Glossy Talk: Australian Traveller's editor talks shop (and Oprah)

Glossy Talk: Australian Traveller's editor talks shop (and Oprah)

Newsagents are the biz right now. Following on from last week's Reader's Digest newsagent campaign, my guy, Gav, blogger Mark Fletcher and their newsagent cohorts are being supported by Australian Traveller magazine (and vice versa) with a new campaign. The magazine's editor, Elisabeth Knowles enlightens us...   

What's behind the newsagent campaign? The majority of our mags are sold through newsagents and so we see them as a key partner in our business, and because this is our biggest issue of the year we really need their support. Anything that can help drive sales through newsagents is good for both our business and theirs.

For the last two years we have given newsagents a greater margin on sales than is industry standard to give them a reason to support us. This month, not only do we have a TV commercial directing viewers to go to newsagents, we have spent more on marketing our mags through newsagents on this one issue than the entire travel-mag publishers combined have in the past 12 months.

What of Oprah's impact on local tourism? By all accounts, initial numbers out of the US are looking strong, but the effect is likely to be more long-term than immediate. It's going to be hard to quantify the impact Oprah has had on local tourism but we've heard anecdotally that travel agents and operators are getting requests to put together Oprah's exact itinerary. Even if the shows don't make people jump on a plane straight away, we believe they will have spread the message world-wide that Australia is a fantastic destination.

And what's in your latest issue? Our latest issue has the list 100 Things to do Before You Die – the ultimate bucket list every Australian should tick off in their lifetime. We asked readers to nominate their favourite Australian travel experiences and from about 800 nominatons we culled it to a shortlist then voted on by a panel of well-loved and well-travelled Australians, including Maggie Beer, Catriona Rowntree, Dick Smith, Bob Ansett, Lisa Wilkinson, Lonely Planet's Tony Wheeler, Bill Peach, Geroge Negus and the blue Wiggle, Anthony Field. (Er, and me, unknown but well-travelled!)

The wildcard winner of the 100 was "visit Lord Howe Island". We were expecting something more well-known and iconic like Uluru or the Barrier Reef to win, but it's such a magical, amazing destination it's hard to argue it shouldn't be there - and it's great to see an underdog come out on top!

Other features in the issue are a comprehensive "out-and-about" guide to Margaret River and the 2011 Snow Report, which tells what's new on the ski fields this season for every resort from Thredbo to Ben Lomond in Tasmania.

Girl With a Satchel