Most travel platforms have a problem: they don't provide end-to-end opportunities. Print magazines, for instance, may feature beautiful images, but they don't enable readers to easily book a trip. And most country's tourist bureau websites provide useful information and unique packages, but again, they don't provide full-service travel accommodations.
Now, travel media company AFAR Media is launching AFAR Journeys, a new digital marketing platform that enables advertisers to develop sponsored content that provides customized itineraries and then enables visitors to book these trips through AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council (TAC), an exclusive board of travel advisors and other travel experts.
AFAR Journeys was created in response to the success of AFAR Experiences – a group travel event series that takes AFAR readers to various destinations with the AFAR editorial team and its founders. These trips were curated by AFAR and they realized there was an untapped opportunity for others to develop their own travel packages.
The platform currently features 10 different itineraries and will expand later this year to offer additional itineraries for select destinations based on various themes and points of interest – from culinary and culture, to music and shopping. Individual itineraries range from $5,000 - $10,000 per person.
The platform launches with sponsor Switzerland Tourism, marking the largest investment the advertiser has made with one U.S. publication. The sponsorship agreement included a budget exclusively for AFAR to launch the platform. Switzerland Tourism’s budget is partially funded by the country's Confederation, which is made up of various government agencies and between 2008 and 2012 this group spent approximately $423 million to support tourism.
“With the strong American dollar, we are seeing a lot of excitement and a further increased interest in international travel from Americans, on top of the over 20% growth rate of U.S. travel to Switzerland over the last five years,” said Alex Herrmann, Director Americas at Switzerland Tourism. “[We]knew that AFAR would be able to capture the true essence of our country. We are excited about the launch of AFAR Journeys and proud to be serving as AFAR’s exclusive launch partner for this great new platform.”
AFAR’s partnership with Switzerland Tourism originated when the tourism bureau asked the media company to create a unique campaign and the relationship grew from there.
AFAR Media also continues to expand its other services. The company just recently introduced a new custom content program called AFAR Custom. And Dubai has been confirmed as the official destination partner for the next international AFAR Experiences, the company’s immersive destination marketing event series.