ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- "Great travel content exists on the web, it's just hard to find," says Cal Simmons, the founder of www.travelonion.com.
Simmons, an established travel industry executive has had multiple successes creating unique travel related websites. In 2005, he co-founded, www.fivestaralliance.com which has become a leading online travel agency for luxury hotel bookings. Now, he believes social media and blogging are the next great wave for consumers planning trips. Amanda Gavlick, the Travel Onion NYC City Editor, agrees, "I'm a New Yorker, which means I walk by the Empire State Building, not go up it. When I travel, I want to experience a city the way someone who lives there would. Travel Onion puts me in touch with those local experts."
Travel Onion is an aggregation of the world's best travel blogs and newsletters -- indexed by destination and interest. So for example, someone planning a trip to London might go to Travel Onion to find the latest restaurant reviews, tips for booking the best theater seats or to find the most talked about nightspot at the moment. Simmons and his editorial team have scoured the globe to find the best travel related blogs and newsletters and they have indexed them in a simple to navigate and attractive website.
There are thousands of active travel bloggers online but how do you sort through the clutter and come up with the best? Simmons has a head start from 30 years of experience in the travel industry. But he realized that a younger audience might also be interested in more than the standard recommendations. "That's why we have created our collection as a mix of professional writers and amateurs with a bit of an 'edge' to their writing," says Dana Rosenzweig, Travel Onion's Managing Editor.
Looking at the London city page one would quickly spot the "usual suspects" from the museum community and the local press. But you also find more quirky sites positioned to attract the hip crowd interested in the latest hotspots. Take www.spoonfed.co.uk as an example. Not your typical mainstream site, but hugely engaging and informative. It lists things to do around town and is peppered with interviews and reviews. Says the site's founder Alexander Will, "We believe we are the single best place for the 20-30 year old crowd to find their favorite things to do in London."
The site is launching with a handful of the world's greatest cities, but intends to build out the top 50 in short order. For each destination, Travel Onion is recruiting a city editor -- "We want informed and curious individuals, who are already engaged in a dialogue with the locals," says Rosenzweig. "Already, we have built a team of incredibly interesting writers from around the globe." One example is Heather Stimmler-Hall, the Travel Onion Paris City Editor and editor of Secrets of Paris. Heather has been writing weekly travel articles titled 'Secrets of Paris' since 1999. Today, her website reaches subscribers from over 30 countries.
"The point here," explains Simmons, "is that it is very difficult to find the 'best blogs' covering a variety of topics. Our staff provides the 'editorial hand' that curates the page, making recommendations and constantly updating our reviews of the best sites. Our ambition is to build a worldwide network of the best independent travel writers and to be a channel that can provide those writers with a much bigger audience."
SOURCE Travel Onion