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Select Traveler Targets Top-Tier Travel Planners

Toyota established its Lexus brand to offer premium vehicles to a specific group of customers. Honda did the same with Acura, as did Nissan with Infiniti.

Select Traveler magazine, which began as Bank Travel Management 20 years ago, accomplishes the same segmentation of travel planners for The Group Travel Leader Inc. Travel planners for affluent groups that travel throughout America and abroad are the targeted readership for this magazine.

“Branding is what Select Traveler is all about,” said publisher Mac Lacy. “With our primary title, The Group Travel Leader, we cover the broadest spectrum of travel planners in the industry.

“Select Traveler, by contrast, has a much more selective readership. Charlie Presley and I pioneered the bank travel market two decades ago when we introduced Bank Travel Management magazine. Two years later, we added the BankTravel Conference to the mix, and we’ve been successful ever since with this branding effort.

“In 2014, we added alumni travel groups and chamber of commerce travel groups because they also represent affluent and, oftentimes, very large groups of travelers. Select Traveler magazine and the Select Traveler Conference segment those markets and bring the travel industry to more than 5,000 of those travel groups every day.”

One misconception that arises occasionally is that these groups are only traveling abroad. Lacy said that’s not true.

“Banks have long been some of American destinations’ most reliable visitors,” he said. “Destinations like New York, Nashville, the Pacific Northwest, Branson and dozens of others are popular with bank groups. The same is true for alumni groups and chambers of commerce.

“We’ve done a lot of surveys of these planners,” said Lacy. “Domestic destinations are very popular with these groups. Right now, American river cruises, national parks, Alaska and the Southwest are just a few places that rank highly with alumni groups; chamber groups are traveling to places like Washington, D.C.; Napa Valley; the Kentucky Derby; Charleston; and plenty more.”

Lacy makes one other key point about Select Traveler’s readership.

“Tour operators love these markets,” he said. “From the very largest companies you can name to some of the true boutique operators that are very specialized, these groups draw tour operators’ interest. Any destination that is visible in Select Traveler magazine or is visible at the Select Traveler Conference is going to be visible with dozens if not hundreds of tour operators as well.”

Mac Lacy

Mac Lacy is president and publisher of The Group Travel Leader Inc. Mac has been traveling and writing professionally ever since a two-month backpacking trip through Europe upon his graduation with a journalism degree from the University of Evansville in 1978.