Christian travelers get own title

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Travel with Spirit, a Christian travel magazine, launched January 27.

Because it focuses largely on group travel, the bi-monthly is targeting a core readership of 25- to 54-year-old women, which have been pinpointed as primary family and group travel planners. Travel with Spirit has partnered with Strang Communications, a publisher of Christian magazines and Web sites, for distribution. Most copies of Travel with Spirit are being electronically distributed, reaching a qualified Strang e-mail list of 500,000. Another 20,000 print copies are being mailed to subscribers of Charisma, a Strang title whose readers have shown an interest in travel.

“We saw that there was no magazine for the Christian travel consumer,” said Honnie Korngold, editor in chief of Travel with Spirit. “There are magazines out there for the Christian travel trade but nothing for the consumer, but we know from our long experience in this market that it's very robust. Even in the economic downturn this particular segment still is gathering and traveling and having conferences and events.”

The first issue of Travel with Spirit was polybagged with issues of Charisma and sent for free to those subscribers. The e-edition is also free for now, but Korngold said the magazine is already building a paid subscriber list. She added that she hopes to soon grow Travel with Spirit's print circulation.

The Travel with Spirit brand, part of Travel Network Group LLC, originated as a radio program, hosted by Korngold, two years ago. The radio show went on hiatus last month while Korngold and her team went into production on a Travel with Spirit television show, set to air in the Fall. The show and magazine will cross-promote heavily, Korngold said. The Travel with Spirit brand also includes a Web site, which will tie to an existing Travel Network Group social networking site, christiantravel.ning.com.

Travel Network Group reports that faith tourism is an $18 billion dollar industry with 300 million yearly travelers, and the Travel Industry Association of America reports that 25% of travelers are interested in spiritual vacations.  

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