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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

T+L SA: India is the next destination...

(was written on: August 29, 2006)

It’s launched last week in Delhi and today in Mumbai.

T+L SA at a glance:

Title: Travel+Leisure South Asia
Periodicity: Monthly Cover Price: Rs150. Pages: 160
Publisher: Media Transasia India Ltd. (also publisher of Swagat, Golf Style, Discover India, Architecture + Design, Indian Design & Interior and MAXIM)
Editor-in-chief: Payal Kohli (Ex-editor of Cosmopolitan)
CEO: Piyush Sharma
Publishing Director: Rasina Uberoi
International Edition: Sixth (Other five are- China, Turkey, Mexico, Russia and Australia in addition of US original)
Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan & Bhutan.
Positioning Statement: “Lifestyle behind the Travel”
Tag Line: Takes You There
Target Reader: Sophisticated, modern and discerning reader with a high disposable income and consumption. Clearly- for the travelers not tourists.
Promotion Plan: Claims to have spent Rs. 3crore in print, online and outdoor.

I have got chance to go through the issue, it gives me a mixed feeling about the magazine. Well, content is superb in terms of horizontal coverage. T+L’s editorial will cover everything from food to wine, architecture to design, and technology to luxury apart from the global traveling. But I am not impressed by the editorial structure & design. It could be far-far better in terms of presentation & packaging if one is provided such a huge treasure of content. I found structure very unfriendly and blurred to the reader and I think that is why Payal had to explain the columns in her Edit note.

Cover story of inaugural issue is ‘Goa Unseen’ by Sonia Faleiro and article is supported by beautiful photographs by Prabuddha Das Gupta. Other features like- “What defines a great hotel now?” and “Jewel of India (Kerala would be the obvious choice for anybody to start with)” are also quite interesting.

Other interesting sections/columns are Stylish Traveler, Insider, Update & Strategies. Inaugural issue is carrying a special report on “T+L’s Business Travel guide” which gives an overview of coolest travel accessories and their optimum usage. In this section, technical contributor is Rajiv Makhni, who also hosts two Tele shows on NDTV named- Gadget Guru & Digital. In the same issue, ‘Strategies’ is helping you to plan a last-minute trip to England, including booking tips, flight maps, road signs, Driving rules guide, shopping guide etc.

T+L claims to sell around 1.3 million copies to over 6 million readers. Print run of South Asian inaugural issue is 80,000 and advance paid subscriber bas of around 20,000.
Indian edition is printed on very good quality of paper (somewhat like Spenta uses for JETWINGS) and looking upon the content (if you ignore the design and presentation) its cover price is justified (I know, Sajith doesn’t think so). This product has to be at very high price to justify the kind of positioning they are marketing and the kind of reader profile they are targeting.

Friends, just go through the issue and share your opinion.


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