For being the chroniclers of the world’s largest and most creative industry, the global travel business media and information companies are a siloed and archaic lot.
Most of these companies have not managed the legacy-to-digital transition well, and have not been able to take advantage of the latest and best digital tools to scale their businesses in digital. Many of these once-storied industry brands have a long history in print, and in digital channels they have been sub-standard, with a sub-scaled reach.
Most of the other business information sectors — media, technology and finance being three prime examples — have already been disrupted by the new digital-only players many times over since the Internet came along, but travel has just started seeing some of those over the last few years, and certainly we count ourselves as one of them.
About a year and a half ago we created a list of the top travel industry news and information sites, using data from competitive analytics firm SimilarWeb. We have found SimilarWeb’s traffic stats to be a relatively good barometer of digital activity and comparative metrics.
Much has changed since then, as many have grown and others have languished in the sector, and we decided to run the latest numbers on our sector, this time ranking the digital reach by the companies in the sector instead of just sites.
A lot of them are small sub-scaled sites, with likely heavy dependence on print, events and ancillary businesses for their revenues. Some of them have been making some smart acquisitions, like Northstar and Penton. Many on this list will wither over a period of time. The rest of 2015 will be an interesting year with this bunch, that’s for sure.
|RANK||COMPANY||SITES BY COMPANY||ESTIMATED VISITS, MAR 2015||YEARS IN OPERATION (DIGITAL)|
|1||SKIFT||TOTAL||2.9 M||2.6 YEARS|
|SkiftForum.com + Smaller sites||100K|
|2||PENTON AVIATION||TOTAL||1.7M||17 YEARS|
|3||NORTHSTAR TRAVEL||TOTAL||1.5 M||16 YEARS|
|4||FLIGHTGLOBAL (REED BUSINESS)||TOTAL||1.53M||9 YEARS|
|5||TNOOZ||TOTAL||1.4 M||6 YEARS|
|6||QUESTEX HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL||TOTAL||1.1M||14 YEARS|
|8||HOSPITALITY NET||Hospitalitynet.org||470K||17 YEARS|
|9||TRAVEL WEEKLY UK||TOTAL||422K||15 YEARS|
|10||AIN PUBLICATIONS||TOTAL||400K||17 YEARS|
|11||CENTRE FOR AVIATION||TOTAL||350K||15 YEARS|