Non-travel related content

By ryanoleary | Dec 04, 2018, 10:04 AM
Is it just me, or has there been a big increase in site content unrelated to travel of late? Cars, watches, alcohol etc. I get the need for some diversity and some of it is interesting (and assume it drives ad revenue) but to me, the volume of it just seems to be creeping up and up. As of this morning (4 Dec), 8 of the 16 tiles on the main page were unrelated to travel. What do others think?
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By damiengodwin | Dec 04, 2018, 10:09 AM
Was only just thinking the same.
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By sid | Dec 04, 2018, 10:15 AM
All that content is written externally, so the actual travel content hasn't dropped at all.


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By Dan22 | Dec 04, 2018, 10:21 AM
I’ve thought this too - but I think this is a lack of announcements and news with airlines lately! Not Ausbt fault and u can only do so many reviews of QF and VA business class!
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By Traveller14 | Dec 04, 2018, 10:42 AM
I agree, and while we all understand that these sites must attract advertising content (or 'advertorials') to make money for the owners and pay for any staff, I really wonder what pages about watches or upmarket cars have to do with business travel.

Nothing, in my view.

The site should stick to its good reviews of airlines, airline lounges, airports and high speed trains. Hotel reviews too are legitimate, but not a review or page about alcohol.

If it doesn't resume a concentration on true travel items, viewership will decline over time because the site will have lost sight of its core mission.
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By aklrunway | Dec 04, 2018, 10:43 AM
Agreed, I thought it was just me thinking that
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By kimshep | Dec 04, 2018, 10:56 AM


This is not meant as a criticism, but a reflection of what I feel is an issue of late.

To me, there is some merit in a limited number of 'Lifestyle' articles but when that number seems to account for approx. 50% of articles, then it derides the 'traveller' interest and experience. In September / October, there were a surfeit of automobile articles which made me question whether I had landed on a motoring site or AUSBT. If I want to read 'Drive', I will do so.



In the main, I feel that AUSBT does a highly creditable job with it's core competencies. I do tend to blanch a little when I see comments by the editorial team that 'we don't do economy travel' reviews, but then see a review of NZ's 'all economy' A321NEO as a lead article.

Granted there are times when airline / airport / hotel news is scant and filler articles are useful - but the reality for many readers is that travel is not always at the pointy end. For some, it's governed by policies of lowest fare of the day and guess what. That is often in Y or even discounted Y. A little more balance here would be welcome.

I note that no articles have appeared on Marriott's recent data breach, nothing on QR's apparent wish to withdraw from oneworld, no serious articles on the networks of carriers such as AA, DL, UA or even SA's current worldwide strategy in Africa for instance. No updates on the QF/AA JV (despite my reading of some of the submission articles to the US DOT, which even credits an AUSBT article in evidence).

As said, AUSBT is a good site with the potential to be great. That said, AUSBT doesn't need to be a reflection of airliners.net, Flight Global etc. We are priviledged to share the vision of AUSBT in being an Australian focussed business travel site. However, I feel that the balance on Lifestyle items could be dialled back a wee bit. And to all readers, the site also depends on your input too.

Last edited by kimshep at Dec 04, 2018, 11.05 AM.
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By sid | Dec 04, 2018, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the feedback. All of our content is written by freelancers or sourced from Bloomberg. We're publishing just as much about core travel as before and recently also brought on Brandon to the editorial team. More journalists are being hired next year as well.

Just to clarify, we are not a website about aviation or travel or for the travel industry. We're a website that serves business travellers. These are people that earn a good income and live a good lifestyle.

Also, as I'm sure you're aware, many magazines and publications cover lifestyle content. Why should the Qantas mag have cars or watches or technology in it?

Additionally we're finding that the lifestyle content is performing fairly close to travel content, so clearly our readers have an appetite for it (even if the commenters here don't).

Kimshep: we don't cover Economy as a general rule, however the AirNZ product is very similar to a Euro Business product. There's also very little to differentiate Economy products and as you said most people just book the cheapest anyway.
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James C

By Carrots | Dec 04, 2018, 12:04 PM
"Just to clarify, we are not a website about aviation or travel or for the travel industry. We're a website that serves business travellers. These are people that earn a good income and live a good lifestyle."

Well said Sid.
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By StuParr | Dec 04, 2018, 12:16 PM
I'm really enjoying the extra articles, thanks for that. please keep it up.
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By whoppersandwich | Dec 04, 2018, 12:35 PM
To be entirely honest, there isn’t really much to report on for Aussie flyers at the moment (which I imagine will be the case until early next year). In the meantime I’m more than happy to have all the other content flowing to keep me satiated!
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By David | Dec 04, 2018, 01:15 PM
I'll just add my 2c from the perspective of the coalface of content, especially our core 'news & reviews'.

First up: we always appreciate reader feedback, especially when it's considered & constructive (thanks kimshep!).

To address a few specific content issues raised:

* as Sid has cited, we are for the business traveller (emphasis on the person, the 'traveller', not travel per se) – we're not a travel site or an aviation blog – and our annual reader surveys help inform that content (including the 'lifestyle' strands) so that we are more a part of the reader's lifestyle beyond just a website for points and status and lounges and seats.

* there will sometimes be spikes of content due to events: if we attend a major Qantas launch (eg Boeing 787 delivery) or a Star Alliance global media conference, there's inevitably going to be a flurry of news stories from that event. Ditto for tech shows and motor shows, which both see a series of major releases. We don't attempt to be a tech site or motoring site, but we still aim to deliver timely and relevant content from those events.

* as a rule, Australian Business Traveller doesn't cover economy. This has been sufficiently addressed in the past.

* that said, we do make some exceptions, and for considered reasons. Air New Zealand's A321neo is an example – the newest jet on Australia's most popular international corridor, from an airline with approx 50% of the market and which promotes a 'Euro-business' style Works Deluxe to the business traveller? Naturally that's review-worthy, especially in areas such as legroom (where the A321neo is a mixed bag, as we have also covered).


* "no articles have appeared on Marriott's recent data breach": there are instances where a story is amply covered through other channels, especially the mainstream media, so we don't have much unique value to add to this and will instead focus our limited resources elsewhere, usually in areas where we can offer something readers won't get anywhere else (either in the topic or quality/depth of coverage).


* "nothing on QR's apparent wish to withdraw from oneworld": yes, because this 'wish' doesn't really have relevance to the business traveller. At this stage it's just industry buzz sans substance. Should Qatar Airways announce it's leaving Oneworld, that's a story with clear impact on readers and we'd report that.


* "no serious articles on the networks of carriers such as AA, DL, UA or even SA's current worldwide strategy in Africa for instance": not 100% sure what is meant by "serious articles on networks" but this sounds a bit aviationy, ditto SA's strategy.


* "no updates on the QF/AA JV:" because there's nothing to 'update', nothing to report. That ball is still in play. When there's a decision, we'll cover it.


Anyway, that's some of the thinking behind content and the content mix. To reiterate: none of the 'lifestyle' content has come at the expense of our 'core' content. You've seen plenty of solid and sharp Australian Business Traveller stories on those 'core' subjects in recent weeks and months and you'll keep seeing that in days and weeks and months to come :)
Last edited by David at Dec 04, 2018, 01.24 PM.
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By Himeno | Dec 04, 2018, 04:19 PM
I do have to wonder what you consider a "business traveller" to be.
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By David | Dec 04, 2018, 04:53 PM
Himeno: we see the Australian Business Traveller reader as someone who flies largely for business purposes but of course also for leisure - who tends to do so in premium cabins and is likely to hold Gold- or Platinum-equivalent status (or higher) - who earns a lot of points and is smart about that without being point-obsessed, as well as being savvy about using those points (upgrades yes, toasters no). They are professionals who belong to the ‘A/B’ demographic, with high income and an appreciation for quality tech, good wines and spirits, cars and watches. That’s all borne out by our annual reader surveys.

There are also people beginning their business travel journey who may only hold Silver status but of course aspire to Gold and beyond, in the same way they may well aspire to the business traveller lifestyle of enjoying a good dram, buying a good watch etc.

Again, this is not some mythical being we magicked up - it’s a very real and sizeable market, and our reader surveys and regular contact with readers (often through surprisingly causal encounters) reinforces that.
Last edited by David at Dec 04, 2018, 06.22 PM.
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By Tim Saunders | Dec 05, 2018, 08:36 AM
I think the site could be a bit 'boring' if all it was was airlines and points. Nice to have technology and some of the 'lifestyle' stories, I am rather enjoying the ones on spirits and wines!
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By Phil Young | Dec 05, 2018, 09:25 AM
As Tim Saunders has just said that it's "nice to have technology....stories", I'd be keen to have additional reviews of tech equipment that the typical business traveller carries. News and reviews of lightweight laptops, phones and other travel gadgets are always read carefully by me.
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