New owner for venerable travel title

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Destinations magazine has a new owner. Landscape architect/travel fanatic Stephen Brown has just bought the 18-year-old title from founder Bruce Laybourne, and last week tapped Mayor Len Brown to launch it in Auckland. Stephen Brown says his intention is to “represent a new breed of travel magazine in both print and digital”.

Destinations Publishing ( is based in Parnell. The relaunched magazine carries a cover price of $9.90 and comes out seven times a year (four quarterly issues – Wedding Destinations, Wine Destinations and the new Cruise Destinations) plus four annuals.

Editor Rowena Bahl has introduced live content on the print pages via the interactive Layar application, and a global travel video library is currently under development for the website.

New partners Netlink have been brought onboard to handle the New Zealand distribution through Paper Plus, New World, Relay airport stores, independent book stores, and hotels and airline lounges throughout New Zealand and Australia, while Shout Media will manage all the domestic and international Air NZ Koru lounges.

The title has a circulation of 10,000 copies and 33,000 registered global digital subscribers to the online magazine. Digital content and editions can be downloaded anywhere (cruise liner, hotel) via Newsreader or Zinio. A global travel video library is currently under development for the website.

“The new travel lifestyle magazine will impact the market using both print and digital platforms to deliver compelling content supported by a strong promotional plan, marketing activity and dynamic distribution,” says marketing director Cola Larcombe.

“The magazine has expanded its horizon beyond New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific to offer global insights. Destinations aspires to connect people, places, cultures, lifestyles and perspectives.”

The Destinations relaunch trade event was celebrated last week at Sofitel Auckland with guest speakers Mayor Len Brown and Elizabeth Puranam from Al Jazeera. Creative Daniel Martin produced the showreel for the magazine.

Publisher Stephen Brown (via Linkedin)

Stephen has spent most of his adult life travelling the world and traipsing through the far-flung corners of New Zealand – not as a journalist or publisher, but as someone with a keen interest in the landscapes, cultures and natural systems of this remarkable planet. His related interests and skills in photography, writing and design have been honed via some 30 years work in the environmental arena as a landscape architect – practising in NZ, Australia, the South Pacific and the UK – and his presidency of the NZ Institute of Landscape Architects for two years culminated in the IFLA* World Congress, that was hosted by Auckland last year. Stephen has long been fascinated by the interplay of society with natural systems, and this has contributed to his progressive gravitation towards both the travel industry and public media. As the new publisher of Destinations, Stephen is keen to drive the re-launch of New Zealand’s premier travel magazine group and web site, helping Destinations’ readers to gain new insight into, and passion for, the remarkable travel opportunities that the world has to offer. (*International Federation of Landscape Architects)

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