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Where to start your destination research

SmarterTravel

There’s a wealth of destination-specific travel information on the Web—often too much. Sometimes a simple destination search leads to countless links for Wikipedia pages, user-review sites, and biased, incomplete “travel guides” compiled by business associations or other groups trying to get you to buy their services. This is especially true for small and emerging destinations that have yet to master search engine optimization.

There is an easy way, however, to get to official travel websites for cities, states, and countries around the world. The Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory website offers an easily searchable database of more than 1,400 links to “government tourism offices, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, and similar organizations that provide free, accurate, and unbiased travel information to the public.” Currently, the U.S. states, Canadian provinces, Australian states, and most of the world’s countries are represented. Some popular destinations also have links for city- and region-specific tourism websites.

The Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory doesn’t list all individual town and region websites and some of its links are out of date, but overall, it’s good place to start online destination research.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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