Travel + Leisure Club is a new subscription for travel booking and concierge service.
Travel + Leisure Group / Travel + Leisure Co.
From private jet clubs to theme park memberships, subscription services are increasingly the way to go when it comes to vacations and other holiday trips.
For example, websites Tripadvisor and Scott’s Cheap Flights – both free for users in their base versions – have each year rolled out premium membership plans offering those who are willing to pay an annual fee extra benefits and access to special prices.
Now, Travel + Leisure Co., which owns about 20 resort, travel club and lifestyle travel brands, is making its mark on the space with its new online Travel + Leisure Club, tied to editorial content published in its signature Travel + Leisure magazine .
While all readers can now book trips to destinations in the publication via the new, free Travel + Leisure GO platform, club members will receive premium benefits such as exclusive itineraries and upcoming prizes and benefits, according to Travel + Leisure Group President Noah Brodsky.
“When we took over the Travel + Leisure brand in January, one of the things we heard many times from editors, subscribers and advertisers was that with all this incredible content, it’s crazy that there is no ‘book now’ button – so that’s what we’ve done, ‘he said, referring to the purchase by the brand through the former Wyndham Destinations, now Travel + Leisure Co., of Meredith Corp. in a deal of $ 100 million.
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“And we’ve launched a subscription travel club, giving you access to incredible Travel + Leisure content, exclusive itineraries and editor – inspired travel, along with really great deals and benefits,” Brodsky added.
Subscription services are a trend in all sectors, thanks to the content and value that the model offers consumers, he said.
“That’s what we’re betting on here: That Travel + Leisure is a brand that may be the strongest player in the space for travel subscriptions,” Brodsky said.
Membership costs $ 9.95 per month at a special introductory rate, after a 30-day free trial. That fee will eventually rise to $ 19.95, but at press time there was no time frame for a price increase, according to a spokesman.
Subscribers receive an average 25% discount on retail rates at hotels and resorts, and prices only for members on car rentals, activities and more, according to the company. Inventory consists of more than 600,000 properties, more than 345,000 activity options, and products and services from all major car rental companies and dozens of major air carriers.
Members also receive a subscription to Travel + Leisure magazine and concierge services to help with everything from home renovations inspired by the publication’s photo distributions to securing show tickets and restaurant reservations. The dinner network includes more than 1,500 restaurants in 30 countries and 120 cities, where members can enjoy benefits such as free glasses of wine or extra courses.
Travel + Leisure GO, meanwhile, is “an open online retail travel website that combines inspiring travel stories, destination guides and compiled itineraries with planning and booking tools, whether for daily adventures or a once-in-a-lifetime getaway,” according to the company.
In recognition of Travel & Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards in 2021, Club + Leisure GO club members and visitors can book composite itineraries featuring this year’s top destinations, hotels and activities. The customizable travel experiences start at $ 1,650 for a four-day stay with accommodations, activities and ground transportation for two travelers.
Prizes and agents tie-ins
Charleston, South Carolina, was named the No. 1 U.S. destination for 2021 by Travel + Leisure magazine.
reizger1116 | E + | Getty Images
For example, an immersive getaway in Charleston, South Carolina – voted the # 1 city in the US this year – includes accommodations at the Vendue Hotel boutique, a sail in the harbor and a tour of the city’s streets and hidden passages. A stay at the Viceroy Chicago, named top city hotel in the continental US, comes with an “exclusive VIP” tour of the Art Institute of Chicago and a “private early access experience” at the Field Museum of Natural History.
Travel + Leisure also offers itineraries at top Mexican resort the Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, and in Florence, Italy, named one of the top 10 cities in the world. As the pandemic hopefully subsides, more overseas routes will be added, Brodsky said.
“In the coming months, we will add more global destinations, but we have added more within the US because we know consumers feel more comfortable in the country,” he said.
“These new compiled routes are a tangible way to live the ‘World’s Best’ experience as we connect with the world and feed our fundamental human desire to make authentic and exceptional travel experiences accessible to everyone,” said Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in-Chief of Travel + Leisure, in a statement.
“One of the things Travel + Leisure has done so well for 50 years is write such an incredibly inspiring breadth of content, and even going on a family trip can be inspiring,” he said. “With every kind of trip and wherever you’re ready to go, there’s something great to do, and we’ve called them all in one place – and club members will get truly incredible savings and extra concierge services.”
For now, both the club and GO are available online – at clubtravelandleisure.com and go.travelandleisure.com respectively – but mobile apps are in the works, Brodsky said. Club members can also book routes by telephone with the concierge service.
Also planned is a tie-in to Travel + Leisure’s consulting firm of “A-List” travel agents, Brodsky said, even as the company moves to the space for travel planning and booking itself. (The publication is noted for compiling an annual list of travel advisors specializing in various destinations and activities worldwide.)
“I think it points to the fact that people are taking all kinds of trips,” he said, noting that holiday planning runs the gamut from simple DIY web searches for the best prices by making an expensive trip of a lifetime, “where ‘you want, need or can afford spectacular advice from one of the best travel advisors in the world.’
“And that’s where the A-list comes in,” Brodsky added, noting that club concierges will offer referrals to specialist agents. “We see this absolutely as a continuum that the Travel + Leisure brand will support.”
What no previous placement will get is Travel + Leisure Co.’s own portfolio. “Travel + Leisure Group acts completely independently of you and works with the Travel + Leisure editorial content,” Brodsky said.
Although his team plans travel plans in accordance with the magazine’s editorial calendar, “we have no influence on selecting the places they write about or choose one of the hotels, such as cruises or experiences,” remarked Brodsky. “There is no crossover within the site.
“We are already the top player in the parts of the holiday travel sector in which we have already been,” he added. “This is really about extending our mission to put the world on vacation, with several customers in a different segment within vacation travel.”