Forbes Tackles Travel Market

NEW YORK Forbes.com has launched ForbesTraveler.com, aiming to attract luxury travel advertisers.

The site is the latest of Forbes.com’s effort to expand its coverage into niches popular with advertisers. Last May, it launched Forbes.com Autos. Automotive and leisure are the second and third largest consumer ad categories online, respectively, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

At launch, the site has landed several prominent advertisers, including American Airlines, Coldwell Banker Previews International and SkyAuction.com.

The site has been designed as sort of an online version of a Fodor’s or Frommer’s-like guidebook, but for a far wealthier crowd. For example, users who log on to the site to plan a vacation will find information on luxury resorts and hotels only.

The site’s editorial content reflects that aspect as well. A feature story posted on the site on Thursday reads: Peak Aspen: 10 Best Things to Do if Money is No Object. Another article lists the favorite sailing destinations of some of the world’s top professional sailors.

ForbesTraveler.com does also license some content from Frommer’s and Mobil Travel Guide, while also featuring regular contributions from a panel of luxury travel experts, including authors, travel agents and CEOs.

Besides providing travel editorial, the new site also facilitates the booking of trips through a partnership with travel search engine SideStep.

Jim Spanfeller, president and CEO, Forbes.com, said that the decision to launch a Web property devoted solely to luxury travel was born out of the popularity of such content on Forbes.com. “Travel coverage on Forbes.com has always been among our most popular lifestyle content, and we’ve worked hard to earn the trust of our readers,” he said. “We’re taking that success and converting it into a stand-alone business dedicated solely to luxury travel, and we think consumers and advertisers will be pleased with the results.”

Spanfeller added that one of the points of differentiation for ForbesTraveler.com’s content was that the site will rely on information provided on insiders, such as concierges from high-end hotels.