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The media industry continues to face challenges in 2024, making our role as PR practitioners more crucial than ever. With the further shrinking of newsrooms, we serve as a vital conduit and resource to our media friends and must ensure we find new and innovative ways to communicate brand messaging and help facilitate story development.

Since January, hundreds of reporters and editors in the U.S. have lost jobs at leading news publications, from The Wall Street Journal to the Los Angeles Times. At Condé Nast, 400 staffers even led a one-day walkout to protest the layoffs. This follows a major restructure in November at Reach plc in the UK, which resulted in the loss of 450 jobs, closed down websites and saw print and online teams combined.

Such sweeping changes remind us that we must double down not only on media relations, but media relationships, maintaining a sensitive approach to our communications. Tips shared by journalists include: pause on cold pitching, avoid engaging with media about layoffs on social media, and continue to support stories that are already in the pipeline. On a more positive note, the media are interested in being pitched deeper stories – some examples are provided below.

The following is a summary of global travel trends and industry shifts that our PR teams in the UK, Europe and the U.S. have compiled from recent media feedback, widespread coverage, industry conferences and webinars:


•Rising Spring Travel Costs: TravelPulse reports that rising travel costs are among this year’s spring travel trends, marking the third consecutive year of rising spring travel prices with an unprecedented 11.2% increase over the previous year. European getaways are dominating spring travel wish lists, with early data showing that 47% of all insurance policies sold for trips this season have a European country as their primary destination.

•Shoulder Season Popularity Growing: Given the impact of climate change and the notable instances of extreme weather, particularly in European destinations throughout 2023, it’s anticipated that travel during shoulder seasons will surge in 2024. Intrepid Travel has already reported an increase in interest for shoulder season travel, leading the company to increase its capacity for this period.

•Airline Recovery on the Rise: Delta Air Lines reported an almost 90% recovery in travel demand from its pre-pandemic numbers. The airline sees strong growth in international travel as Americans continue to set their sights on overseas destinations, adding new routes to the Caribbean and other tropical destinations such as Barbados, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

•Potential Travel Impact From 2024 U.S. Presidential Election: While there is ongoing debate about both the positive and negative impacts of the U.S. presidential election on the travel industry, TravelPulse published an interesting article about some of the potential impacts if Donald Trump were to be reelected.


•Deeper Stories: Media are interested in being pitched deeper stories. Culinary freelance writer Sucheta Rawal suggests focusing more on pitches that showcase a first-of-its-kind concept, why you should be trying it and how it’s relevant to the world today versus new menus, national excellence and celebrations of culture. On the travel side, media are less interested in hearing “this hotel/restaurant just opened.” They want content for features that demonstrate trends and tell a bigger story. Launch pitches may require reframing.

•Astro Tourism: Expedia’s Spring Break Travel Outlook for 2024 reveals a rising trend in chasing astronomical events, with flight searches for destinations along the path of the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8 skyrocketing, including a significant 95% increase for Dallas and a 90% jump for Austin.

•Culinary Travel: According to the IMG Travel Outlook Survey, the growing emphasis on culinary tourism is an emerging trend in 2024. The survey findings reveal that cuisine ranks as the second most important aspect for travellers when choosing a destination, indicating a shift toward experiential and gastronomic travel experiences.

•“Phone-Free” Travel: Skyscanner’s 2024 report reveals a rise in “analog travel,” with 31% of young Americans favouring non-digital cameras, while Pinterest has seen an 80% increase in “digital detox” searches. In response, FTLO Travel, a group travel company catering to solo travellers in their 20s and 30s, has introduced a lineup of phone-free trips in 2024 to deepen traveller connections and cultural immersion.


•Annabel Grossman has been appointed travel editor at The Independent, previously serving as associate editor at the newspaper.

•Claire Webb leaves Which? Travel, where she was a senior writer and researcher.

•Sadie Whitelocks has been appointed as U.S. assistant travel editor at MailOnline; she was previously working as a freelance journalist.


•The Messenger, which was a promising news website that opened less than a year ago, shut down abruptly at the end of January, marking a significant loss in the industry. (source)

•Condé Nast is merging Pitchfork, a music publication, with men’s magazine GQ, resulting in layoffs within the online publication. This decision aims to ensure the brand’s ongoing success within the company but involves parting ways with some staff members, including Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel.

•Sports Illustrated notified its staff of extensive layoffs in mid-January, with some immediate and others forthcoming, potentially leading to the complete staff’s departure within three months due to Authentic Brands Group terminating its agreement with The Arena Group, the publication’s publisher.

•The Los Angeles Times announced a significant layoff of at least 115 employees, representing over 20% of its newsroom, amid ongoing financial struggles including projected losses for the year.

The Washington Post reported that former digital media darling Vice will no longer publish at its flagship website,, and will lay off hundreds – although there is a possibility of Vice providing content through other media organisations.