Fodor's Editorial Philosophy
Fodor's is proud of the travel information we have been providing to readers for more than 70 years via our guidebooks and Web site. We know that millions of travelers every year continue to rely on guidebooks like ours because they provide easy, portable ways to plan trips. We strive to consistently provide up-to-date, accurate and engaging information that meets the high standards our discriminating customers expect. To make certain that we meet these standards, Fodor's has in place a rigorous process for developing our guidebooks and Web site that ensures our products are trustworthy.
Whenever possible, Fodor's hires writers who are local experts living in the destination they're writing about instead of "parachuting" writers into a country or region for a short time. This means that our writers are knowledgeable about their destinations and their subject matter long before they begin researching and writing. Fodor's does not rely on one writer to cover an entire region or country; instead we use multiple writers for most destinations as an efficient way to cover large and diverse areas.
Our writers regularly visit the hotels, sites and restaurants mentioned in our books. Although it's not humanly possible to visit every one of the thousands of establishments we cover every year, we take a number of steps and precautions to ensure that our reviews are accurate and up-to-date. Writers are expected to visit and inspect all new establishments and those which have undergone major renovations. In addition, they are required to do independent primary research including contacting every hotel and restaurant to verify every statement of fact every time we update a guide. Relying on Web sites or secondary sources is not sufficient.
Fodor's readers are an integral part of our editorial process. We actively solicit reader feedback to ensure the accuracy, as well as the integrity and timeliness, of our reviews. Fodor's writers receive reader feedback about the destination under review before they begin their assignment, to prioritize their site inspection schedule We regularly update and correct our content based on Fodor's traveler feedback.
Fodor's does pay its editorial contributors a one-time fee for their work. While Fodor's allows its writers to accept discounts or complimentary lodging and meals, we provide rigorous ethics guidelines to them, which require that they notify restaurants and hotels that providing complimentary meals or lodging will not influence whether the property is recommended. In their reviews, our writers must address the pros and cons of each establishment, and include both positive and negative comments. If we ever feel a writer's judgment has been compromised, we replace them. We believe this approach provides a tangible benefit for our readers. Our writers are able to stay at and eat in many of the places we cover, making their reviews more accurate.
Fodor's writers sign a legally binding publishing contract stating that their work is original. Like many others, we have occasionally encountered writers who have plagiarized content. This is unacceptable to us and, on the isolated occasions when we have discovered a problem, the writers have been dismissed.
Ultimately, every travel publisher must trust the integrity of its writers, and for the most part Fodor's writers have high levels of integrity that meet our meticulous standards. They are by and large hard-working, dedicated travelers who love what they do and are very good at writing about travel. Their commitment—and ours—is to continue to provide our customers with the most reliable travel information available.