Wikitravel has a hierarchy of people involved in the community, with varying levels of importance in the project. People lower on the hierarchy are expected to serve those above them, and make life easier for them.
Here's the hierarchy, from top to bottom:
- Travellers. Travellers are at the top of the hierarchy. Creating a travel guide for them is our primary goal; everything else is secondary. Everyone in the community should do whatever it takes to make sure that travellers have clear, concise, up-to-date and reliable information on wherever they're going, however they can.
- Casual editors. Casual editors are the lifeblood of Wikitravel. The world is very, very big, and without the input of many, many casual editors, we can't serve travellers well. Everyone else involved in Wikitravel needs to make sure that casual editors can do their job right. Therefore, we need to make sure that casual editors can quickly and easily edit any page, and share their important knowledge. Many casual editors do not bother to register an account and their IP addresses are recorded.
- Dedicated editors. These are editors who come back repeatedly. They organize and elaborate the input of casual editors. They organize the guide so it's easy for travellers to find information, and for casual editors to know what already is covered, and to put their knowledge somewhere it can be found. They make policies and create guidelines so that all editors can present their knowledge in a consistent and readable way. They revert vandalism and fact-check mistakes, and try to inform all editors how to best serve travellers. They welcome new editors, answer questions, and help work out differences on talk pages. Almost all dedicated editors have recognised the benefits of registering an account here.
- Administrators. These dedicated editors are trusted to do the janitorial work that requires tools that could damage the wiki if used by unskilled operators. They are also expected to know relevant policies and direct users to the appropriate guidance pages, before returning to their more mundane tasks. They are not paid and have no real authority, but somebody has to do it.
- Bureaucrats. These administrators do the occasional poking around in the fusebox needed to activate new administrators and other arcane work. They are otherwise indistinguishable from the rest of the janitorial crew.
Wikitravel also has a hierarchical arrangement of its travel guides. This is described at Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy