Travel News Sources, Magazines and Blogs

If you are like most Affiliates, you are very busy searching for and assessing new products to sell, building LZ’s, generating keyword lists, keeping up with your blog and communicating with friends on ABestWeb.

Yet, to be a successful travel marketer, it is also critical that you stay abreast of what’s going on in the travel industry. To help assure that your knowledge about the travel industry remains current and position you to strategically leverage the industry’s constantly shifting dynamics to your business advantage – while minimizing the time you need to spend on this crucial activity –  we’ve put together Travel Dividend’s ‘Best of the Best’ list of travel news sources.

Best Travel Industry News from a Travel Retailer and Supplier Perspective

Please note that most of these industry publications listed below come in both print (which carry a subscription fee) and free digital versions using NxtBooks.com.

www.ModernAgent.com Hands down this is best travel information website for travel retailers like traditional and online travel agents, with a particular focus on helping smaller or more entrepreneurial enterprises succeed in the travel retailing space.

Modern Agent publishes a highly polished monthly magazine which features many well-written articles covering all aspects of leisure travel products, as well as on how travel retailers can best operate their businesses. Each monthly edition focuses much of the content on a specific industry sector or issue; we find these reports very useful.

They also produces a daily online recap called TravelPulse (free subscription) that is full of industry news, practical sales, marketing and organizational tips as well as featuring great video interviews of leading executives from both the supplier and retailer segments.

www.Travel Weekly.com Travel Weekly (TW) is one of the largest and perhaps most widely read ‘general’ travel industry news magazines. The print version is published weekly.

TW’s ezine is updated daily, and published 5 days a week. It can be customized by the reader based on their particular areas of interest (e.g., specific geographic focus, industry sectors, etc).  We subscribe to Travel Weekly’s regional E-Newsletter emails, which consolidate stories on Mexico, Caribbean, Hawaii and a few other destinations that comprise a sizeable portion of our product offerings.

TW’s editor Arnie Wiessmann’s weekly post, From the Window Seat, is a must read column.  And their annual surveys of the travel industry, its major players by sector, and consumer attitudes and buying behavior are great resources.

www.TravelAgeWest.com Owned by Travel Weekly’s parent company, Northstar Travel Media LLC; if you want to read similar travel news content and analysis with a ‘western US’ slant, then we suggest you look here.

www.travelagentcentral.com Travel Agent Magazine, a bi-weekly publication focused on the travel agent community, rivals Travel Weekly as the “Bible’ for many travel agents, and boasts that it has the largest circulation of any trade magazine.

The print version is supplemented and updated by a daily and weekly online version, which features industry news, supplier profiles, destination guides, marketing/sales programs, and educational material. The online version is also augmented with web-exclusive content and video, audio, and community-based tools.

Travel Agent also operates Travel Agent University, an online training program that trains agents in specialized products or destinations. Travel Agent University claims that it has “graduated more specialists than any other travel agent education program and is the industry’s largest on-line travel education site.”

www.traveltrade.com Travel Trade focuses almost exclusively on travel agents selling cruises, tours and general leisure travel. Considered the oldest travel publication in the US, its print version is published weekly and the website more frequently during the week.

They are one of the few travel media outlets that report how many travel suppliers subscribe to their publication, and according to Travel Trade, suppliers represent approximately 4,000 of their total qualified readership of 44,000.

In addition to its weekly newspaper and website version, it also publishes several special supplements, of which Cruise Trade and their Annual Cruise Directory in particular, are good sources for the ‘ins and outs’ of selling cruises.

In addition, Travel Trade owns two industry trade shows: the Leisure Travel Conference, held in Miami in November-December as well as Cruise-A-Thon in New York City, held generally in the summer months.

Best Travel Industry News from a Specialist or Niche Perspective

www.btnmag.com If your customers include business travelers and their companies, then Business Travel News (BTN) is a great resource to keep pace with what’s going on in the highly competitive world of business travel management.

www.jaxfaxmagazine.com Interested in deeply discounted international air tickets? Similarly discounted tours?  Then JAX FAX Travel Marketing Magazine is a publication / online site that you should consider.

Best Travel Industry News from an E-commerce & Distribution Perspective

While JAX FAX features some interesting editorials and content about destinations and products, the heart and soul of this resource is its Listings section which showcases literally hundreds of tour packages and consolidator airfares, the suppliers that provide these specific products, together with the price, schedule, validity period and booking contact information.

www.eyefortravel.com Their ‘About Us’ page claims that EyeforTravel is the source for “business intelligence for the travel and tourism industry.” We wholeheartedly agree.

Their daily newsletter, which is free, provides very extensive coverage and analysis on a wide range of travel related subjects including online travel marketing, web 2.0, social media, revenue management, distribution, and travel technology.  You can peruse current and archived articles, white papers and think pieces by: industry sector (e.g., airlines, cruise, tour operators, etc); geographic regions (e.g., North America, Europe, Asia/Pac, etc); or topics (e.g., online travel, search engines, marketing, technology, etc.).

UK-based EyeforTravel also sponsors one of the industry’s top travel e-commerce and technology conclaves, Travel Distribution Summit; these Summits are held regionally in North America, Europe, and Asia and feature top executives from travel companies around the world. Additionally, they conduct and publish research reports, surveys and analyses on key travel trends.

Their User Blog and User Forum section can sometimes be mined for great nuggets of industry insights and wisdom, though unless the topic in questions is ‘hot’, many of the postings and information are not updated as often as we believe they should be.

www.travelmole.com With more than 450,000 registered newswire subscribers (half of which are in North America), TravelMole is the largest global online community for professionals involved in all aspects of the Travel and Tourism Industry.  Similar to EyeforTravel, UK-based TravelMole is a comprehensive travel news wire service, with news bureaus in the US and AsiaPac. And, like Modern Agent, they offer excellent and often insightful video interviews with key travel industry leaders that span the industry worldwide.

Users can customize their daily email newsletter subscription to receive TravelMole’s news feed from their US, UK or Asia/Pacific sites. Regardless of the geographic focus and context chosen, you will still get a good sense of what’s happening in the global travel scene. Once you subscribe to their daily briefing, you also receive their Breaking News alerts – ‘stop the presses!’ type news briefs that are categorized by topic, e.g., travel technology, airlines, cruise industry, etc.

Articles allow users to post their comments, so often you will see spirited discussions mushroom over some compelling issue that is affecting the industry, a particular sector or company. These articles and associated commentary and ongoing debates are archived in their blog, Have Your Say.

We think TravelMole’s Who’s Who directory, essentially an extensive list of many of their subscribers, is arguably one of this publication’s most valuable features.  This eponymous ‘who is who in the travel industry’ makes it relatively easy to ferret out names, titles and contact information for key players in virtually any travel organization worldwide…try doing that in the affiliate marketing space! You can create your own free listing in Who’s Who once you’ve subscribed to TravelMole’s newswire.

Best Hotel and Hospitality Industry News

www.hotelnewsresource.com Considered by many to be the premier online information and knowledge resource for the hospitality industry, Hotel Industry News / Hotel News Resource “aggregates and distributes content on behalf of 1,527 organisations, and utilizing proprietary software, provides it’s partners with a real-time solution to access relevant industry intelligence serving their region, segment and demographic.”

Far more analytical and ‘pure news’ than most other hotel industry sources, this site is followed closely by upper management of hotel chains and resorts around the world, as well as trade associations, universities, consultants and the traditional press.  Organized by topics, we particularly find theirTechnology News‘ and ‘Trendsuseful as we prepare and revise the hotel product elements of our marketing plan.

Boasting bureaus in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Germany, Hotel Industry News / Hotel News Resource is published daily and available as a free subscription.

www.hotelchatter.com HotelChatter is a daily ezine that focuses on the hotel and hospitality industry worldwide.  Unlike most other industry blogs or news sources, we find their journalistic approach very refreshing.  Here’s what they have to say on their ‘About Us’ page…“We cover hotel deals and reviews, which celebrities are staying where, hotel industry news, tips for booking online, the hotels you should stay away from, the hotels you should book, and more.”

In addition to reader-generated reviews, HotelChatter also employs six editors charged with writing articles, reviews and posts about hotels, resorts, industry trends, the ‘movers & shakers’ in the hospitality industry, as well as some neat ‘gossip’. We use this site to get a good sense of evolving industry dynamics as well as uncovering ‘hot’ properties and destinations.

HotelChatter is updated multiple times daily, and is available as a free subscription.

Best Sources for Traveler Opinions and Recommendations

As we are all aware, social media and networking sites can generate, among a host of compelling features, impressive amounts of unique content.

There are an ever increasing number of social media travel sites that represent powerful information sources that marketers can tap into to better understand travel consumer purchasing preferences, sentiments, and behavior.   Here are three sources we think are particularly useful in helping us conduct our travel affiliate marketing activities:

www.TripAdvisor.com There are others and more specialized niche sites, but this is the granddaddy of user-generated travel review and opinion sites.  For us, TripAdvisor is a ‘must review’ when we’re conducting our product research…based on our  findings, we may aggressively market certain travel products that receive great user reviews – or run away from others that have a significant percentage of negative reviews.

TripAdvisor also operates 11 other content/social media sites or comparison shopping sites, including cruisecritic.com, independenttraveler.com, smartertravel.com, and travel-library.com.

www.Concierge.com.  Operated by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, this is a great site for understanding the interests, preferences, views and needs of the upscale leisure and business travelers.  Of particular interest should be their Readers’ Choice Awards (e.g., the Top 100 Hotels + Resorts list, Top Islands, Top Transportation, etc).

Note: Condé Nast also owns HotelChatter and Jaunted (which we detail in the next section), among other print and online publications.

Best Sources for Traveler Opinions and Recommendations with a Next-Gen Twist

www.jaunted.com Sometimes you run across a travel site that captures your imagination, or you think “this could be the next ‘new’ new thing.”  Well, Jaunted may be just that – the next generation travel site.

Jaunted describes itself as “the pop culture travel guide for globetrotters, business road dogs, and arm chair travelers who are too harried to sit down with a traditional travel guide, or wait for a monthly travel magazine. Our daily web magazine is a pop culture travel review for a generation that possesses a small attention span.”

And offers its readers an opportunity to join them on their ‘jaunts’: “Have something to say about your travels? Have a hot tip on a super secret spot we should know about? Have photos you wanna share? Spot a celeb while you were roaming the earth? Want us to check out a hot spot for ya?  Send us your travel stories, tips, burning travel questions, links to cool travel pages, take a shot at writing a Jaunted story yourself, or just comment on all stories we publish daily.”

Jaunted looks to appeal to the 25-45 year old age demographic; as marketers, we are constantly seeking to identify new customer opportunities…as such, we think this could a great site from which we can glean where the next wave of travel interests, needs and wants will come from.

While its still premature to say how successful Jaunted may become (or whether it will survive at all), we do like its literary chutzpah and irreverent style and think the content it has (though sparse) is pretty good. Jaunted is published daily and available as a free subscription.

Best General Travel, Destination and Resort Magazines

Our recommendations for publications that cater to the carriage trade (why sell the Holiday Inn when you can offer the Ritz?)…

www.caribbeantravelmag.com As the name indicates, this magazine only covers the Caribbean….they have a really good and active reader forum. You may want to subscribe to Caribbean Travel & Life (CT+L) just for the colors!

www.cntraveller.com Condé Nast Traveler is one of the top travel magazines in the world. Their Gold List, their annual best places to stay in the world as selected by the readers, is a much sought-after designation by hoteliers all over the world.

See our comments for sister company Concierge.com in our ‘News Sources for Traveler Opinions and Recommendations’ section.

www.islands.com Want to know about the most popular island destination, or the hidden gem that few have visited? Then Islands Magazine is THE magazine.

Islands is published by Bonnier Corporation, the same folks who produce CT+L and Resort & Great Hotels magazines.

www.luxurytravelmagazine.com Luxury Travel Magazine, a relatively newbie in the online travel publishing world, has gained significant traction since its web launch in 2003.  Unlike the other publications on this list, they do not publish a print version of the magazine.

Luxury Travel Magazine targets the affluent traveler, and in their words, their magazine inspires and informs discerning travelers, connecting them with the world’s best hotels, destinations and travel experiences…and has become one of the world’s leading luxury travel websites according to Google organic search results.” From our perspective, we think they have succeeded.

www.travelandleisure.comTravel & Leisure Magazine (T+L) is published by American Express, covers the entire travel spectrum from adventure travel to the top spas and retreats around the world.

Like Condé Nast Traveler, Luxury Travel Magazine and other publications, they annually select the ‘top’ players in each travel category.  Check out their ‘T+L Top 500‘, their choices for the world’s 500 best hotels, resorts, lodges, inns, and more.

…And, for the more fiscally prudent travelers we recommend:

www.budgettravel.comFrommer’s Budget Travel provides a plethora on traveling inexpensively, including terrific travel tips in its ‘how to handbooks’ section; a host of trip ideas for families, individuals or ‘BFFs’ whether traveling by plane or car; and deeply discounted “Hot Deals’ featuring travel and cruise packages from US cities to destination around the world, to name just a few. Like most of the other magazine in this section, Frommer’s Budget Travel is also available monthly via print subscription.

Best Travel Industry Blogs

http://www.travolution.co.uk/blog/ Although Travolution has a distinct UK/European bent to its perspective (the blog, as well as its sister publications Travel Weekly UK, are after all, published in the UK), when it comes to the breadth, depth and quality of their coverage of both business , and technology issues relating to the global travel industry (traditional and online), this site has no industry peers. Their commentary and analysis is clear and crisp, and they produce some very interesting pod casts on timely issues, often involving the application of new technologies to the travel arena.

www.frommers.com/blog/ If its general leisure travel information you are looking for, then head straight to the ‘travel oracle’…the personal (and terrific) blog about all things travel, by one of the industry’s true pioneers, Arthur Frommer.

http://www.elliott.org. Christopher Elliott is a travel journalist who mission is to provide consumers with “the tools they need for a successful trip.”  In that capacity, we think Chris writes more as a  consumer advocate, and he loves a good travel ‘horror story’…perhaps no one can top him for exposing some of the more inane and systemic problems that continue to afflict the world’s largest industry.

http://longtail.typepad.com/the_long_tail/ OK, The Long Tail is not really a travel blog, but Chris Anderson’s blog on Wired Magazine is a must read regardless of the industry vertical you work in (and yes, Chris does post stories about travel 2.0 in his blog).

A final note: There are literally hundreds of niche travel blogs and forums. If you are looking at a specific niche then drop us an email and tell us what you’re interested in…hopefully we can connect you with the most relevant sources.

Likewise if you’re a blogger focused on a particular travel destination, product, experience or lifestyle, let us know! We’d be pleased to include your blog in our directory.

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