Many believe that Travel Channel's hosts have the greatest jobs in the world. Now, fans of popular shows like "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" and "The Layover" can embark on trips to the cities that are featured on the Network's travel series - and at their own pace. Travel Channel and Rand McNally's Tripology.com business have created a multi-platform partnership that allows viewers inspired by the Network's travel programming to connect with trained "tripologists." These personalized online travel agents are equipped with the specific episode details - city, hotels, restaurants, food markets, etc., and will book trips to cities featured on popular Travel Channel's television series. The first series to officially launch as part of this partnership is Anthony Bourdain's "The Layover," which premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. The announcement was made today by Shannon O'Neill, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Travel Channel.
"Our partnership with Rand McNally is a key element to our overall digital strategy, providing deeper connections with our viewers and the programming. We continue to explore new opportunities to marry inspiration with activation," says O'Neill. "We are launching with 'The Layover,' but plan to quickly roll out additional specialized itineraries, across many of our properties, that our audiences love."
"Tripology.com is not a travel agency. We do not sell tickets or trips," says John T. Peters, vice president, digital strategy & travel, Rand McNally. "What makes this service unique is that we help find the travel experts who specialize in specific experiences - and in this case, allowing travelers to create similar experiences they watch on television."
Initial feedback from early testing with "No Reservations" has been extremely positive. Most of the trip requests received to-date are for Europe in 2012, and the top requested cities are Barcelona, New York, Madrid, Paris and Rome. Travel experts note that many users start their research now for discussion over the holidays, and then January through March is the time frame for trip planning and booking.