GOING BIG: Pilar Guzmán wants Condé Nast Traveler to be a coffee-table mainstay.
The September issue will mark the debut of what Guzmán is calling a more luxurious product. The magazine’s trim size has increased by two inches, the interior pages feature more white space and the paper stock is slightly thicker.
“We are prying print and digital apart,” said Guzmán, who joined the title in 2013. “The experience of reading a magazine is a luxurious experience. You curl up in your reading nook with a magazine and we know that our issues are dog-eared and kept for years. We felt like the increase in size is a reflection of all of these things.”
The September issue will also include a new style-focused front-of-book section, Where + Wear, which showcases stories ranging from what Chloé’s creative director Clare Waight Keller packs when she travels to Josep Font of Delpozo’s favorite spots in Barcelona.
“We always talk about this idea of who do you want to be on vacation,” Guzmán told WWD. “I think that our industry has been a little bit behind in knitting together lifestyle categories. It’s less about the act of travel and more about tapping into passion points that fall under the umbrella of travel.”
According to Condé Nast Traveler publisher Bill Wackermann, the new magazine complements the Web site, but they have different readers.
“In making this change, we are making a clear delineation in the marketplace that the magazine is for the person who’s taking seven or more foreign trips a year. That’s very different from someone who is just coming to our Web site and planning a family vacation,” said Wackermann.
Guzmán has tweaked the magazine a few times since she started. She released a more stylized logo earlier this year and before that she placed supermodel Christy Turlington Burns on the cover and lent the inside content a more fashionable touch.
The changes seem to be working. According to the magazine, its September 2014 issue showed a 15.2 percent increase in pages while this September issue will reflect a 20 percent increase in pages, which will include luxury ads from brands including Bottega Veneta, Hermés, Fendi and Blancpain.
On the digital side, Condé Nast Traveler relaunched its Web site last year and has worked with brands such as Land Rover and Samsung on native video content. Wackermann said digital revenue is up more than 100 percent since last year and in July the site received 4.8 million unique visits, which can be compared to the 800,000 unique visits the site logged when Guzmán first started. The team will also release mobile-first city guides on Aug. 21.
According to Wackermann, this fall, Condé Nast Traveler will also be featured prominently on the Apple News app. “There’s a sales opportunity for us to sell onto Apple, so it’s kind of a big deal for us.”