Partnerships boost circ for Global Traveler

Global Traveler has teamed with the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in its latest round of circulation-boosting partnerships.

The magazine, aimed at high-yield business and luxury travelers, plans to report a monthly circulation of more than 100,000 starting in May. Its most recent audit showed 70,000 paid subscribers, but recent marketing partnerships with airline and hotel loyalty programs have upped subscription sales.

“It’s a continual, evolving circulation strategy, and we’re moving into the next step in about a month where we’re doing more traditional ways of reaching out to new subscribers,” said Francis Gallagher, CEO and publisher of Global Traveler. “But in the past, partnership marketing with airlines and hotels has really helped us.”

Global Traveler’s partnership with IHG, which kicked off April 1, offers subscription deals to the 6.8 million members of IHG’s Priority Club Rewards program. The offers are attached to IHG’s Priority Club e-newsletter, which also features editorial content from Global Traveler. If club members accept the subscription offer, they receive bonus rewards points.

Additionally, Global Traveler will offer discounts and bonuses to PCR members throughout the year, and direct mail promotions will be sent to IHG frequent stay members. The two companies will also promote each other online.

Aside from the IHG partnership, the magazine has also used targeted distribution of public place copies to build circulation. Limited copies are placed in specific airline lounges for first and business class international carriers, and an offer of frequent flier miles to subscribers is splashed across the cover. Global Traveler has also partnered with United and other airlines to offer frequent flier miles to subscribers.

Gallagher said the company may start looking into more traditional marketing strategies such as direct mailing, but that he doesn’t want to risk audience quality for quantity.

“What we don’t want to do, and this is probably unusual, but we don’t want a huge circulation and then have demographics that are half as good as now,” he explained. “Thirty-one percent of our readers fly first class now. I don’t want to have a circulation of 200,000 but only have 15% of readers flying first class.”

Gallagher reports that the average Global Traveler reader earns $200,000 a year, is entrepreneurial and takes 30 roundtrip flights a year.

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