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Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

One thing which I really like about TripAdvisor, compared to other travel websites, is their firm insistence on showing the real locations of businesses. Where some travel websites might suggest that a hotel is located in Jasper, Alberta when it is actually located in a town as an hour's drive away, TA's policy is to only show Jasper hotels as being located in Jasper.

(TA's policy is spelled out clearly here: tripadvisor.ca/help/i_am_listed_in_an_small_… )

However, this can also be a problem, if you are actually interested in resarching the outlying area. The main reason people are interested in outlying areas is for accommodations which are cheaper, quieter, or have more character than accommodations in the area's major centre. However, they might also be looking for unusual or off-the-beaten path dining or attractions. Travellers who want to check out these options will find that TA's current system is not very helpful.

I think the most important characteristic of any solution to this situation would be to make it clear that the businesses listed are in the area of that main destination, not actually *in* that destination. So, in the case of the Jasper, Alberta example, TA members would have to click a link that said something like "Show me businesses that are not in Jasper but are in the general Jasper area" (perhaps just "near Jasper" would be enough). There would also be a prominent reminder, when the results were displayed, that these businesses are *not* in Jasper - "click the Jasper, Alberta link to see properties that are located within Jasper, Alberta" - and that TA members should double-check the property's address or location map before booking, in order to make sure that they are aware of the real location. Without a separate link for "near <Destination>" listings, and a reminder to double-check the actual location, this new functionality will not be an improvement, in my opinion.

Here are a few questions for my fellow TA members, in the hope of working out a solution that TA can implement.

1. Do you see a place for this kind of "outlying functionality" on TA? Do you think that other travellers to destinations that you are familiar with might find it helpful?

2. Do you think that you would use such a feature or find it helpful?

3. How should TA identify businesses that are "near" a destination? Should the business owners/managers be allowed to designate one (or two?) destination(s) that they are "near", if they are not actually located in that destination? Should it be map based? (for example, "Within 30 miles/50 km of <Destination>")

4. Any other comments or concerns you might have (as usual, of course).

* Note to TA moderators: Please do not move this to the Owners' forum - I think this subject is of interest to all TA members

** Note to Owners: This isn't discussion is about improving the current system without changing TA's policy on where properties are listed. If you want to just suggest a change to TA's policy, or complain about it, please put that on a different thread.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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1. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

Sorry, that last should have said:

** Note to Owners: This discussion is about improving the current system without changing TA's policy on where properties are listed. If you want to just suggest a change to TA's policy, or complain about it, please put that on a different thread.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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2. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

I think that it would be useful, if they could implement it so it made sense. Map based would be most logical to me, but perhaps 30 miles is too far? I can think of many places where different towns are closer than 30 miIes . . . such as suburbs to a big city.

On the other hand, that would allow small towns surrounding a larger city to be considered by readers. We recently stayed in an RV park "near" Reno, only 10 minutes, but had to list it in it's own town location which nobody has ever heard of!

I wonder also about if this would be useful for all towns, or just major population centers?

Just some random thoughts on the subject ;-)

Belgium
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3. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

There may be a precedence with this regarding the term "Greater London".

I've even heard (not read on TA) of Ilford (which is in Essex) being referred to as part of " The Greater London Area"

The there is the term "within the M25" (road) (large ring road outside London).

I'll click to be notified of updates, but I'm off line now perhaps next week (I never know)

Cheers.

Edited: 04 July 2010, 20:54
Auckland Central...
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4. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

This is very interesting especially after our experience with TA and Auckland.

They have now made an Auckland Region but it has no link to Downtown Auckland where they still have most of the listings even though some of them are well over an hour from the Downtown. And they have not put all outlying areas into the Auckland Region. There has to be some connection to all the areas and if I was a visitor to Auckland I would not be looking for a suburb of only 300 residents but this may have things to do, tours and also accommodation. Also in the case of Auckland according to TA our International airport is sometimes in Auckland, sometimes in Mangere and sometimes in Manukau. And there is no connection. So if I was looking for somewhere to stay close to the airport would I know to look at Manukau or Mangere. I will watch this posting with interest.

Boston...
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5. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

This is a good idea and something some people here have been working on for a while. I'll update when I know more.

Auckland Central...
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6. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

Thnaks for your reply Barbara

Auckland Central...
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7. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

Now I realise why I did not use TA at all for our visit to London last year. The whole area was so fragmented and we did not know the names of little towns and villages many within the London area.

Look at Auckland now. TA has it so fragmented with no relation to distance, postal address or google map sites. And now the Auckland CBD has had its name changed to Waitemata by our local government. Wonder what TA will do with that??

Calgary looks so great, one area, one city, one listing on TA.

Belgium
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8. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

"However, this can also be a problem, if you are actually interested in researching the outlying area."

I clicked on Alberta and then followed the "things to do"

There's a tour company at #14 with the name Jasper and Jasper national park itself rolls in at #60 (or so)

Auckland Central...
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9. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

Can you explain??? Alberta is the state???? Jasper National Park is over 5 hours from Calgary. Calgary is listed as one city on TA.

Auckland Super City New Zealand has been dissected by TA and is now a real mess.

Help us to make TA better by putting all of the listings in the Super City under the one heading, like Calgary.

Calgary, Canada
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for Calgary
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10. Re: Suggestions for handling businesses with outlying locations

CDK, I'm afraid I didn't understand you either.

I did notice that TA had the location of the tour company incorrectly pinned, and so I submitted a correction.

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