VirtualVallarta.com has decided to put an end to an annual tradition, the Readers’ Choice Poll. It was in 2002 that Vallarta Lifestyles Publishing Group, the company behind VirtualVallarta.com, began polling locals and visitors on their favorite restaurants, inspired by similar efforts organized by important destination publishing houses in the US and Canada. Although TripAdvisor.com was founded two years prior, the travel powerhouse had not yet established itself as the important opinion-based website it has become in recent years.
“TripAdvisor was one of the first travel websites to adopt user-generated content,” commented managing editor Paco Ojeda, also responsible for the Readers’ Choice project. “As years have passed, it has become an increasingly important standard by which restaurateurs and travelers measure performance and success of restaurants and other type of businesses as they travel through the world. And while our goal as a publishing company has always been to promote our destination’s finest, we find that, as websites like TripAdvisor have gained importance, there are other ways in which we can better serve our destination in general, and restaurants in particular, and continue promoting the best Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit have to offer.”
Puerto Vallarta's food and dining sector has been essential to Vallarta Lifestyles Publishing Group since its inception. The very first issue of Vallarta Lifestyles magazine, published in 1991, set the stage with articles written by Daiquiri Dick's owners, Peter and Tari Bowman, along with a very useful restaurant guide that continues to be a highly anticipated feature in every issue. The restaurant guide is also available online. In 2005, the company introduced Vallarta Lifestyles' Restaurant Week, an annual, two-week event showcasing some of the destination's finest restaurants with affordable, fixed-priced menus. Several years later, it has become one of the region's most highly-anticipated events, taking place every year on May 15 - 31.