Travelocity Magazine Takes Flight

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Travel services retailer Travelocity.com and American Airlines Publishing have teamed up to launch Travelocity Magazine, a bimonthly title targeting customers and prospects.


The title's debut comes as advertising revenue plays an increasingly important role in Travelocity's bottom line. Advertising revenue in the second quarter was $11.6 million, 25 percent of total revenue.


Besides contributing ad revenue, the magazine is expected to imbue the Travelocity brand with an offline persona.


"Certainly the additional ad revenue helps, but here's another vehicle to touch consumers, thereby increasing the loyalty hopefully to where we're getting more of the consumer's travel wallet," said Michael Stacy, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Travelocity, Dallas.


Boasting a guaranteed circulation of 250,000, the magazine will be distributed through subscription to selected Travelocity.com customers, as well as on newsstands. A single copy costs $3.95 on newsstands, and an annual subscription is $14.95.


Content will focus on people, places and things behind travel destinations, the company said.


The magazine debuted with the September issue, beating Microsoft-owned Expedia's travel title. Travelocity's publication targets the site's most loyal customers and tech-savvy travelers whose travel needs are not met by existing publications such as Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, Stacy said.


"What we're going to do is send them three free issues, after which they'll be prompted to purchase a subscription," Stacy said.


Travelocity is taking out ads in trade publications such as Advertising Age and Brandweek to promote the magazine to advertisers and is running banners on search engines and portals. A public relations push will support the effort, and a promotion with Yahoo will debut later in the year.


Charter advertisers include British Airways, Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts, Advantage Rent-A-Car, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bose Corp., American Airlines, Planet Feedback, Yahoo Travel, iExplore.com, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, and WinBook Computer Corp.


"The goal of the magazine is twofold," Stacy said. "One, provide another vehicle for our advertisers to reach this highly qualified demographic, and two, to provide another touch point for our site with the hopes of increasing loyalty to Travelocity."


Travelocity's chief online competitor, Expedia.com, is also launching a publication this fall. Expedia and Ziff Davis are teaming up to produce Expedia Travels, a bi-monthly magazine with an expected rate base of 200,000. The first issue was scheduled to debut in October.


-- Jason Gonzalez also contributed to this piece
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