Tourist information offices may have a real presence or exist only online. In some towns they may be combined with commuter services and similar. Employees in a local tourist information office need to have the knowledge to accommodate and answer the questions of visitors and locals. Their duties may vary by geography and by the recreation amenities and attractions locally available. You can find information from tourist information offices about planning your next vacation.
Travel agents, who also provide tourist information as well as vacation planning assistance, may operate physically or only virtually. Travel agents most often specialize in a specific area such as foreign travel, adventure vacations or family holidays. Some are highly specialized, for example, catering to equestrian tourism or people attending sporting events. Agents need to have the knowledge of what is available in their specialty or more generally. They may also be employed in putting together packages to accommodate specific itineraries and needs. Those that handle foreign travel accommodations, need to be aware of medical concerns, visa requirements and local customs.
Hotel, airline and timeshare companies may also hire individuals to provide tourist information. In many cases, these individuals are essential salesmen, trained to provide useful information. They also are used to highlight promotions and specials being offered by their company or in partnership with others.
Online travel information sites are sometimes almost purely user generated. Others may hire professional reviewers and photographers, or work in partnership with travel agents and tourism companies.
Tourist information sites and offices, both physical and online, are valuable sources of information. However, the tourist should be aware of who is behind them and what they might be trying to sell.