Travelers are increasingly turning to Web sites such as TripAdvisor.com and VirtualTourist.com, which provide reviews of hotels, restaurants and destinations written by regular travelers--so-called "user-generated content," which differs from most print content that is generated by professional travel writers.

TripAdvisor.com, based in Needham, Mass., has more than 5 million user reviews and opinions, covering more than 220,000 hotels and attractions.

Founded in 2000, it has more than 20 million monthly visitors, making it the most popular of such sites.

VirtualTourist.com, based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., has been around for six years and counts more than 780,000 members who contribute content. It has accumulated 1.2 million travel tips and recommendations on more than 27,000 destinations, making it one of the largest of such sites.

This spring the company will expand its reach by launching a printed-on-paper publication--VirtualTourist Travel Guides--composed almost entirely of user-generated content.

That's in contrast to the print magazine started last month by New York City-based travel bargain Web site ShermansTravel.com. It's written by staff and freelance writers, though it does integrate some user-generated content.

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