The Top Consumer Travel Media Sites vs Amateur Traveler

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Amateur Traveler

My wife likes nothing better than an afternoon sitting with the newspaper and a cup of coffee, while I spend less than a minute with the daily paper on any given day. She is a reader and I am merely a subscriber. In offline media we have less accurate ways to measure how much attention a particular medium captures than we do online.

Skift published an interesting article recently, The Top 28 Consumer Travel Media Sites Around The World, which ranks the top travel sites by number of visits. It occurred to me that in the numbers from Skift is a different way to measure value. My reading of my local newspaper is of less value to editors and advertisers alike. In the same way I would assert that the longer a site holds someone’s attention, the more likely they will be affected by its content.

I took the the 28 sites from Skift’s list and calculated the total hours of engagement each site earns in a month. We should note that Skift did not include TripAdvisor because it relies on user generated content. It would certainly rank at the top of the list.

The next thing that surprised me is that if I take the number of downloads for Amateur Traveler from last month, assume that only one person listens to an episode (not true) and that people only listen once (some have written that they listen 3 times) and that on average people listen to half an episode, then the total attention that Amateur Traveler had last month would be ranked on this list above some better known sites like Gogobot.com, Budgettravel.com, Gadling.com and Bootsnall.com.

Interesting enough, the hours of engagement for the Amateur Traveler audio show got as high as 47,985 for a September when the show was being promoted. That would put it higher than popular sites like Frommers.comand SmaterTravel.com. These hours do not count the website, the video show, or This Week in Travel.

So… is attention a reasonable measure for influence?

SITE ESTIMATED VISITS, OCTOBER 2013 Time on Site (seconds) Hours of Engagement
WAYN.com 4.2 M 380 443,333
LonelyPlanet.com 8.2 M 159 362,167
Travel.yahoo.com 11. M 90 275,000
Timeout.com 5.2 M 172 248,444
About.com Travel 6.8 M* 90** 170,000
Wikitravel.org 4.4 M 119 145,444
Virtualtourist.com 2.8 M 141 109,667
Travelandleisure.com 2 M 171 95,000
TravelChannel.com 2.2 M 144 88,000
Fodors.com 2.8 M 93 72,333
CNTraveler.com 1.4 M 158 61,444
Travel.nationalgeographic.com 1.5 M 132 55,000
Frommers.com 1.2 M 123 41,000
Travel.CNN.com 1.3 M 110 39,722
SmarterTravel.com 1.1 M 129 39,417
Ricksteves.com 550 K*** 232 35,444
Travelpod.com 830 K 134 30,894
Matadornetwork.com 1.2 M 88 29,333
Amateur Traveler 95 K 1050 27,735
Wikivoyage.org 540 K 172 25,800
Gogobot.com 660 K 116 21,267
RoughGuides.com 350 K 212 20,611
Budgettravel.com 570 K 124 19,633
Afar.com 200 K 321 17,833
Travel.aol.com 570 K 79 12,508
Gadling.com 680 K 59 11,144
Tripwolf.com 250 K 106 7,361
Bootsnall.com 260 K 86 6,211
Jaunted.com 240 K 67 4,467

* The visitors for About.com comes from Comscore
** The time on site estimate for About.com is an estimate by me
*** Rick Steve’s has a very popular travel podcast which is not included in these numbers. Their ranking would be much higher if they were included.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

6 Responses to “The Top Consumer Travel Media Sites vs Amateur Traveler”

Karl Anders

Says:

As you know, Chris, I’m a huge fan and long time follower of the Amateur Traveler. I don’t fully understand these sorts of ratings, but what I like about you is your unique product, namely the podcast. That’s what I come to the site for. To listen. (Yes, I look at some of the photos and read some of the blogs, but your unique niche is your podcast which shares with everyone your amiable nature, infectious curiosity and enthusiasm as you interviews others about travel). And it takes a half hour or so to listen, so you might not get page clicks but you’ve got me engaged for that time.

So to me these kinds of analysis are comparing apples and oranges. I know I’ve learned more on the Amateur Traveler than I have on most of the rest combined . So keep up the good work, and thanks for everything..

Francis Cassidy

Says:

Delighted to see that your podcast would make it ahead of many other mainstream sources. I’m an avid listener and have thoroughly enjoyed it for some time now.

One thing I did find interesting was that wikitravel was rated well ahead of wikivoyage, I had alway understood that wikivoyage was now the goto page.

chris2x

Says:

there were some other surprises in that list for me like wayn.com

Tim

Says:

I think I’ve found another correlation. Sites that mostly publish clickbait articles with lists, numbers, and best-of posts have the lowest time on site by far. That may get you traffic, but it doesn’t get you people who stick around and pay attention. It is kind of apples and oranges with websites and podcasts though as most enjoy the latter when they’re doing something else offline: driving, riding transportation, working out, walking. It’s entertainment (like a TV show or movie) more than information gathering (like a news site or paper).

chris2x

Says:

Sure, that makes sense that SEO traffic would tend to have lower times on site or average number of pages seen.

Neil

Says:

Chris

The goal of many of these sites is not engagement. Many of these sites want you to click away to other sites where you will buy a product and get them a commission or ad revenue.

So I agree, you’re kinda comparing apples to oranges.

But that said, I think your stat is valid and a good measure of the trust your listeners place in you.

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