Trusted content is a crucial guide amidst the cluttered internet, especially when it comes to travel.

Media brands are in a unique position to inspire and catalyze travel choices. They are the informed tastemakers pushing new trends and ideas to an already established audience. That’s why so many large media companies have moved past monetizing their sites via traditional banner ads and have moved towards ecommerce. Travel booking is the next progression for these sites.

While this may spell trouble for the established booking sites out there, the combination of smart content and curated travel options embodies the consumer-first mentality missing in online travel.  

Mass market online travel agencies are sprawling warehouses of hundreds of thousands of hotel option  with endless reviews by faceless names that leave users overwhelmed and confused. Little is being done to accommodate for specific tastes. You can’t sort Expedia by “culinary experience” or “high design,” and you can’t curate reviews by names you trust. But what if you could?

There’s a particular need for this type of curation across hospitality, particularly in the high-end sector where luxury guests expect a personalized experience.

Booking sites struggle to be hotel tastemakers — after all, it’s not what they’re built for. On these sites, hotels are merely inventory, leaving consumers to gravitate towards review sites like TripAdvisor to make informed choices. But here too lies the same problem: reviews are treated as inventory. There is little oversight to the reviews, written by unknown contributors, who may think a Motel 6 is a palace superior to the Four Seasons.  

As travel consumers become blind to advertisements and ill-conceived promotions from big box OTAs, there is a rising need for the smart curation of hotels and travel experiences by trusted media brands.

It’s a matter of quality versus quantity, and the convergence of media and booking means just that. Consumers don’t need more choices, they need better ones.

This content was created collaboratively with our partner Surface Hotels. Surface Hotels is an editorially-driven hotel booking platform in partnership with Surface, the definitive magazine of global contemporary design. The 1,000 hotels featured on the site have been selected by Surface’s editors.