The People Behind the Places™
VirtualTourist is a worldwide travel community where real travelers and locals share real travel advice and experiences.
As one of the largest sources of unbiased, user-generated travel content in the world, VirtualTourist is the premier resource for travelers seeking an insider's perspective. Real travel tips, reviews and photos from real people who have actually been there and done that; and this is what makes the travel content on VirtualTourist so useful.
And since every tip on VirtualTourist is linked to a member's profile, with just a click you can learn more about each member?their age, hometown, travel interests, where they've been, hobbies, even what they look like-and then read about more of their travel experiences.
On VirtualTourist, tips and reviews are organized by destination-from Sydney to New York and everywhere in between-and then into 13 separate categories, like Hotels, Things to Do, Local Customs, Shopping, Tourist Traps and more. This makes it easy for members to contribute content and for other users to find it.
Have a vacation question? Post it in the forums. Have a specific travel query? Email a member whose tips you like. VirtualTourist is a friendly, close-knit community of members willing to help their fellow travelers.
Sharing real travel experiences with other travelers from around the world... that?s what VirtualTourist is all about. To learn more, check out 10 Great Things to Do on VirtualTourist.
VirtualTourist by the Numbers
- 1.2 million registered members from more than 220 countries and territories
- 1.8 million travel tips on more than 72,977 locations worldwide
- 3.7 million photos
- 90% of forum questions are answered
- Dozens of VirtualTourist meetings happen every week around the globe
- 25 VirtualTourist marriages (that we know of!)
- 9 million unique users per month
VirtualTourist.com started in 1999 with a simple objective: Bring people together to share their travel experiences, no matter where in the world they lived. And the Internet - still in its infancy back then - seemed like an ideal platform for people to share their experiences with anyone, at anytime, and about anywhere.
Although the site's premise was straightforward, building a framework that would allow people to contribute unlimited travel tips and photos took a lot time and careful engineering. But when the co-founders started to see a small but growing number of members contributing to their new site, it was all worth it. With each passing day the founders watched as more and more travel tips, experiences and photos appeared on VirtualTourist, transforming their vision into an increasingly useful travel resource.
On its feet and growing by the day, VirtualTourist was just gaining momentum when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. But the VirtualTourist team refused to give up. While other Web sites floundered and disappeared, the dedicated VirtualTourist team moved the site's operations into a small Santa Monica apartment shared by staff; their cramped living room would serve as VirtualTourist's headquarters for the next two years.
Despite the weak economy, and VirtualTourist's $0 advertising budget, Internet users were finding, using and raving about VirtualTourist. The increasing number of travel tips and photos were quickly surpassing anything else on the Web. The members--now growing rapidly in number--were sharing their travel experiences, but they were also sharing information about themselves, their lives and their hometowns; they were forging friendships and organizing in-person meetings. VirtualTourist had grown beyond its humble beginnings and into a real worldwide community.
In July 2008, VirtualTourist became part of the TripAdvisor Media Group. Today, VirtualTourist is one of the largest, most popular travel research sites on the Web. New members join daily, while the vibrant community continues to share more and more useful travel tips, advice, photos and experiences.
Fun Fact: VirtualTourist.com is one of the oldest URLs on the Web. Back in 1994, the web address was registered by a graduate student enrolled at the State University of New York in Buffalo. The Web page--among the first to feature clickable maps--was built to display the locations of Internet servers around the world (there were a lot fewer back then) and encourage exchange from Internet enthusiasts around the world. One of the VirtualTourist founder's acquired the name in 1998.