Today’s consumers are in a never-ending state of information overload. Magazines, newspapers and e-newsletters of all varieties are constantly filling up our mailboxes and inboxes, making it feel like we’re reading everything and nothing all at once. With so many options, many media outlets are beginning to shift their focus to a more niche form of marketing, making it easier for consumers to gather the specific information they seek. This same trend has crossed over to destination marketing, sparking a rise in regional publications, and consumers are taking note.



Today, regional publications are in demand for a number of reasons. Whether you’re researching a specific destination for future travels, or simply finding the best wine bar in your area, this type of publication has proven to be valuable to locals and tourists alike. Take Charleston, SC based Garden and Gun for example – from the start, this regional publication has focused solely on Southern culture and becoming a resource for those who are interested in the art, music, literature and food of the American South. Want to learn how to make Gulf Shrimp Po’boys just like you had at Frenchy’s Café in Clearwater Beach, Florida? Snag a copy of the Summer 2019 issue of Garden and Gun and you can do just that.


Regional publications can also serve as personalized guides, creating a sense of discovery in a specific area. MLive, a local publication for Michigan, reveals “This Hidden Trail is One of the Best Hikes in Michigan”. Written by Emily Bingham, the article tells a personalized story of her experience on this scenic hike and the hidden gems she discovered along the way – like secluded beaches. Because Michigan has over 25,000 miles of state-designed trails, a national publication may not have access to the insider knowledge or experiences that a local writer in the area would. In instances like this, regional publications can create a more personal, engaging reading experience for their audience.



Today, consumers are much more likely to book and plan their own vacations which has lead to an increase in destination research. While travel-specific outlets can provide readers with the basic information needed to plan a trip, regional publications offer more help with the specifics. Often, editors of these niche publications are considered experts of their area and can provide the authentic viewpoint consumers seek when planning. What better way to learn where to get the best ice cream in Houston than an article written by seasoned Houstonian and writer for the Houston Chronicle, Marcy de Luna?


Regional publications are not only useful to travelers and tourists, they can also be a great resource for locals to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in their own community. Sagacity Media Inc., the publisher of Portland Monthly, launched Seattle Met, a new Seattle based publication, after a large Seattle area audience contacted them in hopes of having a similar publication created for their city. Publications like these are successful because they share information that informs travelers on the current news, events and economic stability of a destination while, at the same time, resonating with locals in the area.



To readers, national and global publications can sometimes feel more aspirational than attainable. A global article can detail a sailing trip along Africa’s west coast – to most, more of a “once in a lifetime” bucket list item – where a regional publication can feature more realistic, everyday stories. Because “staycations” are another travel trend on the rise, those living within the state, city or community can now look to local publications as a planning resource. For instance, Georgia residents can read the July-August issue of the regional magazine Good Grit where Paula Wallace, President and founder of Savannah College of Art and Design, writes about “24 Reasons to Love Georgia this Summer”. As a lifelong resident of Savannah, Paula’s particular point of view is both interesting and authentic to readers.


The rising popularity of regional publications is also reflected across digital platforms. With 380,000 Instagram followers, Garden and Gun proves its large reach. Instagram allows fans of the publication to connect with others within that same community, and leads users to find more in-depth information behind the photos posted from the latest print-issue of the magazine. Similarly, the Los Angeles Times (the largest newspaper on the West Coast) has a commanding online following with a social media presence that’s broken down by category – LA Times News, Food, Entertainment and Fashion.



From a travel writer’s perspective, regional publications are important because they focus on more specific locations – towns, cities, regions – rather than large areas. For the purpose of relationships, publicists tend to have an easier time seeking out and building relationships with travel writers who are interested in and focused on their specific destinations.


With all of the information available to consumers daily, it is helpful to have outlets that focus on niche markets and make relevant information quicker and easier to find. The creation of regional and local publications which focus solely on neighborhoods, small towns, metropolitan areas and suburbs are becoming increasingly popular for locals and travelers alike – and for good reason.