Owner: Hearst Magazines UK
Hearst Magazines UK has entered into the holiday market for the first time with the launch of Good Housekeeping Travel, a global travel site aimed at its female audience offering holidays which can be bought online.
Holidays are grouped by type on the home page and, after choosing one of the options, all the possibilities are listed by genre. To narrow the options further users can then sort by price and popularity, but most helpfully for readers by GH Recommends – the magazine’s long-standing seal of approval. However as it is a commercial proposition I wonder if there may be a conflict of interest here.
The search function is easy to use, more so than on some other travel sites, which can over complicate things or ask for too many specifics. The holiday type is selected from an extensive list, including city breaks, beach holidays and cruises, as well as more specialist breaks such as shopping trips and theatre, music and sport. Flexibility, budget and duration are then selected using sliders, which work well, while all the other requirements are chosen from a list.
I initially selected a city break to Spain in October, as I’m keen to set up a trip to Barcelona, but there was no option to refine the search any further than country. I also had to adjust my criteria a few times, and in the end had to change every option to ‘any’ before any results were shown. I was only shown one option that fit my requirements, which was a little disappointing, although it is early days for the site so I’m sure the number and variety of holidays will be built up.
The details provided are well presented and clear, broken down by description, itinerary, what’s included and travel information. Lastly, there is a list of dates and prices. Unfortunately the dates I was looking for weren’t available, but of the dates that were on offer there were flights from up to seven UK airports, offering a good choice.
The site makes good use of Good Housekeeping’s editorial content, linking coverage to related holidays and other similar destinations which works well to promote certain destinations and adds another dimension to the publisher’s offering.
I registered to the site on arrival and have signed up to Good Housekeeping travel news and offers, but it would be good to draw users’ attention to the fact they can receive updates on this page, particularly as the majority of traffic will initially come from readers of the magazine.
There is no advertising on the site at present, which means it looks very uncluttered and neat, but I would imagine this is a revenue stream the publisher will look to pursue going forward.
Entering into the travel sector is an interesting move for Hearst and one that extends its remit and opens up opportunities for its other brands too. It’s a well thought out site and cleverly ties in Good Housekeeping content, which fans of the magazine know and trust.
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