Investment in travel magazine is 'vote of confidence' in sector

An investment that will enable the relaunch of an independent magazine hit by Covid-19 has been labelled a “vote of confidence” in the travel media sector.

Ardent Media Ltd, which owned the quarterly Family Traveller magazine, was put into voluntary liquidation in September after the travel industry was paralysed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But chief executive and founder Andrew Dent is part of a new team of investors that has bought the Family Traveller brand’s assets and is set to relaunch the magazine with a December/January issue focusing on Easter and summer holidays for 2021.

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Dent said: “It is a massive recognition to the work we have done over the years that despite incredibly tough trading conditions we have attracted investment to continue our work building the world’s largest community of family travellers.

“In the months leading up to the Covid crisis we were operating a profitable and growing business. Of course, like everyone in the media and travel sectors, we have had to take drastic action to secure the future of the brand.

“I am delighted to announce, that whilst the world remains in an uncertain position in terms of international travel, our investors have seen enough value in the future of the family travel sector to support this next iteration of Family Traveller.”

The Family Traveller magazine launched in the UK in 2013 and later expanded to the US in print and online and Germany online-only. It was named Consumer Travel Publication of the Year at the Travel Media Awards 2018.

According to Dent, the platforms reach a combined total of more than 1m affluent families per month.

He said the brand carried out a survey of 2,400 readers that showed families are “desperate” to get away despite a year off international travel in 2020.

He added that because they have been able to save money during lockdown, they are “ready to commit more to their holidays next year”.

Dent said he expects this demand to help the predominantly advertising-funded Family Traveller achieve revenues in 2021 that are “not dissimilar” to those seen in 2019.

Dent had offered the magazine’s editor Jane Anderson the opportunity to return to her role after she was made redundant due to the liquidation, but she has decided to concentrate instead on her work as travel editor of Prima and writer of a Bradt Guide to slow family travel around the UK.

A statement from liquidators Wilkin Chapman said: “I can confirm that a successful sale of available assets was concluded on 24 September and we are delighted that an investment group saw sufficient value in the Family Traveller brand to make the purchase, which is a vote of confidence in the brand, and the future of the travel sector as a whole.”

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