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The Bigger Story

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Big travel stories (and by that I mean 2,000 words or so) are always tricky for a travel editor to sort out. First they involve finding one – or ideally two – new hotels or camps, which make a destination feel fresh.

Second, they have to look beautiful (no magazine or newspaper wants to run photographs of a big, faceless monolith on their inspirational travel pages).

Third, there have to be things to do there (flying and flopping isn’t an option for a journalist who is supposed to deliver an insider’s guide to a destination in a few days).

And finally, for a long story, there has to be a journey involved. No decent travel journalist is going to travel across the world to stay in a couple of glam new hotels, and not stop off en route: to take in some of the country, to meet its people and to shop, to walk, to eat, to wander about.

So, PRs, when you think about how to get your client’s brand new hotel on to the pages of a broadsheet travel section on a Saturday, or across several pages of a glossy magazine, please think beyond the confines of the hotel grounds.

Talk to the local tourist board to find out what else is going on there. Connect with an expert tour operator to get ideas about possible itineraries. Get in touch with the concierge to see what activities they’re thinking of offering.

A travel editor will always use pictures of your hotel if it’s beautiful. But journalists need more than a hotel to write about: they need a journey.

Post Author

Lisa Grainger has worked for The Times – from the arts and news desks to The Times Magazine and LUXX – since 1995. When she isn’t working as deputy editor of Luxx, Lisa freelances for publications from Departures and Travel + Leisure to The Times, pens a monthly interview with a leading British craftsman for Walpole, and is sustainability editor at Country & Town House. She has won awards for her travel writing on Africa, and is a regular contributor to panels on conservation and luxury travel. Her compilation of African myths and legends, Stories Gogo Told Me, funds schooling for orphaned girls through the CAMFED charity.


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