[11/21/11 - 08:04 AM]
Travel Channel and Rand McNally's Tripology.com Launch Multi-Platform Partnership
Said partnership allows viewers inspired by the network's travel programming to connect with trained "tripologists."

[via press release from Travel Channel]



Officially Launches Today Pegged To The Premiere of Anthony Bourdain's "The Layover" at 9:00 PM, ET/PT

CHEVY CHASE, MD (November 21, 2011) - 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.

Viewers can go to Travelchannel.com to watch additional video from a particular show and then research locations and activities. The site then connects them with Tripology.com, an interactive referral service focused on connecting travelers with qualified top-rated travel specialists. With Tripology.com, a user tells specialists where they want to go and what kind of experience they want. The request goes to a Travel Channel tripologist who specializes in the area, and is armed with actual itineraries from programming. Usually within 24 hours, the user will receive an email or phone call from a Travel Channel tripologist who can help plan the trip, and book with them directly.

As part of Scripps Networks Interactive, Travel Channel is consistently looking to expand its lifestyle brand and content across multiple platforms. Building the network's digital extensions partnerships with companies like Tripology.com, Oyster.com and iTunes, provides viewers with high-value opportunities to engage with the talent and programming outside of their homes.

TRAVEL CHANNEL (http://www.travelchannel.com) is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their every day destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it's around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world's leading travel media brand, and is available in 96 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.

RAND MCNALLY (www.RandMcNally.com) is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content. Rand McNally's products and services include: Road travel review site www.BestoftheRoad.com; Interactive travel referral service, www.Tripology.com; America's #1 Road Atlas; and TripMaker(R) RVND(TM) GPS for RVers; as well as a host of products and services for the trucking and education markets.

  [november 2011]  


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