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ODP Editing Guidelines for Travel Categories

Purpose of Travel Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to assist placing and describing travel sites, and to supplement the ODP Guidelines, Regional Guidelines, and the Regional Template.

These guidelines address the two primary difficulties that editors have when dealing with travel sites:

  1. Aggressive Submissions and Multiple Listings - Owners and promoters of travel sites are among the most aggressive submitters to the Directory (re: spam). These guidelines are aimed at addressing spam from the travel industries, and to help editors handle these sites consistently.
  2. Travel Ontology - Many editors have difficulty deciding where to list travel sites. These guidelines address this issue by reviewing different classes of travel sites and discussing where they are listed.

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Scope: Which Categories are Affected?

Travel sites are generally listed in three places in the Directory:

  1. Recreation: Travel
  2. Topical travel categories - like Sports: Cycling: Travel or Recreation: Travel: Specialty_Travel: Backpacking. These categories generally either live in Recreation: Travel: Specialty_Travel or are @linked there. Travel categories that may exist outside Regional or the Recreation/Travel branch are treated the same.
  3. Travel_and_Tourism categories at all levels of the Regional branch.

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Aggressive Submissions and Multiple Listings

Owners and promoters of travel sites are among the most aggressive submitters to the Directory. It is common for sites to be submitted multiple times in one or more categories. It is very important that editors of travel categories are aware of these practices.

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Topical Travel Categories

Topical travel categories list resources, directories, tips and advice, travelogues, travel agents, tour operators, and other travel providers which are specific to a type of travel. These categories may "live" in Recreation/Travel/Specialty_Travel (i.e. Recreation: Travel: Specialty_Travel: Backpacking) or in topical categories throughout the Directory (i.e. Sports: Cycling: Travel). The same guidelines apply regardless of where they are located.

  1. Larger topical travel categories should be subcategorized into more specific subtopics. For example, the Ecotourism travel category is further subcategorized by topic.
  2. When all possible subtopics have been exhausted, large categories should be further subcategorized using the following standard subcategories:
    1. Destinations - Use this for arranging sites by geographical region.
    2. Guides and Directories - Use this for travel guides, portals, or directories which focus exclusively on the particular type of topical travel.
    3. Lodging - Lodging establishments ranging from resorts to hotels to bed and breakfasts. Rarely would topical categories have a need for this subcategory, as most lodging is not topically specific.
    4. News and Media - Use this for news, publications, and similar sites focussing specifically on a particular type of travel.
    5. Travel Agents - Only travel agents whose primary focus is the particular specialty travel should be listed here. Travel agents that will book travel of this form as part of a larger business do not qualify
    6. Tour Operators - Only tour operators whose primary focus is tours of a particular specialty should be listed here. Tour operators that offer tours of this type as part of a larger business do not qualify.
    7. Travelogues - Travelogues which focus on one or more trips of this specialty form may be listed here.
  3. These subcategories should be linked back to the corresponding Recreation/Travel subcategory with an @link/relcat pair.
    For example, the Backpacking Travelogues category contains a related category link to Recreation: Travel: Travelogues, and the latter contains an @link named Backpacking@ pointing to the former.
  4. Further subcategorization of these standard topical travel subcategories should not be done, except by geographic area as a last resort.
  5. Editors should use their discretion and common sense when applying these standard subcategories. Not all subcategories will be appropriate for all topics. Further, editors may create additional subcategories at their discretion. Remember, good editors doen't strictly adhere to rules and regulations, rather they use guidelines as basis for good common sense judgment.

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Site Placement Guidelines

Guidelines in this section are intended to assist with the placement of travel sites by their type. Editors should use their discretion to make exceptions to these guidelines where it makes sense.

Lodging

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Travel Agents

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Tour Operators

Example: A tour operator based out of Toronto which only offers tours in Kenya may be listed in both the Toronto and Kenya Tour_Operators categories.
Example: Regional/../Kenya/T&T/Tour_Operators would hold sites for tour operators that offer tours in Kenya, whether they are locally based, or based elsewhere ("inbound" operators). Regional/../Kenya/T&T/Tour_Operators/Outbound would list sites for tour operators based in Kenya which offer tours only outside of Kenya ("outbound" operators).

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Air Travel

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Other Modes of Transportation

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Travel Guides

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Travelogues

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Attractions

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Glossary of Travel Terminology

There are a number of terms which may have different meanings to different editors. For the sake of consistency, here are the definitions of a few basic terms as they are applied to ODP travel categories:

Consolidator
A company which negotiates bulk contracts with a travel supplier (i.e. an airline, hotel, tour operator, etc.) and sells that space to the general public (either directly, or through a travel agent) at a discount.
Tour Operator
A company which assembles various components of a tour. Typically, they arrange transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, admissions, etc. and provide a guide or host to lead the tour. Tour operators sell directly to the public, and also through travel agents.
Travel Agent/Agency
An individual/group which sells travel services to the public. Travel services includes things like airline tickets, cruises, car rentals, or hotel reservations. The agent is a representative of the travel supplier, and is compensated for providing business to that supplier.
Travel Supplier
Those individuals and businesses which supply a travel service directly to the customer. This includes:
Travelogue
A travel "journal", which contains significant narrative content about one or more trips taken by the author. Travelogues are often dated, and sometimes accompanied by photographs; however, "virtual tours" or photograph collections with limited narrative about the travel destination are not travelogues, and should be listed in other ODP categories.
Lodging Terms...

Bed and Breakfast
Generally limited service lodging facilities which:
Hostel
Limited service lodging facilities which:
Hotel
Generally, full service lodging facilities which:
Inn
Generally, moderate service lodging facilities which:
Motel
Short for "motor hotel". Generally, moderate service lodging facilities which:
Resort
Generally full-service lodging and recreational facilities which:
Vacation Rental
Generally self-service lodging facilities which:

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Navigational Links between Regional and Recreation/Travel

Several categories in Recreation/Travel are the global, or root, category for Travel_and_Tourism categories in Regional. Therefore, it is important that editors create navigational links to help users navigate from the "global" category all the way down to the lowest geographic levels in the Regional branch (e.g. locality). Such navigation helps proper site placement by editors and submitters alike.

The goal of such linking is to ensure that it is possible to traverse these links all the way from Recreation/Travel categories to individual locality cats (via @links) and back again (via relcats).