In my research for various esoteric details about the Maldives resorts, the assortment of online forums are invaluable resources for tapping into the broad and deep expertise out in the world of both visitors sharing their experiences to aficionados who are Mastermind experts on the subject of the Maldives. Most of the prominent travel publications offer forums (eg. Fodors, Frommer, Lonely Planet), but they all absolutely pale in comparison to the grand-master of them all: TripAdvisor.
I track, access and participate in the other forums from time to time and find that they get entries maybe once a week on average. TripAdvisor can get entries every hour just on the Maldives. Moreover, on other forums, your question will often linger unanswered. TripAdvisor posts typically get some sort of response within the day and can trigger dozens of replies for a particularly intriguing subject.
The greatest asset, though, are the ‘Destination Experts’. These are people with a knowledge of the Maldives as deep as their passion for them. The top expert, ActiveGirl, has 3,418 forum posts to her credit. And the other top contributors all have over 1,000 themselves.
In addition, to the unparalleled expertise that is generously shared out, the forum is one of the few that I have been to that truly lives up to the notion of being a ‘community’. A lot of the participants know each other and many of the posts are done with humour and levity and good natured banter.
Helpful Tips – Some of the newbies to the forum jump right in with big, broad questions like ‘I’m going to the Maldives on my honeymoon, where is the best resort?’ Try to focus your questions a bit by giving some of your key concerns, preferences, etc. The more specific and challenging the question, the more assistance the experts can provide. Secondly, if you do have a specific question, given TA’s hoard of over 15,000 posts just on the Maldives, there is a very good chance that someone has already asked it, so use the search facility on the site to see if you can’t find the answer straight away without having to do a post.