Talk about multichannel distribution? Travel agents using Rand McNally's Tripology.com are now getting customer leads via Travel Channel series about various vacation spots.
So when Travel Channel viewers of "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" and "The Layover" take in these Travel Channel shows, they'll be advised to navigate over to Tripology to consult a destination expert about booking a vacation.
Similarly, visitors to The Layover section of TravelChannel.com will see Tripology display ads like this:
When you click on the above ad, it takes you to another TravelChannel.com page explaining that "Tripology is an interactive referral service focused on connecting travelers with qualified and top-rated travel specialists."
At the bottom of the page, there's a Start planning a trip like Tony’s now >> link, which takes you to a Travel Channel-oriented Tripology.com page.
“Our partnership with Rand McNally is a key element to our overall digital strategy, providing deeper connections with our viewers and the programming," says Shannon O'Neill, Travel Channel's chief financial officer. "We continue to explore new opportunities to marry inspiration with activation.We are launching with ‘The Layover,’ but plan to quickly roll out additional specialized itineraries, across many of our properties, that our audiences love.”
John Peters, vice president of digital strategy and travel at Rand McNally, citing Travel Channel's base of some 96 million homes, says the partnership is "big" for Tripology.
“Tripology.com is not a travel agency. We do not sell tickets or trips,” Peters says. “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.”
The Travel Channel has been getting more active in the digital travel arena and in April invested in hotel booking service Oyster.com.