Smithsonian to launch new magazine on cultural travel

Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian: Muscogee Creek Treaty Installation in Treaties: Nation to Nation Exhibit
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SMITHSONIAN'S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN - A detail of the 1790 Treaty of the Muscogee (Creek) Nations and the United States now on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian "Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations" on Monday, March 16, 2015 in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Smithsonian Enterprises, the business arm of the popular museum complex, is launching its first new magazine in 30 years with a focus on cultural travelers.

Smithsonian Journeys will hit newsstands April 21 as a quarterly publication, the publisher said Friday. Each edition will focus on one destination with photography and stories about history, food, customs and science.

The first edition is dedicated to Paris with stories about its history, the origins of the croissant and other topics, said Editor-in-Chief Victoria Pope, who previously edited National Geographic and U.S. News and World Report. Like the Smithsonian museums, the travel magazine will include some science, art and a lot of history, she said.

“I don’t think there’s anything like it,” Pope said. “We’re really combining some qualities of long-form writing with some consumer pieces that are very good with stuff about resources, what to do.”

Steve Giannetti, chief revenue officer of Smithsonian Enterprises, said there was an opening in market for Smithsonian Journeys as a highly priced quarterly like a “bookazine.” Such publications have been successful amid declines for other print publications, he said. Travel also has provided a large advertising base for sister publication Smithsonian magazine as well, he said.

“This is targeted to a cultural traveler, somebody that when they go to a destination; they want to do more than just get on the hop-on, hop-off bus,” he said. “To do that properly, to really delve into a destination.”

The Smithsonian has also operated a travel service for 30 years, providing expert-guided tours under the brand Smithsonian Journeys.

The new quarterly will launch with a distribution of more than 150,000. Copies will sell for $13.99 each. It will be available at supermarkets, book stores, airports and on some cruise lines.

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