Many of you will know that my main project these days is a local guide called My Life in Leeds, and tonight I thought I would do some research and check out a few travel websites to see what content they have for my home city, and I am not impressed.
Travel companies need to think more local
Forget for a few minutes that I am the owner of the guide – that aside I am extremely passionate about my home city. Would I have written this rant if I wasn’t working on my own Leeds guide? Hell yes. Click on the links below to view the examples.
What happens is that a lot of travel guides use Flickr and Wikipedia photos tagged to keywords. So, places like Leeds Castle which is 247 miles away in Kent, appears on a Leeds city guide. There’s also a Leeds in Alabama, USA, which appears on some UK guides.
Tripwolf has a great photo of Leeds, of what looks like a rubbish dump. No comments please! I am sure any travellers thinking of visiting the city are going to rush to book a weekend break here now, and it makes me wonder why these types of sites use Flickr tags.
Lack of quality information
One hotel listing I found on Lastminute.com highlighted local attractions as the city of York, 24 miles away. Don’t get me wrong York is a fantastic city, but no mention of the attractions that are on the doorstep of the hotel?
The Frommer’s Leeds online guide has three restaurants listed, believe me, we have more than three restaurants here. Then there’s Trip Advisor who have as an attraction, Leeds General Infirmary which is the city’s hospital! Not somewhere I would want to visit.
Finally, I thought I would share this with you. Even Google is having problems putting accurate information on to their maps. According to Google street view this is Leeds Town Hall, how can they get it so wrong? This is the actual location – it doesn’t look much different, huh?
Travel companies need to go local
Okay, so I am bias, when I say that travel companies need to look local – Ahem – to improve their content, it is true. When you are providing information for travellers it needs to be as accurate. No matter how much someone is an ‘expert’ if they do not live local, it is difficult to keep up with changes.
Have you seen examples of this type of issue on other destinations? Surely, these are quick fixes, so, I’d be interested to hear back from the companies that I have mentioned in this post. As usual let me know what you think in the comments.