Reinventing Travel Media Part 1: Where are we today?
March 9, 2015

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the New York Times Travel show on the future of travel media. As the world’s leading travel media company, Ink has quite a role in that future. In a three part series of blogs, I wanted to share with you some of our key insights on this fast evolving landscape…

Lets firstly deal with the facts:

3 Billion People travel the world on airplanes each year.

826 million of those passengers are in the US alone.

Travel is growing at a clip of 5% a year.

Boeing predicts they will need to manufacture 37,000 new planes by 2033 to keep up with demand.

Our audience is growing.

Each of these travelers are voracious consumers of media – they read, tweet, post, stream, like, share –

Our audience is a very powerful (and opinionated) media force.

Which leaves airlines in the unique position of being accidental media companies – they need to engage their customers like never before. They need these 3 billion, high-influential passengers to engage with them, have a good experience with them, like them, recommend them and not negatively impact their brand or their business.

This is where Ink comes in. We create magazines and cross-channel media platforms for 24 airlines around the world. 677 million passengers a year interact with the media we create on behalf of our airline partners.

Before we can we talk about a re-invention in travel media, we need to understand what travel media is, who invented it, what its journey has been and the key priorities in the market today.

We’ve come a long way…

So firstly, thank you to PanAM, as they invented inflight magazines in 1966. (A great year if you are English)

… And many think we’ve got a lot further to go:

The great crystal ball watchers of the Travel industry are currently predicting:

  1. space travel
  2. underwater travel
  3. extreme travel
  4. airship travel
  5. Supersonic travel

But some things will always be wanted…

I can still see those futuristic passengers wanting to read something on those futuristic journeys. Travelers love that ephemeral moment and the emotional connection that a paper magazine brings.

To find out why, stay tuned for the second installment of this blog series where I explore the fundamental appeal of inflight media, and what this could mean for its future. Head over to our blog pages to subscribe to receive the next update.

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