New Bern Post LLC, the New Bern-based parent company of New Bern Post, has acquired North Carolina Travels (link), a statewide travel website established in 2010 by Matt Barrett, respected around the world for his travel writing.
The handoff occurred several weeks ago and went live a week ago in a soft launch.
New Bern Post Editor & Publisher Randy Foster has reimagined North Carolina Travels while at the same time retaining and updating all the content and qualities of the original site.
What is new is how North Carolina Travels will be approaching tourism and travel moving forward.
While Barrett will continue to contribute to the site, Foster is seeking partners across the state to provide content and advertising services within the state’s numerous tourism locations and regions.
“The first priority is partnering with existing independent news sites. They have the connections and insider knowledge of the communities they serve,” Foster said. “They can provide unique and valuable insights to tourists and travelers.”
The next priority for partners are startup news sites and independent journalists and advertising sales professionals.
“I see North Carolina Travels serving two purposes,” Foster said. “First, it will be a travel website that, over time, will become unmatched in its content and quality.
“Next, I see it as a resource for local journalism across the state to access new ad sales revenue while at the same time sharing what they know with travelers who visit their communities,” Foster said.
New Bern Post LLC began in 2017 when Foster resigned as executive editor at the New Bern Sun Journal over management differences.
He started New Bern Post as a hobby, ramping up coverage as necessary, such as during Hurricane Florence in 2018, when New Bern Post was the only local news site that continued to actively cover impacts to New Bern during the storm.
He turned his attention full time to New Bern Post in March 2020 as COVID-19 made its first appearance in Craven County and has led coverage of the pandemic in Craven County since that time.
At the same time, New Bern Post started selling advertising and marketing services to local businesses, using dynamic, social media-oriented ad campaigns rather than traditional display ads.
“What we were missing at New Bern Post is the ability to adequately serve the travel and tourism industry in New Bern,” Foster said.
New Bern Post has a carefully groomed audience that is extremely local, highly educated, and concerned about local politics and policy.
An extremely local audience does not necessarily benefit travel and tourism-oriented businesses, and when the opportunity arose to acquire North Carolina Travels, Foster jumped at it.
“Even though North Carolina Travels is a 10-year-old website, in a very real sense it is a startup, especially the way I envision it moving forward,” Foster said.
The New Bern section of North Carolina Travels is well along its way, with sections and subsections, as well as links to articles about local advertisers.
It will be used as a model for sections covering the rest of the state.
“While it may seem like I am supporting competing interests with information about tourism in New Bern as well as the rest of the state, the reality is, when North Carolina thrives, New Bern thrives — we all thrive,” Foster said.
For more information about either New Bern Post or North Carolina Travels, contact Foster.