A new magazine and website targeting family travelers, aptly named Family Traveller is coming to the U.S. and Canada after four years of success in the U.K. The website went live this week and the first of three annual print issues will roll off the presses in January.
Laura Begley Bloom, a veteran of Travel + Leisure and Yahoo Travel, is chief content officer. Her plan is to embrace retail travel agents. “I think travel agents are essential overall and especially when it comes to family travel," Bloom said. "There is time, money and experiences on the line. It’s a high-ticket item. Families have particular needs. Agents can guide them to a specific room or cabin that is ideal for families -- and you won’t find that through an OTA,” she told Travel Market Report during an interview at ILTM Americas in Mayakoba.
Bloom said family travel is a $200 billion market in the U.S., and it is growing 26% faster than travel overall. With more and more hotels and cruise lines offering programs for kids, she said good agents know the details on what is actually being provided. While Family Traveller will cover all spectrums of family travel from babymoons to traveling with infants, kids, teenagers and multi-generational trips and budget to luxury, she said agents are important in all aspects of travel planning down to things like making sure there is the right type of child’s seat in the rental car.
In terms of what readers will see, Bloom said, “We will cover Disney, but we will also cover the Everglades. We really believe families want to travel and have enriching experiences, so yes, we will write about going to a theme park, but we will also write about taking a few extra days to show the kids nature and expose them to cultural attractions.”
Launched in the U.K. in 2013 by former Harrods and Times of London executive Andrew Dent, Bloom said the media company is filling a space in the market. With a German digital edition, and a new version for India, Family Traveller is already the leader in the category. She noted that current coverage of the family market is split between mommy bloggers and parenting, and lifestyle and travel magazines, that cover family travel as afterthought.
Family Traveller expects to have an initial circulation of 100,000 print copies through select newsstands and distribution partnerships as well as 500,000 unique website visitors. Lindblad Expeditions has signed on as a launch advertiser in the U.S.; and the U.K. version already counts Fairmont, Hertz, Avis, Westin, Celebrity Cruises, Emirates, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Hilton Hotels and Carnival Cruise Lines as advertisers.
In terms of working with travel agents, Family Traveller has already inked a partnership with the Family Travel Association linking to agent members from its website. It is also exploring opportunities to work with agents on a white label basis so when a consumer wants to book a trip they read about, they would be referred to a travel agent. She said there are also plans to set up a travel agent advisory board.