Holiday and travel magazines

Holiday magazines and travel magazines in the UK have been strongly influenced by other media, with national and regional newspaper publishers and television programmes - through customer publishers - having strong positions in the field. The fact that more Brits are buying holiday homes abroad and making use of cheap flights has brought a significant property dimension to some travel magazines (see Buying Property magazines).

However, holidays and travel can be a difficult sector. The BBC's Redwood publishing division tried to launch Holidays 89 in 1989 based on the BBC TV series of that name, but at the time it was the only title in the holiday magazines sector and folded. The company tried again with BBC Holidays a few years later and, although this met with more success, it, too, folded. Similarly,  Emap Elan tried  Escape Routes in 2001, but it only lasted for a few issues. 


   

Absolute Publishing Ltd To top

Contract publisher that specialises in travel and sports magazines:

  • Abta Magazine, a monthly trade magazine for ABTA, the Travel Association. Has a readership of 35,000. Spin-offs include supplements on regions of the world, an annual golf publication and the ABTA Members' Handbook.
  • ASTAnetwork, a quarterly trade magazine for the American Society of Travel Agents
  • Welcome to London, a quarterly listings guide
  • Spa Secrets, a quarterly consumer luxury spa, travel and lifestyle magazine
  • Classic Sports series: annual titles focused on sporting events including Euro 2008, Champion's League, The Open, Ryder Cup and Best of British.

Absolute tried to launch a bi-monthly consumer magazine called ABTA Travelspirit in winter 2002, with hopes of the 80,000 run becoming a monthly. Contact: Absolute Publishing Ltd, 197-199 City Road, London EC1V 1JN. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7253 9909


   

Anthem Publishing Ltd To top

Bath-based publisher has four magazines about Italy: 

  • Italia! for people who holiday there, who own or wish to purchase homes there and for those with a passion for the country’s people, culture, food and drink. Published on the first Thursday of every month; launched in November 2004
  • Taste Italia: recipes and features on Italian produce and producers; also reviews of wine and restaurants. Published on the first Thursday of the month; launched November 2006
  • Italia! Guide series collates articles from other titles for a particular region or city
  • Taste Italia: each issue carries recipes for seasonal, regional and other specialities of Italian cooking. The first issue was about pasta
  • Calcio Italia - no longer published. Carried match reports on both Serie A and B. Title acquired by Anthem in 2004 (launched in 1992). Was available internationally and published under licence in Canada as Soccer Italia.
Anthem Publishing profile

   

Archant Life Ltd Back to top

Magazine publishing division of regional newspaper group has two travel magazines: 
  • France a 'monthly English-language review of la vie française'. France magazine has North American and UK editions 
  • Living France monthly guide to owning French holiday homes and property 
Contact: Archant Life, Archant House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham GL50 1BB. Tel: +44 (0) 1242 216050 
Archant profile

   

BBC Magazines (see Immediate Media) To top

The BBC had a mixed history of trying to publish magazines related to its travel programmes, with two early failures. Its latest attempt, Lonely Planet, triggered controversy in 2008. In 2011, BBC Magazines was taken over by Immediate Media.

  • BBC Holiday 89. This was one of the first branded titles by the BBC from its Redwood Publishing arm. It was a rare early failure from Redwood.
  • BBC Holidays. Launched in 1992 by BBC/Redwood, it was closed despite a relaunch in 1995. Two factors in its failure were that newsagent's had no specific place to put it and sales varied greatly across the year.
  • Lonely Planet was launched on 28 November 2008 (December cover date). The title was aimed at frequent travellers and edited by Peter Grunert who was deputy editor at Top Gear. A year earlier, BBC Worldwide had taken control of the Lonely Planet travel guide publisher, which sells 6.5 million guidebooks a year. The move caused uproar at both Time Out - where founder Tony Elliott led the fight in the late 1980s that led to the breaking of the duopoly of TV Times and the BBC’s Radio Times over television listings - and Wanderlust, which both argued that the publicly funded BBC was distorting the marketplace with its commercial spin-offs. Wanderlust complained, unsuccessfully, to the Office of Fair Trading about the BBC’s launch - which was to have coincided with Wanderlust’s 100th issue, but the BBC put it back a week.
    Digital sample

   

Brooklands Group (closed) Back to top

Magazine group specialised in magazines based on the Channel 4 television series A Place in the Sun
  • A Place in the Sun is the official Channel 4 magazine launched in March 2004. It publishes 13 issues a year. A Place in the Sun markets itself as the UK's best-selling overseas property magazine, covering international property news, real-life stories, inspirational holiday homes, special reports, property related advice and competitions. Bound-in buyers' guide supplements are a regular feature.

In 2001, the franchise was split into three magazines, but this strategy was reversed by 2006:

  • A Place in the Sun's Everything Spain was published 13 times a year, reflecting the fact that the British buy more property in Spain than anywhere else. 
  • A Place in the Sun's Everything France was published 13 times a year. It was launched in the summer of 2001. 
  • A Place in the Sun's Everything America covered the continent six times a year. 

Website was at http://www.brooklandsgroup.com/


   

Cedar Communications Ltd Top

High Life magazine is an in-flight customer magazine produced for British Airways by contract publisher Cedar. High Life is distributed on the airline's planes. Cedar has ISO 141001 quality accreditation for its environmental policies. Other travel clients include Heathrow Express and Thomson holidays.
Cedar profile

   

Condé Nast Publications Ltd Top

Condé Nast Traveller is a consumer magazine that aims to shrug off the poor reputation of much travel journalism. Condé Nast Traveler was founded in 1986 at US publisher Condé Nast by former Sunday Times and Times editor Harry Evans. He set Traveler out to be dedicated to ‘truth in travel’. Condé Nast Traveller was launched in the UK in 1997 by editor Sarah Miller. The strategy has been a success with the title establishing travel as a sector in newsagents (BBC Worldwide had failed with BBC Holidays magazine).

Condé Nast Traveller pays for all its own flights and accommodation and has never 'knowingly' published something that is the result of a group press trip. Miller told a Guardian interviewer: '[A press trip] is uniform and controlled by the PR company,' she says. 'Travel isn't a controlled experience. It is what happens to you.’

Condé Nast Traveler has a policy of not accepting free trips, to ensure editorial independence. Contact: The Conde Nast Publishing Limited, Vogue House, Hanover Square, London W1S 1JU. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7499 9080 
Condé Nast profile


   

Green Pea Publishing Ltd Top

Publishes Food and Travel, which  was founded in 1977 and features photography and writing on food, wine and travel.
 

   

Illustrated London News Group Top

The Illustrated London News Group is a customer publisher that takes its name from the famous Victorian magazine (it owns the rights to its contents and still publishes a Christmas special). magazines include: 
  • Interval published quarterly for Interval International, a timeshare exchange company 
  • Livewire is a bi-monthly title for the Great North Eastern Railway, distributed free on trains between London and Scotland. 
  • Orient-Express Magazine is free to travellers between Singapore and Bangkok on the Eastern & Oriental Express. There is also an Orient Express Hotels magazine.
Contact: Illustrated London News Group, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PF. Tel: +44 (0) 207 805 5584 
ILN profile

   

Immediate Media (took over BBC Magazines) To top

Immediate Media was formed from the businesses of BBC Magazines, Origin Publishing and Magicalia in 2011. The BBC's launch of Lonely Planet in 2008 triggered controversy with accusations of abusing its position in the market from other publishers. 

  • BBC Holiday 89. This was one of the first branded titles by the BBC from its Redwood Publishing arm. It was a rare early failure from Redwood.
  • BBC Holidays. Launched in 1992 by BBC/Redwood, it was closed despite a relaunch in 1995. Two factors in its failure were that newsagent's had no specific place to put it and sales varied greatly across the year.
  • Lonely Planet was launched on 28 November 2008 (December cover date). The title was aimed at frequent travellers and edited by Peter Grunert who was deputy editor at Top Gear. A year earlier, BBC Worldwide had taken control of the Lonely Planet travel guide publisher, which sells 6.5 million guidebooks a year. The move caused uproar at both Time Out - where founder Tony Elliott led the fight in the late 1980s that led to the breaking of the duopoly of TV Times and the BBC’s Radio Times over television listings - and Wanderlust, which both argued that the publicly funded BBC was distorting the marketplace with its commercial spin-offs. Wanderlust complained, unsuccessfully, to the Office of Fair Trading about the BBC’s launch - which was to have coincided with Wanderlust’s 100th issue, but the BBC put it back a week.

   

Merricks Media Back to top

Merricks Media was founded in 1998. It publishes magazines on travel and property and women’s lifestyle. The travel magazines cover property and lifestyle:

  • Australia & New Zealand Magazine monthly launched in 2005
  • Florida Magazine bi-monthly launched in 2005
  • French Magazine monthly launched in 2002
  • Greece Magazine comes out 10 times a year
  • The Italian Magazine 6 times year; launched in 2004
  • Portugal Magazine published 10 times a year since 2003
  • Spanish Homes Magazine monthly since 2003

Also publishes Brand New You, a monthly launched as an 'anti-ageing bible' in May 2007. Website was: http://www.merricksmedia.co.uk/. Contact: Merricks Media, Units 3 & 4, Riverside Court, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3DZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1225 786 800


   

myholidayideas.com Back to top

TVTimes, IPC's weekly TV listings title, launched this travel website on 1 December 2006 to complement the magazine’s travel classified pages. It was edited by the magazine's deputy editor, Alison Gardner, and covers:

  • ideas for UK and overseas holidays;
  • information on buying second homes or moving overseas;
  • travel tips from celebrities.

There was also a newsletter offering ideas and news from TV travel shows.

TVTimes promoted the site in a 10-week campaign to win a holiday across 90 IPC magazines and websites.
IPC profile


   

Panacea Publishing Top

Business Traveller is the founding title for this publisher (formerly Perry Publishing), having grown to become the leading magazine for frequent business travellers since its launch in 1976. There are 10 issues a year. There are 10 regional editions, for the UK, US (1988), Asia-Pacific, China, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Hungary the Middle East and Africa. The website was developed in 2000 when the Daily Mail group's Euromoney owned 95% of Perry Publications, publishers of Business Traveller.

In 1983, Business Traveller went into receivership but was bought out by Geoffrey Perry's Perry Publications. Two years later, it used adverts on Channel Four and Thames featuring David Frost to sell subscriptions. Links established with Germany enabled Perry to launch car magazines in the 1990s, by which time the company's managing director was Nick Perry.

An article in FT Weekend magazine by Lesley Chamberlain described how Geoffrey Perry, who founded Business Traveller, 'shot and captured Britain's most famous wartime traitor William Joyce [Lord Haw-Haw], enabling him to be brought to trial' (28 February 2004 p22). Perry told the story in his book When Life Became History.

Other related titles include:

  • Buying Business Travel with 41,000 readers
  • Mix focuses on holding meetings in Asia
  • ABTN website for business travel. Electronic newsletter sent weekly to 28,000 subscribers
  • Seatplans.com launched in September 2008 to provide advice and information on airlines and their aircraft and help travellers find the best seat

   

Poundbury Publishing Ltd Top

Company formed in 1994. Based in Dorchester, Dorset.  Publishes three magazines, including Italy, devoted to the landscape, people, places, style, culture, food and drink, homes and gardens of the country. Italy magazine was launched in 2002 as a bimonthly, and went monthly with the June 2004 issue. It is sold in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Contact:  Poundbury Publishing, Middle Farm, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorset DT1 3RS, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1305 266360. Website was: http://www.poundbury.co.uk/

   

RCI Publishing Back to top

Holiday Magazine for the holiday home timeshare exchange company of the same name. Contact: RCI Europe Ltd, Kettering Parkway, Kettering, Northants NN15 6EY. Tel: +44 (0) 1536 314265 

   

River Publishing Back to top

River is a customer publisher that launched Sunday Times Travel Magazine in 1993. Contact: River Publishing Ltd, 14 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BZ. Tel: +44 (0) 207 413 9350 
River profile

   

Romsey Publishing Ltd Back to top

A division of Archant (above). Publishes In Britain, the official magazine of VisitBritain (formerly the British Tourist Authority). Contact: Romsey Publishing Company Ltd, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7751 4800

   

TLM Media Top

TLM - formerly Travel & Leisure Magazine - is a quarterly with 3,000 paid subscriptions and 40,000 copies distributed to upmarket homes in London and the south-east. Editor is the writer and photographer Peter Ellegard. Has a section inviting readers to send in their holiday queries

   

Tower Business Media Top

'The definitive guide to living abroad' is how Overseas Living defines itself with coverage of travel, golf, hotels, yachts and property six times a year. The magazine in sold in newsagents and distributed at airports, hotels and conferences. World News Media is the overall holding company, which also publishes Business Destinations (also six times a year), Estates Review, European CEO, New Economy and World Finance

   

United Business Media/Daltons Top

Private Villas is a monthly magazine for people who want to book independent holidays based in a villa. Founded in 1984. Contact: Private Villas, 11th Floor, C I Tower, St Georges Square, New Malden, Surrey KT3 4TE, UK 

   

Wanderlust Publications Top

Wanderlust focuses on information and advice for independent-minded and adventurous travellers. It was founded in 1993 by Paul Morrison and Lyn Hughes. It is published 8 times a year and many articles are carried on the website. By 2008, the title was half-owned by Hughes; John Brown; Mark Ellingham - of Rough Guides; and Haymarket (25%). Contact: Wanderlust Publications, PO Box 1832, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1YT, UK. Tel: 01753 620426

Travel and holiday magazines (2005) Back to top

Title Publisher Launch date ABC sales 
Jan-Jul-2005*
A Place in the Sun's Everything America Brooklands   19,306
A Place in the Sun's Everything France Brooklands 2001 28,287
A Place in the Sun's Everything Spain Brooklands   19,182
Abta Magazine  Absolute/Abta   10,645 
(free) 
Australia & New Zealand Magazine Merricks 2005 n/a
BBC Holidays  BBC Enterprises  1992   closed 1995
Business Destinations World News Media 1995   Total readership of 32,715 quoted by publisher
Business Traveller Panacea Publishing 1976   53,451 (2010, UK edition)
Buying Business Travel Panacea Publishing   41,000 readers quoted by publisher
Condé Nast Traveller  Condé Nast 1987 83,305
Escape Routes  Emap Elan  1999  closed 2001
Florida Magazine Merricks 2005 n/a
France  
(North America)
Archant Life   17,752
Food and Travel Green Pea 1977
n/a
France UK  Archant Life   24,910
French Magazine Merricks 2002 n/a
Greece Magazine Merricks   n/a
High Life Cedar 1973 206,723 
(free) 
Holiday Magazine  RCI   212,493 
(free) 
Homes Worldwide Merricks 2002 n/a
In Britain Romsey (Archant)    43,575
Interval  ILN/Interval International    83,317 
(free) 
Italian Magazine Merricks 2004 n/an/
Italy Poundbury 2002
n/a
Livewire  ILN/GNER   109,017 
(free) 
Lonely Planet  BBC Worldwide  2008   n/a
Myholidayideas.com IPC 1 December 2006 n/a
Orient-Express Magazine  ILN/Orient Express    71,258 
(free) 
Overseas Living Tower Business Media   Total readership of 49,524 quoted by publisher
Portugal Magazine Merricks 2003 n/a
Private Villas United Advertising 1982 5,463
Spanish Magazine Merricks 2003 n/a
Sunday Times Travel Magazine  River   61,135
TLM TLM Media Ltd   3,000 paid-subscriptions; 50,000 distributed free to upmarket households (publisher's statement)
Wanderlust Wanderlust 1993 not divulged
*Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC)
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