This month Frommer’s unveiled its customizable Remix guidebooks. Choose from a series of preferences and produce a guide with only the content relevant to you, including maps of the area around your hotel and personalized itineraries. The books are then bound and delivered via mail.
It’s a neat idea, but there are a lot of clicks that go into producing a guide: Do you want to include Asian/Pacific Rim restaurants? What about sports venues or kitchenware stores? Plus, you have to wait for delivery (two days to two weeks).
Meanwhile, custom travel content is the norm online (TripAdvisor, Yelp), and requires much less effort. When Johan Hill sent out a Tweet asking where to get the best sushi in Toronto in September, he received a flurry of instant responses. (And ended up at Japango, incidentally.)
Taking the Tweet-and-response to the next level, new websites and apps like Gogobot (whose app we reviewed last week), gtrot, Trippy, and even the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Explore Like a Local, are tailoring travel information to you, using your preferences and the recommendations of your friends and connections on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.
The caveat, of course, is knowing who you can trust. My high school prom date may be my “friend” on Facebook, but does that mean I trust his tip on the best croissants in Montreal? Social-media-based content still has a long way to go to replace tried-and-true travel publications.