This is the blog of journalist, Lonely Planet author and photographer Stuart Butler. It features news and travel updates from the regions in which Stuart works, including northeast Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan), Yemen and Sri Lanka.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The TripAdvisor Experiment: Crowd-Sourcing Vs Lonely Planet | Travels with a Nine Year Old

I found this blog piece about the age old (well a few years anyway) debate over which is better - a guidebook or TripAdvisor and such like?

The TripAdvisor Experiment: Crowd-Sourcing Vs Lonely Planet | Travels with a Nine Year Old

For me I obvioulsy prefer a guidebook but I do use TripAdvisor as a way of reconfirming my personal opinion on a hotel if I'm not sure about it (ie - if its a new place that seems fantastic but I'm not sure then I like to check what other people say). Would I go away without a guidebook - no, no and no!

It would be interesting to hear other peoples opinions on this.

Oh yes and before we go down that path. Yes, we do go to the place we write about, no we don't get paid to write good reviews and so on. For example I have been to Iraq for Lonely Planet this year - not exactly a lot of tourists there but still they send me and shortly I am off to the very remote far west of Ethiopia - again very few tourists there but as normal we go out and cover it.


  1. Hi Stuart,
    I always use guide books; but the thing I do and recommend the most, is go to the local tourist office (if there is one) on arrival. I take all the brochures, to give me a quick education on what to see and do locally. I often find that I come across things I haven't found in a guide book or on a website (I do most of my research surfing Google). I also find that they often have things like free tickets for special events, and up to the minute listings for all events, many of which I won't have come across; this isn't always possible through a website, and certainly not through a guidebook.
    So my advice is always - check out the local tourist office!

  2. Hey Stuart, looking forward to some new posts. Where have you most recently traveled?