Since these ad sales reports don't take into account the magazines' growing revenues from their digital editions or websites, they're a strong reminder -- especially among the top three -- of the power of print.
The drop in guidebook sales and collapse of magazines such as Budget Travel may paint a picture of doom and gloom in print travel media, but the first quarter this year was good for the top three travel magazines in the U.S. Revenue at Conde Nast Traveler and American Express’ Travel + Leisure and Departures was up, even though the magazine industry average was down 4.9% overall during this period. One notable exception was National Geographic Traveler, which posted poor year-over-year numbers despite having a solid subscriber base.
Note: The numbers below are from members reporting to the Publishers Information Bureau, which not all magazines are members of (like United’s Hemispheres or AirTran’s Go).
|Publication||Q1 2013 Dollars||Q1 2012 Dollars||%CHG||Q1 2013 Pages||Q1 2012 Pages||%CHG||Circulation|
|Conde Nast Traveler||28,249,551||27,402,244||3.1||207.42||213.03||-2.6||809,604|
|Travel + Leisure||25,647,598||23,397,570||9.6||191.92||188.2||2||988,648|
|Southwest Airlines Spirit||10,825,231||11,506,157||-5.9||246.76||263.21||-6.2||3,013,000*|
|US Airways Magazine||3,549,974||3,241,232||9.5||157.59||141.4||11.4||3,202,111|
|National Geographic Traveler||2,774,213||6,620,618||-58.1||32.99||76.6||-56.9||727,523|
|Destination Weddings & Honeymoons||1,593,629||1,711,325||-6.9||85.16||93.98||-9.4||100,000|
|Executive Travel Magazine*||772,725||0||n/a||30.33||0||n/a||135,000|
|Caribbean Travel & Life||472,265||1,028,313||-54.1||19.16||40.82||-53.1||152,031|
|Executive Travel Skyguide||0||1,394,800||n/a||0||47.92||n/a||n/a|