Skift Take

Times are tough for legacy travel media brands and they are having to come up with more creative ways to cash in. But bringing in a charge for its A-List — no matter how this manifests itself — calls into question the idea of editorial independence.

Series: New Luxury

Luxury Travel News

The Skift New Luxury column is our weekly column focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.

Travel publications were as slow as any other sector in recognizing the transformative effect of the internet.

Some tried to carry on as normal and pretend that nothing had changed, while others made ill-fated efforts to move with the times. Many have disappeared completely with Instagram, TripAdvisor, and other digital upstarts replacing their various skill sets.

The survivors have had no choice but to adapt, which usually means cutting costs and trying to extract as much value as they can from their strongest products. Travel + Leisure has done this with its A-List and Skift contributor Laura Powell looks at what the decision might mean for travel agents.

Although the publication has insisted that nothing much will change, it is a useful reminder of the bind that travel media finds itself in.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

5 Looks at Luxury

Travel + Leisure and the Problem of Pay to Play: A recent change in policy at Travel + Leisure is setting the luxury travel agent world abuzz. But T + L’s move to monetize its A-List also says something about the changing state of travel journalism.

Aman Exec Wants Luxury Travel to Be a Family Affair: Aman wants to create more customers for life by catering to families with kids and teenagers. It’s a smart long-term strategy, but the company will need to involve younger travelers in a way that makes sense for a luxury brand.

Longer Flights Have Hong Kong Airlines Rethinking Customer Experience: We’d love to see an airline rethink the business class experience. Perhaps one might retire all the fluff, like the multi-course attempts at fine dining, served on tablecloths. But people apparently like the business class pageantry, so it sticks around, even on new entrants, like Hong Kong Airlines.

New Private Member Clubs Take On Soho House to Redefine Hospitality: It sounds antithetical but, in their efforts to make everyone feel “like a local,” perhaps hotel brands should be taking a look at The Curtain and Karl Lagerfeld Hotels, seeing how the private club model could work for them.

Japan Resort Area Attracts Hotel Investments and Foreign Tourists: Foreign tourism is up in Beppu, Japan, which is renowned for its hot springs, as domestic tourism wanes. The surge in foreign visitors has attracted hotel investment from International Hotels Group and Hoshino Resorts.


Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Tags: hong kong airlines, japan, luxury

Photo credit: A selection of travel magazines in New York City. Travel + Leisure is monetizing its A-List. Skift

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