The travel community site now traces its roots back to 1996 where VirtualTourists was created for a project at the University of Buffalo with the aim to provide online maps of all servers on the internet. This little project was recognized for being the “Best Navigation Aid” at the Best of the Web Awards.
VirtualTourist was officially registered in 1996 by Brandon Plewe at the University of Buffalo as a trademark in the US. However, he abandoned it in 1997, which led it to its original founder, Tilman Reissfelder and Thorsten Kalkbrenner from the University of Karlsruhe, who picked up the URL and turned VirtualTourist into what it is now.
For the continuous growth of VirtualTourist, halfway, they met an American attorney, J.R. Johnson who they teamed up with in 1999 to move VirtualTourist in the US. The idea went through with raised money and a relaunch, making Atty. Johnson the CEO of the rebirth of VirtualTourist in the US.
VirtualTourist grew rapidly and won a number of awards and positive mentions in the mainstream press, from sources as disparate as PC Magazine, The Times, Travel and Leisure, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2008, the owner of TripAdvisor (Expedia) acquired the travel site for a reported $85 million.
What is VirtualTourist?
VirtualTourist is not just a travel booking site. Well, apparently it’s not obvious that they provide travel booking service, but they do. VirtualTourist is known as a social community of travellers who share their experiences and advice online: an online insider’s perspective resource of information for destinations. Members provide real travel tips, reviews and even photos of their visit. Like their company slogan says,
“Real Travelers – Real Info.”
VirtualTourist Reviews of Customers
Judging through several VirtualTourist reviews posted online, the travel site is still working as one of the best sources for travel experience information. With an overall score of 7.1/10 on Trustpilot, it pretty much tells us how reliable VirtualTourist is for travel experience information.
How To Reach Them?
For some reason when we try to access the VirtualTourist “Contact Us” page, it redirects us to its “About Us” page, which made me wonder, doesn’t VirtualTourist have a contact number or email address we can shoot them an email to in case of emergencies or problems with the booking placed? Checking on their company description, we see that VirtualTourist just mentioned that if we have inquiries, just directly email or message their numbers. To whom? it’s quite unreliable.
As we mentioned earlier, VirtualTourist is now an America-based company and its complete head office address is 801 Parkview Drive North, Suite 200, El Segundo, California 90245, United States. Apart from their web page (https://www.virtualtourist.com/) and headquarters, we haven’t found another way to keep in touch with them.
It is quite surprising how travel communities had grown. With these non-booking travel sites around, our travelling life is easier and more convenient. Compared to years ago when there were no online travel agencies or Internet. Just imagine how hard it is to figure out what’s in the other country? Imagine how hard it is to obtain travel advice, tips, and photos from people who visited a certain destination. This are the things we thank for travel sites nowadays: instant information.
What can you say about VirtualTourist? Feel free to leave a comment below.