Perhaps tour operators wanted to know why Nancy Berger attended the USTOA Annual Conference and Marketplace last December.
Berger is Senior Vice President and Group Publisher for Hearst’s Youth and Wellness Group. The group includes Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Seventeen magazine, and her Clevver, a YouTube-based programming brand.
We’ve answered all the questions operators might have had when Cosmopolitan introduced CosmoTrips in August. In putting together CosmoTrips, Berger also produced a case his study on how to launch travel initiatives targeting specific demographics. Tour operators, travel advisors, and other consumer brands can all benefit from this process.
Before the pandemic, Berger noticed millennials and Gen Z women on her staff taking many long weekends off. In talking to them, she found that many were traveling with friends and quite a few were planning trips for their groups.
“I was in pain,” she told me. “They had spent about 16 hours making plans. And there was a risk. They would give up their credit cards in the hope that others would Venmo their share.” was often there.”
she saw an opportunity. She held her Focus group during the pandemic to better understand what Cosmo readers want when traveling with her friends. She then hired Susan Black Associates to send her requests for proposals to travel agencies that might be able to handle the transactional and operational aspects of the trip.
(She eventually landed a deal with DH Enterprises & Associates, the parent company of Scepter Vacations and the contractor for Aer Lingus Vacations.)
In response to feedback from readers, she made it a top priority to make it easy for each member of the group to pay their own way (and, if needed, use Klarna to pay now Use a moneylender to travel now and pay later). She insisted on having a robust mobile her site for information and bookings. “These travelers want pre-planned activities. They don’t want to worry about where to eat or what to do. We want to give them that.” she said.
The trip is not aimed at luxury travelers, ranging from $299 for two nights in Austin, Texas to $699 for two nights in Charleston. “Most trips he does with four people. Most of this demographic, he wants four trips a year, so it can add up quickly,” Berger said.
“I also noticed that most of CosmoTrip is an add-on, ‘Cosmo Perks,’” she said. Many desirable amenities and services have been negotiated with the hotel. Each guest receives a complimentary drink upon arrival (Cosmo if available). Some hotels offer complimentary poolside cabanas. On a trip to Austin, Spin’s Ride in her studio offered a free session.
In addition to add-ons, there were also significant subtractions. Cosmotrip guests are exempt from resort fees.
One of her own favorites is also included. “I like to make them for every event I’ve ever been to. So two weeks before they leave, I have something to help them get ready or something to bring.” I will get a bag of products.”
Berger partnered with Bloomingdale’s to say, “People going on vacation need to do a little shopping in advance,” and arranged pop-ups at their flagship stores in California, Florida and Manhattan before launching. It was hosted by local influencers and Cosmo representatives, and we plan to do more of these.”
In preparation for the launch of the magazine, each issue will include major travel articles, and the current issue is the Travel Issue.
Some of the articles are about destination weddings. “Why not get in touch with all aspects of travel that appeals to this demographic? Milestones like reunions, graduations, important birthdays, and Covid-inspired trends like work and revenge travel.”
Reflecting the fact that most of the planning took place during COVID-19, the first four destinations are domestic: Austin, New York, West Hollywood and Charleston. Las Vegas, New Orleans and Miami are planned. “There is a lot of interest in Mexico and the Caribbean going into 2023,” Berger said.
In addition to editorial reporting and the theme of “traveling like an editor,” marketing also includes sending influencers to travel.
“There is a social currency that comes from travel experiences,” she said. “These travelers want to see where they are staying, what they are eating and every bite on their plate. I urge you to do something.”
Can men also participate in Cosmo Trip? “We don’t talk about gender,” she replied.
Or men’s health life? Could it be an option in the future?
“One at a time,” she replied. “We will listen to Cosmotrip travelers. We are still learning and adapting.”
she paused. “But I’m open to it.”