One-on-One with Jeff Greif, Editor-in-Chief, TravelSquire.com

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  1. In this month’s One-on-One blog, ExpertFlyer talks with Jeff Greif, Editor-in-Chief, TravelSquire.com, a digital magazine that provides a rich travel experience offering destination articles, columns, news, trip recommendations AND access to TravelSquire.com’s Travel Therapist – because we all need a little therapy before we embark on a new adventure.

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    Jeff Greif, Editor-in-Chief, TravelSquire
    “One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in the consumer travel market is farm-to-table cuisine in local restaurants. It started as a small trend and is now expanding rapidly, not only across the country but across the world.”

    – Jeff Greif, Editor-in-Chief, TravelSquire.com
    TravelSquire.com prides itself on the unique content the magazine provides, particularly as it relates to destinations consumers may not have even considered. With so much competition in the travel publishing arena, how do you keep things fresh?
    There’s a lot of travel content out there, and what TravelSquire.com strives to do is find a new twist on a destination everybody already knows about – say for instance, a guide to little-known flea markets in London, where to go in Paris if you love chocolate, or a culinary tour of Calgary. We keep it fresh by always searching for the next travel trend and trying to stay ahead of the curve. We also look for places that may not be on your radar, because often they hold the most rewarding travel experiences.

    Last month, we talked with Jonathan Spira of Frequent Business Traveler and he talked quite a bit about the trend in “Green” travel. What are some of the key trends that you are observing in the consumer travel market?
    One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in the consumer travel market is farm-to-table cuisine in local restaurants. It started as a small trend and is now expanding rapidly, not only across the country but across the world. Another one we’re seeing is with younger people is voluntourism – people who want to make a difference while seeing the world.
    What exactly is the TravelSquire.com Travel Therapist? What type of traveler opts in for this type of service and why?
    The Travel Therapist is simple: it’s a way for consumers to talk to somebody who can either validate their choices or help them sift through all of the information on the Internet. The cost for the Travel Therapist allows our readers three hours of consultation to help them decide on their travel plans. It could be as macro as which destination they plan to visit, or as micro as which hotel is a good fit for them. They use the three hours of time on the couch for whatever therapy they need.
    More than one-third of your subscribers report traveling to Europe in the past year. Is this a unique trend among your readers? Where are they going and why?
    TravelSquire.com readers go everywhere. They travel an average of 6 times per year: three for business and three for pleasure. For Americans, Europe is one of the most popular destinations, but we’re seeing more interest in Eastern Europe, as it has become more accessible over the past few years and is also more affordable, since most of these countries don’t use the Euro. But nothing commands travelers more than France and Italy, no matter the exchange rate.
    TravelSquire.com has really done well to effectively leverage social media. Your weekly tweet-ups called, #TRAVEX, are fun, interesting and command quite a following. How are you engaging consumers through this tactic?
    #TRAVEX is the only weekly tweet-up where people actually get to learn something besides tweeting their own opinions. When we started #TRAVEX, the key to it was the TEs (Traveler’s Education). #TRAVEX really took off about six months ago, when we started to change the format to include broader subjects, so whether you’ve been to a destination or not, you could still participate in the chat. #TRAVEX is fun because we ask questions like, “If you were going on a road trip, who would you take with you?” so it appeals not only to frequent travelers but also to fantasy travelers. It engages people and allows them to have cross-conversations, and that’s what brings everyone in.
    Based on what your readers indicate, what are the top wants/needs of today’s travelers that aren’t being addressed?
    The one thing we constantly hear is, “why do we have to pay for wi-fi in hotel rooms?” It’s an interesting trend. What we’ve noticed is that budget hotels give you free wi-fi, but the more upscale hotels have a very high daily rate. As a website very involved in social media, we absolutely agree. We’re sure that our readers would gladly give up other amenities to have Internet access. TravelSquire.com strives to be on top of news and trends in the travel industry, so there’s always something to be addressed.


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