Posted by: sforshner | May 22, 2008

democratic travel

I caught a query posted in one of the emails I regularly receive from Peter Shankman about a week or so ago and I couldn’t wait to track down the completed story – I knew it would be the perfect follow up to my last post on the topic of user generated content.

The June issue of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel will be filled almost entirely with reader-generated content.

Budget Travel editor-in-chief Erik Torkells stated, “The reader-generated issue also taps into the changes within the travel and publishing industries, including the rise of the Internet and greater focus on dialogue.”

Though all aspects of publishing are highly influenced by the web, which in turn are driven by continuous dialogue by users, there is a definitely a linkmindedness about the common traveler that in some ways makes this shift toward reliance on dialogue a little more unique for this group. Such are the kind of people that are so open to crossing physical and cultural boundaries by way of exploring new things, that it seems only natural that the same openness would translate both virtually and in print. Sharing experiences and learning new ones has never been a foreign topic to the traveler – the 10th anniversary issue for Budget Travel is a new platform for communication and 324 travelers are on it.

To Folio Torkells stated, “It’s [the June Issue] a nod…to one of the major changes to have affected travel industry in the past 10 years—namely, that consumers are turning to each other as much as to so-called experts.” He even compared it to Everywhere, adding that “You still need editors…there’s a ‘broad service element’ to Budget Travel’s issue that Everywhere doesn’t have.

Gene Colter, editorial director at Peppercom and a former news editor at The Wall Street Journal tells Nicole Zerillo at PRWeek, “Who’s to know if the submitted work is coming from PR professionals. For a service publication, the potential for PR professionals attempting to find more media placements is possible.” Though I couldn’t ignore it, I’m going to leave that alone.

Either way, I am interested to read it and to see how much it differs from the other issues, even with the editing.



  1. I wasn’t too impressed to be quite honest…but that could be that I’m extremely bitter that BT is the one magazine I’ve pitched over and over again and never broken through. I always get a response from ET, but he never takes anything (though “funny” enough, several of my ideas have appeared in the magazine months later). Cool concept, though, I’ll admit, particularly for those readers who have dreamed of being travel writers for much of their lives (it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, I’ll tell them!).

  2. I hear you on that — seeing an idea I pitched in print after being ignored by an editor is the worst.

    I’m sure you will break through though one day 🙂

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