Publishing director: Debbie Gresty

Publishing director: Debbie Gresty

Cover price: pounds 2.70

Full page colour ad (ROP): pounds 4500

Target audience: ABC1 men and women aged 25 to 54

It’s very much what you would expect: classy, well produced, excellent

photography and aimed at a very obvious sector of the market. For me,

the front cover of Conde Nast’s Traveller said all you needed to know:

an idyllic photograph, aspirational and utopian, highlighting the

equally aspirational lead articles, ’Guide to the Caribbean’, ’Magic of

South West France’, ’Five Perfect Safaris’ and ’Luxury Safaris - Worth

the Money’ (and you just know that they are!).

Interestingly, its sole front cover exclusive, ’Are Boeing 777s as safe

as they could be’, is relegated to the smallest type face, while the

most aggressive, investigate and controversial article doesn’t even

warrant a cover mention. This was the fascinating piece on the safety of

Eurotunnel, which actually featured an interview with the assistant

general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, who comments: ’By refusing

to segregate passengers from their vehicles I can only assume that

Eurotunnel has made a decision to write off a number of lives.’ Now this

is copy that would be very much at home in the Sunday Times but it

receives little profile in Traveller.

So is this just a slug of tokenism? Is it there, along with Boeing 777

story, to provide an ’edge’ to an otherwise appealing souffle of glamour

and exotic imagery. To be honest one can’t help but think that maybe it

is. After all, when one considers the Traveller recruitment campaign -

editor Sarah Miller from the Telegraph Magazine, Rob Ryan from The

Sunday Times, and most interestingly Paula Reed as style director, from

Harpers & Queen - the battle between style and substance seems one which

will require early resolution.

And therein lies its real challenge. Is Traveller different enough to

make you buy it if you are already sitting around with Vogue, Harpers &

Queen and Hello on your coffee table?

Remember, there are 10.5 million people who take package holidays each

year and an ever increasing number who travel independently, so

Traveller’s proposed settle down circulation of about 80,000 really is

niche marketing at its most acute.