, 3 June 2010 (EDT)
Stefan's points are excellent and I'd love to see them enshrined at the top of this page so that everyone who comments here reads them first - I'd be 100% behind changing policy if someone came up with a proposal that did a good job of addressing all of his points, but no one has done so yet. And as to User:Peterfitzgerald's comments, apologies if you are a different person, but it does seem highly peculiar that this Blue Mountains link has been added twice in the past year or so, and both times the the user who added it made no other additions of any article content, but instead engaged in a lengthy rant about our external links policy, including adding and re-adding the link to talk pages. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:40, 3 June 2010 (EDT)

Hopefully, we can see in the future a day when some of our well curated articles can have a greater flexbiluty on what they can link to. Maybe if we have a couple of active docents for an article or area, there can be an effective approval/review method for links which could permit a few appropriate secondary sites. That said, I would have thought the first cab of the rank would be the best what's on guide for the town. I would see a link to an non-free external guide or video clip as pretty low priority, and almost really against the goal of creating a free guide here. --inas 08:38, 3 June 2010 (EDT)

This is very confusing. People seem to think I am some sort of serial link spamming offender who for some odd reason is spending ages justifying his actions (which I'm pretty sure link spammers don't bother to do). Maybe this explains why you all have jumped on me from such a great height.
It seems I'm being mixed up with someone else and blamed for something that I don't really understand. From the odd responses I think some of you are talking about a different link to what I put up (as well as text information). The link I put up was to an interactive tour of the Blue Mountains where you mouse over a satellite image and videos pop up of that area. Peter B.
This page isn't just to discuss your link. When you opened a discussion here, it is to discuss the external linking policy. There is a whole range of link spamming issues to be considered when we discuss this, completely independent of the virtue of you or your link.
Can I just repeat what has been said before? You are welcome here at Wikitravel. Hang around for a while, make some edits to the Blue Mountains, add some info on your favourite spots. After you have seen what happens and the sort of edits that are made here, come back to this discussion, and see if you can help refine the policy. If your only interest remains just adding the one link, it probably isn't going to get up right now, there just isn't the community support for the policy change to allow it. --inas 02:55, 4 June 2010 (EDT)
Right. We don't think you're a link spammer. The problem is distinguishing between people like you, who are interested in improving travel guides, and people like link spammers, who are interested only in advertising their link. Distinguishing between the two is very hard, so to make the job easier, we allow only links to primary sources. This has the added extra benefit of being good for the travel guides, as it encourages the addition of information to the prose rather than leaving it on external sites. This all has very little to do with the merit of your link, or with our opinion of you as a person. We just don't want to risk opening the door to external links and ending up with "travel guides" that are little more than a collection of such links. LtPowers 10:59, 4 June 2010 (EDT)

Contributor research links[edit]

The following discussions have been archived from the now-deleted contributor research links page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:18, 19 September 2010 (EDT)

Newspaper Archives[edit]

Moved from Wikitravel:travellers' pub by Evan

Is there a place on Wikitravel for links to newspaper article archives? For example:

Or does that fall under the heading of non-goals?

Well, Wikitravel is not a Web directory (see Wikitravel:goals and non-goals). We use external links, but mostly to primary sources (see Wikitravel:external links). On the other hand, those archives may be useful for contributors doing research. Maybe we need a Wikitravel:contributor research links page? Other opinions? --Evan 18:24, 28 Jan 2004 (EST)
Those are all big newspapers... if you want to use them for research, it's trivial to find them. Putting these somewhere just means we'll have to start maintaining another page. Let's leave this part of the job to google and yahoo. -- Nils 04:40, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Travel Guides[edit]

I know we should only include primary sources in articles, but there are a few travel guides that actually have some useful information in them about places that can be picked out from amongst the trivia and advertising. I thought it might be useful to list them here, with a suggestion of what content they contain. My thought would be that these should be quality guides, with interesting content, not just an advertising portal for tourist operators and service providers to advertise their address and phone number. -- Huttite

I'm not really happy about this. I don't think we should encourage contributors to copy from other guides, nor should we look like we're encouraging that. So, I'm going to remove that section unless there's a compelling reason not to. --Evan 20:53, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)
My thoughts about this section were to provide links to some websites that had interesting information that was more than just adverts for hotels, etc. A number of contributors have been posting pages on these websites as links to individual pages and Colin deletes them because they do not comply with the primary source guidelines. Some keep coming back and I wanted to identify the good ones. I put them here because I felt there was nowhere else for them to go.
An alternative to this list might be to write an article about using the internet to research and book travel and allow these guides to be listed there. That way these websites would be disassociated from article writing and associated with travel research that travelers might do. It now occurs to me that this would be a good place to explain the benefits and disadvantages of the different types of websites too and what makes Wikitravel so good.
I have no strong objection to removing the list. I merely observe that some sites seem to have useful information that can assist contributors. -- Huttite 21:29, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)

World wide emergency numbers[edit]

[Moved from Wikitravel:Travellers' pub by Hypatia 18:17, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)]

May be useful to incorporate this information into the various country pages. -- Nils

Probably should be added to the Contact section of each Country (or City), possibly even as a templated text. Although standard emergency numbers exist in many countries, the number and type of service provided may vary significantly. -- Huttite 17:45, 26 Dec 2004 (EST)


Archived from the Pub:

Just bringing up something I've noticed in the deletion discussions, I see the words "according to wikipedia" rather a lot, and wonder why we have to treat it as the number one factual account of everything? I get the distinct impression that's the case anyway. MiddleEastern 07:09, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Well, since Wikipedians like to create articles for every stupid place and thing imaginable they're a good measure for deciding if a place is noteworthy. I.e. if Population-of-Three Town in Jumbobo doesn't have it's own article, then we can say with some certainty that the place is not noteworthy. Of course, this isn't always the case, but it's normally a good measure. -- Sapphire 06:36, 16 February 2007 (EST)
I'd quite like to call them sad... but I'd probably be killed, I was once actually blocked on Wikipedia for asking an administrator why he seemed to spend 18+ hours a day watching the encyclopedia... --MiddleEastern 09:19, 16 February 2007 (EST)

Time to get rid of this page?[edit]

I think this page has outlived its usefulness, and it looks unlikely that it will become anything more than a mass of external links if we keep it around, so would there be any support for deleting it? At this point Wikitravel has enough content that we typically prefer first-hand knowledge, so referring people to the NY Times, Open Directory, or someone's personal travel blog to mine content seems unnecessary. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:21, 19 August 2010 (EDT)

Absolutely. --Peter Talk 12:53, 19 August 2010 (EDT)

Dropping the "www"[edit]

Discussion moved in from User talk:Peterfitzgerald:

Hi Peter - I notice you've been dropping the "www." from a number of links, but this actually isn't always a good idea. For example, in your most recent edit, generates an SSL warning while does not. In other cases, if the site hasn't been set up to redirect the root domain to "www." then the link will not work without the "www".

Was there a discussion about using non-www URLs somewhere that you could point me to? If so I'd like to re-open that discussion as I don't think it's good policy to exclude that from links. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:45, 30 September 2010 (EDT)

I could have sworn that there was such a (short) discussion, but I can't for the life of me find it after some 30 minutes of searching... My rationale is that the unnecessary wwws all wind up getting printed, which is a waste of space (e.g., turning a 4 page print into a 4 & 1/9 page print). It's been a long time since I actually ran across a link that didn't work without the www, but I'll take your word that this is something I should remove from my foxreplace substitution list. --Peter Talk 15:30, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
There is a discussion here with a similar-looking but quite irrelevant subject. And I've also noticed some links not working without the www myself, the website of Danish Embassy in Ankara [22] being one of them I've recently come across. – Vidimian 16:41, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
The spam filter discussion was actually specifically aimed at how we define patterns in spam blocking, and thus not relevant (as you pointed out). The gist of that was that when Evan initially set up the spam filter he always specified "www" in the offending pattern, but I raised the point that "" was likely to be of more use in catching a broader array of spam than "". -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:11, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
Provided the non-www form works then removing it is totally fine and has the benefits you've described, but I think that doing so automatically is dangerous. While most dot com registrars automatically set up an appropriate alias for "www", there is nothing that requires such an alias to exist, so removing it without checking is likely to occasionally break the link. The problem is magnified with non-dot-com domains - the CIA link above provides one such example, so I'd just like to make sure that if links are being trimmed that they have first been verified to work without the "www". -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:46, 30 September 2010 (EDT)
Agree, also check that it is same page, foo.example could exist but be different from Also note that foo.example might work for some because their browser guesses and adds www, but not all browsers do that. -- elgaard 06:31, 3 October 2010 (EDT)

Shortened URLs[edit]

In this edit a few urls were replaced by "" and a following number. I don't see anything written about this on WT and when I copy and paste it in a new tab, the link there wouldn't be a problem when printing and later typing the address in. However, these shortened urls are nearly as long as the original and I prefer the original. This would also help with patrolling because you can see it links to a valid sight and not have to check each link (the shortened url could be a magnet for linking to spam, etc.). What are your thoughts? AHeneen 14:12, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

Per Wikitravel:External links#Use short readable links: "Don't use links to redirection services, such as tinyurl, just to make the links shorter." Since the edit in question is replacing valid URLs with a redirection service the edit should be reverted. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:42, 14 October 2010 (EDT)
Ok. I looked over this page twice and missed that sentence. The edit has been reverted. AHeneen 15:58, 14 October 2010 (EDT)

Wikipedia-style citations/endnotes[edit]

I'm curious about Wikitravel not using these. It would make the pages both prettier and more useful as a printed reference. 13:02, 13 October 2011 (EDT)

That's debatable. A good printing algorithm would print the link URL in-line with the text, which is more useful than a footnote. LtPowers 17:12, 13 October 2011 (EDT)
That depends on the user's browser working the "right" way, though. Footnotes may be less useful for that group of people, but they still provide a better use case for people with browsers that don't, and one that's still at least acceptable for those with browsers that would otherwise print inline links. 15:15, 14 October 2011 (EDT)

City/town official website[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Where should the official website of the town or city in question be entered? When I want to visit a place I like to browse their website and maybe even book accommodation through it. It shouldn't replace Wikitravel as, often the info is not in English, but the link should be made available on Wikitravel IMHO. --SaxonWarrior 12:16, 22 July 2011 (EDT)

As explained at Wikitravel:External links#External link usage, it should go right after the first time the city/region/country's name is mentioned, i.e., in the lede. – Vidimian 12:47, 22 July 2011 (EDT)

I now read that policy page on external links too, and I have a somewhat different question. I see that links to restaurant review sites are unwanted, but this strikes me as odd and not very helpful for the traveler? As a newbee, I was trying to update Eindhoven. I included some restaurants but also a link to the most used review site (In Dutch but with numerical ratings, allowing people to at least get an idea of what's there and the addresses). When traveling myself, I always try to find something like it in order to pick local favorites beyond the 5 or 10 listed in my guide. Or, to find a specific (say Indian) restaurant in a city where none of those are listed. It seems a lot more fair to the other 100 restaurants or more in town, some of which are also quite popular and good, to allow for travelers to see they exist and make their own choice. Should I remove it nonetheless? Justme 05:35, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

Yes. If we have missing content, we want that content added here. Allowing external links to review sites discourages people from adding content here. LtPowers 08:56, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
So, does that mean that ideally I should be listing /all/ good or reasonable restaurants in the city? I get that a bunch of the most interesting ones should definitely be in the article, but all of them wouldn't fit. Neither is it feasible to keep them updated, I guess? How does that work then? Justme 09:14, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
Just add restaurants you have visited and are positive about. We're not the Yellow Pages, so we definitely don't need to list all good/reasonable restaurants. As you're working on Eindhoven, check out Hilversum for an example as it's also a medium-sized city in the Netherlands and it's a star article. --globe-trotter 09:59, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

I've been adding info to Eindhoven (and might add some more later), but the page offers enough info for any visitor to find his way around there for at least a week or so. I don't really know how to make a map, but I posted a request for that on wiki travel shared. Can anyone check if it would be good enough anyway to make it a "guide" instead of "usable" article? Or if not, what it is missing? Thanks, Justme 13:39, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

The article looks pretty good. As you say, it would really benefit from a map though the guidelines state that a lack of a map wont hold it back from guide status. A few points: The See and Do sections could use an introduction parragraph. Many of the listings don't have addresses and phone numbers. The get out secton would be more useful if it listed the nearby/next destinations with wikilinks to the articles. Nonetheless, nice work so far. - Cardboardbird 20:28, 28 July 2011 (EDT)
That's an extremely well constructed article. I would have no hesitation in putting it at guide status. Small quibbles: the listings should be presented alphabetically in each section. Very good work and well done.--Burmesedays 21:07, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

Okay, thanks. I added introductions for See and Do, expanded the Get Out section and fit in contact details where I could find them. Many of the landmarks don't really have public contact details like that, since they were renovated for other purposes and can't really be visited on the inside. I wasn't aware of the alphabetic order rule but I now mostly rearrange the listings to bring them in accordance with it. Can I just go ahead and change the status or should an administrator do something like that?

One more thing: many of the listed places actually shield their email addresses or use [at] instead of @, to keep spam bots from getting them, I guess? Is there any policy on how to use those addresses or you just put them in, unprotected? Justme 11:41, 29 July 2011 (EDT)

Good question. As far as I know, no specific policy exists. Its a tough call. If they have their email address on their website then its public info that you can use, though it does make sense to be nice to those legit businesses by respecting their desire to not have their email harvested by spammers. Generally complete listings are preferred but email addresses are less important than street addresses and phone numbers (who emails a restaurant or museum? Hotels or Do activities that take bookings via email, maybe). Leave email addresses out if you feel it is not essential. - Cardboardbird 23:24, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
I think e-mail addresses should never be listed, unless the listing does not have a website. If you're online, one could always look up the email address from the website. --globe-trotter 23:37, 30 July 2011 (EDT)
What if you're not online and just want to send an SMS message? LtPowers 10:30, 31 July 2011 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub

Could someone give me a basic outline of our policies toward linking to wikimapia policy. My understanding is that we do not link to other guides, as per External links, including mapping services. However I cannot find any specific reference to Wikimapia in our policies or the discussion pages. I would like some clarity as a new user is quite enthusiastic to use them and I do not want to jump on them in case I am in error in any way in my interpretation of this. Thanks -- felix 05:13, 19 September 2011 (EDT)

I would not treat Wikimapia any differently to any other map site, i.e. it should not be linked to. As an aside, it has struck me as being a rather odd site, and probably little more than a means for Google Maps to gather user-generated content free-of-charge. The copyright situation is also murky. --burmesedays 08:12, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
I thought the same but buttoned my lips, I will refer the contributing editor here so they can have a look if they are a bit curious as to what others think about it. -- thanks, felix 08:37, 19 September 2011 (EDT)


It seems to me that a lot of the thinking behind this outdated policy is concerned only with linking to Wikipedia articles on travel topics, destinations, etc. But Wikipedia and other tertiary sources such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wiktionary include definitions and details on a great many topics where we will never have and do never want an article.

For some things for which one might want to provide additional explanatory information which is not ordinarily appropriate to a travel guide, there are no primary sources on the internet!

These entries, such as terminology and cultural information that are not directly travel topics that would warrant a Wikitravel page, may still be very relevant to travellers and our readers eg WikiPedia:No Objection Certificate (NOC). Most of our readers are surely not familiar with this yet it should be mentioned in our Pakistan article. I'm not sure if NOCs would warrant a Wikitravel article as they seem to be used for things other than travel but sometimes would be equivalent to a type of travel permit. The term is used on two Wikitravel pages but there is no full description of what it means. The Wikipedia article also wasn't great but such links bring more attention to both pages and both wikis and help to attract people to improve both articles. Blindly removing the links due to "policy" without adding an alternative way of enlightening the readers of the articles can't be an improvement. Updating the policy seems the sensible thing to do.

There's actually less utility for our readers in having the one link in the left hand gutter (and more "danger" to WT) than in having in-line Wikipedia: links (as long as we implement inline links to tertiary sources as

   <a target="_blank" href="

so that the in-line link opens as a new tab or window, so they can afterwards quickly and easily return to reading our great articles).

However, I'm not happy that the current style of Wikipedia in-line link using this "spelling mistake" style of format

[[:WikiPedia:No Objection Certificate]]

doesn't give the usual clue of a little arrow that the hyperlink is an external link and gives undue prominence to the name of Wikipedia (I think the WMF is prominent enough to need no additional advertising from us). I think that this style of hidden external link to Wikipedia should never be used in main article namespace and I will change our policy accordingly if nobody objects (it's still OK for discussion pages, I suppose, but I would deprecate its use altogether). I would like this website's owners and operators to give consideration to indicating by a little logo when we are doing an inline link to a tertiary (rather than a primary) source like Wikipedia or Wiktionary or the on-line version of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Because we want to develop our own travel related content here (and also because travellers may be reading a printed version or off-line), we do not link to secondary sources here on the web's most read travel guide.

However, we are not (and will never be) an encyclopaedia. We have a different aim and focus and a different tone. Our ability to use primary sources is one of the great strengths of our travel guide - nothing in Wikipedia is going to beat our ability to utilise the insights of people who have visited a destination recently - the conundrum comes in distinguishing which anecdotes we can rely on from those that are self-serving or mendacious and unfair.

I think we should consider giving our readers free access to any of Encyclopaedia Britannica's 120,000 articles directly from this web site with special types of in-line links.

IBadmins: You might want to ask your IT department to engineer special types of visually distinctive links brief instructions here, or we can just slightly change our policies so that when our readers click through the special type of in-line link to Britannica from our articles, he or she will be able to view the complete article—even those that normally require a subscription to read—as a free sample.

For example, to link to the Britannica Online article on Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson from our own Nelson (New Zealand) article, the Britannica article URL is

Our HTML code then might look something like <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="">Viscount Horatio Nelson<img src="" border="0" width="14" hspace="3" vspace="2" /></a> and display a little like:

Whw thistle.jpg Viscount Horatio Nelson

(I've prepared a normal xl here without the logo in a version of our Nelson (New Zealand) article).

Note: This code will link users to the article on the publicly accessible Britannica site Readers that they recognize as members of a college or library that subscribes to Britannica will have the same experience as a paid subscriber to the public site with full access to the entire site in an advertising-free environment. Readers that are not members of a subscribing institution will still be able to access the full article, however additional content may be restricted and users may be served advertising.

Please note that, for readers that do not have access via a subscription, that the link will be to the full Britannica article only when the page holding the link is hosted on a Web Server. When you test this page on your local machine, it will still lead to the truncated version of the article. This is not an error, and when the same page is put on a Web Server it will still work as intended. --118dot93dot73dot30 18:07, 16 March 2013 (EDT)

Seems reasonable - or somebody would have raised a rational objection by now... --Ttcf (talk) 02:31, 17 February 2014 (EST)


This edit, amongst other things, changed URL to URI in many places. I know what an URL is, but what is the new thing, please? --Ttcf (talk) 02:31, 17 February 2014 (EST)

Mmmmm, this is getting worse; now we have a confusing mixture of URIs and URLs. I strongly suggest we standardise on URL since
a) this is by far and away the more familiar term for most travellers
b) although all URLs are URIs, the reverse is not the case and this article is not really concerned with other types of URI like ISBNs is it? --Ttcf (talk) 15:24, 17 February 2014 (EST)

Question re: External link format[edit]

The Wikitravel guidelines say not to set up inks in the footnote style. However, the edit pages say to use the following syntax for listings:

 "*<XXXX name="" alt="" address="" directions="" lat="" long="" phone="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></XXX>"

This syntax automatically puts external links in the footnote style. Should we not use that syntax for external links? Can someone modify that syntax to put external links in the correct format? This has been a subject for debate on the page for Vilnius —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:00 (UTC), 23 August 2014

Hello! I try to see what theWikitravel:Listings page says, and quite logically, it is exactly the same. On the other hand, when you check more carefully this troublesome rule (the "No footnotes" one from xl), it reads This rule applies to main namespace articles. Therefore, unless I missed something, I guess it just doesn't apply to listings, although it is not crystal clear. But as a matter of fact, if you want to check online whether Hostel XYZ has still some rooms left (the typical kind of info a Wikitravel's listing cannot provide),then having a discreet footnote to click seems legitimate. On the other hand, footnotes everywhere that make a printed page not readable would be indeed harmful. What's your opinion? PierrB (talk) 15:23, 23 August 2014 (EDT)
I don't think footnotes add anything - they are annoying to read when the article is printed, and on a computer, they are annoying to click - I would rather click on the text and have a direct link - that is how most webpages are set up. Also, for consistency purposes, I would think all external links should have the same syntax. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:33 (UTC), 24 August 2014‎

Really these footnote style external links when using the listings editor are a BUG rather than a rationally debated and wished for feature. It would be a very trivial technical job to link the xl to the NAME of the listing, but don't hold your breath for any technical improvements or fixes... --Ttcf (talk) 17:58, 27 November 2014 (EST)