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BBC Launches New Travel Site: Is It Original Enough?


BBC Launches New Travel Site: Is It Original Enough?

The British Broadcasting Corporation, known the work over as the BBC, just launched its new travel site, part of a series of site revamps, that will include other lifestyle features, and its timing may be impeccable.

With it’s own legendary reputation as a highly credible news and information source , the BBC’s new travel venture now boasts Emirates Airlines, unarguably one of the top tier, elegant airlines in the business, as its key sponsor.

BBC will partner for content with the well-respected Lonely Planet, (It’s owned 75% of Lonely Planet (LP) since 2007), and the broadcast giant’s way to travel may have been paved by the Huffington Post’s recently introduced travel section, setting the stage for the BBC venture

BBC.com/Travel is headed up by David Allen, a one-time NY Times Travel and Styles Editor, with a mandate to deliver first person accounts from the road. Allen adds that the BBC audience “already loves the smart, sophisticated researched stories from the BBC, so BBC Travel will build on that with outstanding travel journalism.”

Where will the outstanding travel journalism content come from?

One glance at the site and it’s apparent the writers at Lonely Planet will be providing most of the travel material, with BBC writers doing their parts.

Previously BBC.com carried a widget on the homepage, directing users to Lonely Planet. Now it has a dedicated travel section as one of the main channels on the site.

TNooz reports that the new site with the new travel section will not be available to UK residents, but is available for BBC’s world-wide fans. TNooz also suggest there are unresolved issues with Lonely Planet (LP) relative to the site’s material and where Lonely Planet’s user-generated content will end up.

The launch page pretty much affirms LP’s dominance, but the surprise was how predictable the content is: : The Best Of The Greek Islands; Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Dream Business Destinations; Tokyo’s Best Night Out, and Best Airports In The World.

While I’m a fan of some “best of” content because of its focus and practical information, I think it’s an easy way out, often making for weak and repetitive reporting… and so much of the same kind of material on the home page is detracting.

I’ve read too many “Greece’s Best Islands.” Take me to one of them, and tell me about the the local dance, or the Greek “match maker,” or take me to that special island where the art of Ouzo drinking is, well, an art.

Surprise me.

But, these are early days, and we look forward to the promise of terrific travel stories from BBC contributors.

They do so many things so very well, why not travel!

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