News & Views

Travel Trend Alert: The Rise of the Editorial Curated Trip

So what travel trend is capturing my attention these days?  It’s the continued rise in the number of leading American travel publishers who are curating travel itineraries for consumer purchase!

Travel + Leisure, The New York Times and more top-tier outlets have extended their brand reach by offering carefully designed experiential travel packages that appeal to the unique passions of their readers.

For instance:

  • For the Adventurous Luxury Seeker: In September, Travel + Leisure with Black Tomato launched 20 carefully crafted luxury trips to destinations where travel is often difficult to plan.
  • For the Intellectual: Times Journeys, from the New York Times, offers educational trips focused on topics such as politics & perspectives, women’s rights and global cultures.
  • For the Culture Hound: AFAR Journeys curates some of the world’s top cultural experiences into trips of all lengths.
  • For the Foodie: SAVEUR, in partnership with Butterfield & Robinson, offers extraordinary culinary trips to worldwide destinations such as Sicily, Napa Valley and Peru.
  • For the Historian: Long-established in the space, Smithsonian Journeys invites travelers to dive deep into the past at hot destinations of the present through cultural and enrichment travel experiences.
  • For the “Younger” Socially Conscious Traveler: National Geographic has partnered with G Adventures for a line of tours, some of which are being developed specifically for the National Geographic Journeys program.

So what’s motivating this rise on media-branded escapes?

  • For one, travelers trust these reputable media outlets and their knowledge of a specific content area. Food fanatics, for example, turn to SAVEUR for in-depth culinary content. So it’s natural to trust the same source to customize a first-hand travel experience centered on experiencing the world through your taste buds.
  • These media-branded adventures afford guests the rare chance to immerse themselves in specific cultural experiences with a group of like-minded individuals – other avid readers of the media outlet curating the trip.
  • Themed travel experiences naturally align with a consumer’s passion in life. Foodies, lifelong learners and the culturally curious can now easily pursue their passions through travel.

For destination marketing organizations (DMOs) seeking new distribution avenues – it’s never been easier to determine which of these operators are the most strategic to target. Those who can prove their validity in a particular space – whether culinary or cultural – by harnessing the power of the editorial coverage they have secured to validate it will find a less strenuous climb to expanding distribution.

Of course, we can’t explore an emerging travel trend without including our own dream media/travel extensions. Here are a few media travel curation programs we hope to see in the future:

  • Vogue: Dazzle the well-dressed traveler with fashion-focused trips to Milan, Paris and Singapore.
  • Rolling Stone: Attract audiophiles of all types to visit some of the world’s traditional and emerging musical meccas – Iceland, Liverpool and Vienna.
  • Outside: Offer adventure seekers the chance to hike, bike, swim and snorkel in Patagonia, Belize and the Galapagos Islands with other outdoor lovers.

Are you a DMO who has been successful in expanding your distribution with any of these media/travel players? Let us know on Twitter @AboutDCI!

Written By

Karyl Leigh Barnes

Karyl Leigh Barnes is President of DCI’s Tourism Practice. Since joining the firm in 1998, Karyl Leigh has led destination strategy and created marketing communication programs for destinations on every continent except Antarctica.

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