To coincide with Wikipedia’s 12th year of operation, Wikimedia Foundation debuted yesterday its newest project, Wikivoyage, which aims to be essentially a Wikipedia for travel. Much like how Wikipedia is many Internet users’ go-to for quick information on almost anything, Wikivoyage may soon become users’ go-to for travel guides, tips, and anything else pertaining to information about a specific destination.
At first glance, the navigation and functionality are similar to that of Wikipedia. When you type in a destination in the search bar, the first information to be displayed is a general overview of the queried place. From there are the expected topics such as “Get in,” “Get around,” “See,” “Do,” “Eat,” “Sleep,” etc. There are also practical topics regarding safety, health, etc. How does this stand out from a typical guide book or Lonely Planet page? Of course, the fact that these Wikivoyage pages can constantly be updated is a great feature, outperforming guide books which can become obsolete quite quickly. The text on each page can easily be edited to display local secrets or recommendations, and as editors can simply add on under each topic, the possibilities are endless as to what kind of itineraries readers can build off the Wikivoyage information provided. The main idea of the site is that the information is for travelers, written by travelers!
Marketers are limited in how they can contribute to Wikivoyage, and rightfully so, as it was not designed to be a hub for travel marketers to push their content. However, when the information is relevant, quality, and valuable, anyone can contribute to Wikivoyage – that’s the power of crowdsourcing! Wikivoyage has a designated page defining its policies and terms for local business owners who are interested in offering their best tips and tricks for travelers on the site. There are many “do’s” and “don’t’s” but all are fairly intuitive and will only make the Wikivoyage community yet another source for information under the trusted Wikipedia name.