Travel + Luxury: Kerrie McCallum on News Corp getting serious about travel

Kerrie McCallum on News Corp getting serious about Travel + Luxury

“The magazine is very luxurious and really long form stories that are image led”

Earlier this month, News Corp Australia announced the launch of Travel + Luxury – a new travel brand led by The Australian. The new brand will feature a quarterly gloss magazine alongside a newly revamped content vertical on The Australian’s website, and will appear across New Corp’s network of prestige titles such as Vogue, Vogue Living, delicious., and Wish.

The glossy large format magazine will be inserted in The Australian for the first time on Friday, March 26. 

Mediaweek spoke with News Corp Australia’s editorial director of premium food and travel, and editor-in-chief of Escape Kerrie McCallum about the new brand and what that means for both The Australian and News Corp’s prestige network of titles.

“When I started in the travel role with my MD Fiona Nilsson, we spent a good five to six months working on a pretty comprehensive strategy. What emerged was that we had this incredible prestige audience but not one strong travel brand, or a commitment to travel to both consumers and clients that could straddle the whole prestige network,” said McCallum when explaining the decision to launch Travel + Luxury.

“From our chairman Michael Miller all through the company, despite what was happening in travel for the last year we want to ensure that we do what we can to support the industry and to keep people dreaming.”

Travel + Luxury will appear across News Corp’s other brands both online where they have rebranded their travel sections and in physical form with a sampler magazine being inserted in delicious., Vogue Australia and Vogue Living in early March.

McCallum said that it’s quite a unique thing to build a brand led by The Australian but also supported by the prestige network, allowing to tap into a complementary audience.

“We have a lot of great brands that are doing travel but we saw that there was an opportunity to A: show that we are taking it very seriously and B: create a network. That network is led by The Australian and then the supporting brands like Vogue, Vogue Living, delicious., Wish and so on are all able to play a role in that too.”

Magazine and online content

McCallum said that the magazine content of Travel + Luxury will differ from the online vertical which will have a refresh and more resources behind it after the rebrand to allow it to make stand-alone digital content.

“The magazine is very luxurious and really long form stories that are image led, 10-12 page stories so you can really luxuriate in that large format gloss stock, and is as big as an insert can possibly get in The Australian, with a whopping 116 pages.

“Online, lists work incredibly well as does up to date news and information. With a quarterly mag it is more of an occasion, and while we have news and so on it is more opinion pieces and a long form read.”

Working with Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia is the launch partner of Travel + Luxury, and McCallum said that News Corp has worked in general with them for the past year, so the partnership made too much sense not to go ahead with.

“They were one of the first people we talked to about this because it just made sense. When we were building the brand, we knew from our consumer research that the majority of people have not booked their next trip, but it is likely that it will be in Australia. However, they absolutely have their international dreams alive, so it was an interesting mix we had to get right.”

“In terms of Australia, we built a standalone magazine within the magazine, with its own standalone cover committed to Australian content. It is a special additional offering when you get to the middle of the book you find this whole other magazine based around Australia.”

What is in the first issue?

With the first issue, McCallum said that with the Australian content they looked for things that people hadn’t had done yet and had a mix of rural and city based experiences, with the international content they went realistic and idealistic.

“The realistic trips on the horizon and the nearest possibilities are New Zealand, where the new super lodge is opening, and Antarctica due to its remoteness, whether by cruise or tour it is likely to be possible in the next year.

“We included some completely idealistic journeys, we did a story on an incredible villa in Puglia in Italy that you can rent, just because we know that Italy is the number one thing people are dreaming about at the moment because of our research.”

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