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I asked the question Can I be part of the audience in The Daily Show as a tourist?, because, in my view being in the audience of the daily show, is no less (and even more) a tourist attraction of New York than seeing a Broadway show or visiting MOMA. How ever there seems to be at least 2 commentators who think it's off-topic.

Are questions about shows on topic? Are questions about things that may not be a "standard tourist attraction" in popular tourist destinations are on topic?

  • I've been wondering about this. At what point does a 'travel site' become a 'tourism site'. At no point are your question about travelling - just that you happen to be on holiday at the time you want to see this show, no? – Mark Mayo Dec 25 '13 at 13:42
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    @MarkMayo, There are many question on the site that are purely tourist attractions question, also, nowhere on the meta site I couldn't find a discussion that tourist question are off topic. Some examples: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/22585/… travel.stackexchange.com/questions/22628/… travel.stackexchange.com/questions/16614/… and others – SIMEL Dec 25 '13 at 14:36
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    that's why I didn't put it as an answer. I was just musing that we've sort of shifted focus as a site. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just something I was observing :) – Mark Mayo Dec 25 '13 at 21:30
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    @MarkMayo: Well we are by de facto the tourism Stack Exchange too. Nobody has tried to propose a tourism site and everybody would expect us to cover tourism, just as every travel guidebook and website does, and as many of our tags including sightseeing suggest. It's a bit like asking "At what point does a 'travel site' become a 'commuter flight site'. We cover all that stuff and we always have. – hippietrail Dec 27 '13 at 16:41
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    @hippietrail indeed, and for the most part I'm totally fine with that. It's just interesting to see that we started as 'how do I get from A to B' type questions. – Mark Mayo Dec 28 '13 at 3:40
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Travel incorporates business travel, backpacking, family holidays, et al. Various forms and shapes for different people, and we need to be welcoming to each kind. I see no reason why questions about seeking tickets to tourist attractions will be off topic (unless it's highly localised, e.g., "Tickets for X at time Y on date Z").

  • because some places aren't generally 'tourist' attractions? But then how do we define those? Bernhard in his answer has attempted, and I see his reasoning, but then if I go to India I totally want to go to a cricket game there as a tourist, so that complicates things... – Mark Mayo Dec 27 '13 at 12:32
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    We don't have to define them. You can ask questions about going to a cricket game in India here too. – hippietrail Dec 27 '13 at 16:43
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Travel answers has a very diverse audience, with different opinions on what is on topic and what is not. Whether a question remains open or get closed can depend on the time you ask a question.

Then there is also the fact that some users are more prone to vote to close then others.

At the same time questions do get reopened, 137 to be precise. Again this largely depends on who is online and when.

The diversity in the audience will lead to suboptimal questions to remain open (and being upvoted), while more-optimal questions will get the full treatment of close and downvotes.

My advice would be that if you have a genuine question, just ask it on travel.se and not worry that much about receiving down- or close votes. I got very valuable answers on a genuine and very real travel questions that got closed. I managed to get a poster printed in Berlin.

  • The downvote statistics are poorly done. A good example of "how to lie with statistics". An improved version is here: data.stackexchange.com/travel%20answers/query/156666/… Note that this version presents the downvotes as percentage of total votes, so as to make the interpretation easier. – user3470 Dec 29 '13 at 9:49
  • Okay, one could discuss about the "percentage of total votes" vs ratio "downvotes/upvotes". But the issue with rounding and sorting is flagrant and gives misleading results. And the selection of users is moot. – user3470 Dec 29 '13 at 9:59
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    @Andra, the reason that I posted this question is to improve the site. From my experience in other SE sites, when there is a dispute of whether or not a certain subject is on or off topic it's best to post a question in Meta, where the issue can be discussed. So that in the future, people will act better when the issue raises again. If it's decided as off topic than those questions will be closed quicker. If they are on topic, then people will stop voting to close them and not downvote. – SIMEL Dec 29 '13 at 11:27
  • @IlyaMelamed i believe that improveme,t is better achieved by providing high quality questions and answers. In my opinion your question on the daily show is an excelent example. Responses on meta are not representative of the cmmunity at large. Personally I rather have people ask or answer questions and let the votes do its job. I am pretty sure that if your question gets closed. It will easily be reopened. So the voting is a much better indication of being on topic then the opinion of some in meta – user141 Dec 29 '13 at 13:22
  • @user3470 what is the difference in the interpretation, you juggle with numbers, but the message remains the same: "some people are more prone to downvote then others". Either way you remain in the list with both calculations ;) – user141 Dec 29 '13 at 21:48
  • I remain in the list. Yes, so what? But the ranking in your query is flawed and close to random due to an inadequate rounding. That's what I wanted to stress. – user3470 Dec 29 '13 at 21:55
  • The following query gives a more accurate picture data.stackexchange.com/travel%20answers/query/156771/… – user3470 Dec 29 '13 at 21:57
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In my opinion, questions about tickets for tourist attractions are on-topic. However, for something to be a tourist attraction, in my opinion, it should be predominantly visited by tourists and not by locals.

So, questions about tickets for the following would be on-topic for this site

  • Museums
  • Historic sites (e.g. Colosseum, Rome, Italy)
  • Iconic building (e.g. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France)

Off-topic would be tickets for

  • TV shows
  • Movies or musicals
  • Sport matches

That does not mean per se that other questions about these tourist attractions are off topic, e.g. "How to get to The Daily Show studio", woudld be perfectly on-topic.

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    The Daily Show is a show that is broadcasted through the US, as well as the whole world through the Internet. It's visited by many tourists from the whole world, it even has a trip adviser page. Also, Broadway shows and musicals, as well as major sporting events (like the Olympic games, or the world cup) are major tourist attractions which attract people from the whole world. – SIMEL Dec 27 '13 at 13:49
  • @IlyaMelamed Maybe I am misled by your sample question, but what I am specifically adressing here is the obtaining tickets. Other question about it (Olympic games is a good example I guess), might be on topic. – Bernhard Dec 27 '13 at 16:30
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    Movies would be off topic because you can see them anywhere. There might be some special kinds of things I can't think of though. I would say TV audiences, musicals, and sporting events are all on-topic. They certainly exist in printed travel guidebooks. – hippietrail Dec 27 '13 at 16:44
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    @hippietrail not necessarily. There are stringent copyright rules enforced when it comes to movies. A movie that is showing now in Country X can be released a year later in another country. I have used the opportunity while traveling to go to movie that was yet to be released where I live. In the end the movie didn't make it the cinema's here and wasn't even released on a dvd, because the movie bobo's didn't expect large profits from this side of the pond. Let alone Bollywood movies. – user141 Dec 29 '13 at 8:13
  • Yes and some movies are banned in certain countries. You can't see The King and I in Thailand. A Clockwork Orange was unavailable in Australia until pretty recently. So I should say movies are generally off-topic but I would be very easily convinced by various arguments an OP could make to show that for a given question it could be on-topic. – hippietrail Dec 29 '13 at 8:17

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