With travel on most people’s minds (or escaping to warmer destinations, at least), a number of travel sites have been popping up lately. TouristLink is the latest site to hit the Internet, and the concept behind this site seems interesting enough. TouristLink wants to connect tourists like you with hotel owners, tour guides, and resorts. The idea is to allow tourists to ask a question about a destination, and wait for people who work or live there to respond. The whole thing sounds kind of like a social network for tourists.
Even though TouristLink is based on a solid notion, this reviewer didn’t have much luck with the site’s interface (more below). Still, TouristLink is an interesting website to check out if you want to travel somewhere and want non-guide book answers before you set foot on foreign soil. You can find TouristLink here: www.touristlink.com. Alright, let’s get down to the details.
Using the Site
You can sign up for a TouristLink account by connecting with your current Facebook account or by signing in with your email address. I attempted to connect via Facebook (if you choose this option, you’ll have to allow TouristLink the usual permissions), though the site didn’t connect to Facebook properly. Even though TouristLink told me that my Facebook account didn’t exist, I was logged in via Facebook anyway.
Once logged in, users can explore the site freely, but this is the tricky part. TouristLink has a somewhat confusing and bloated interface. When attempting to navigate the site, you might find that you are lost and confused. You can choose from a number of popular categories that are located at the top of the screen, and navigate the site once the category of your choice has been selected. From there, you will be brought to a page where you can click on a destination. Now, I’m assuming that TouristLink wants users to fill in information about each location. However, the site (it is relatively new) is empty at the moment. What you’ll find are small paragraphs about each location, but this information isn’t anything you can’t find in a guidebook or elsewhere online.
After enough people have signed up to use TouristLink, the site should be full of personalized details, tourist questions, and other information. If you think TouristLink is a great idea, go ahead and sign up to be an “ambassador.” In other words, you can sign up to show people around your town virtually.
As mentioned, the TouristLink site needs some work. While the idea behind this site is innovative, there are better travel sites out there that consumers will flock to if the TouristLink site isn’t up to par. Right now, users are likely to become confused by what’s found on the TouristLink site. Seemingly, this site will grow and expand in the future, but (as with most startups) only time will tell. For now, head to the TouristLink site and check it out for yourself – after all, a startup can’t grow if it doesn’t have user support!