How to Pitch: Recommend

Travel Writing — By on March 5, 2012 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Lukis
Special to The Lost Girls 

Helping travel agents sell travel is Recommend’s motto. For more than 43 years, the editors of this publication have been traveling the globe in search of the most in-depth destination and product information for its 45,000-plus North American travel agent subscribers. Recommend believes that travel agents are more crucial than ever in this age of information overload. Agents provide travelers with a one-stop source for stress free vacation planning. This week, The Lost Girls spoke with Recommend Managing Editor Paloma Villaverde de Rico about what goes into a winning pitch for the publication.

What sections are open to freelancers for pitching?

Our magazine is divided into world regions, so we accept pitches for all sections except Hotel Desk and Tour Talk. What we look for, specifically though, are pieces from writers who have been to a destination/hotel/cruise ship (what we call on-sites and on-boards), rather than general features on a destination. The starting rate for stories is usually $.30 per word, with rates being negotiable.

Is there a particular format or style you prefer when it comes to freelance work? Are you more interested in narrative pieces, “list” articles, guides, etc?

We prefer narrative pieces that offer a sense of place but are not first person and not in blog style.

What makes a great pitch?  Can you give examples?

A pitch that includes a destination or a travel product that is either an up-and-coming destination or travel product—i.e. Myanmar and Borneo river cruising, which we’ve already covered.

What doesn’t make a good pitch?

Two things: First-person subjects that have no value as sellable destinations or products/pitches where the writer has obviously not even bothered to check our content before approaching us.

Similarly, what are the most common mistakes made by freelancers when pitching?

Freelancers offer destination pieces, but don’t keep in mind our readers, i.e., the travel agent. Every piece we produce for the magazine should always keep the travel agent in mind by providing information that will help travel agents sell travel.

To which editor should pitches be sent?

Send info to Rick Shively ( or to me, Paloma Villaverde de Rico (

Finally, what sets Recommend apart from other publications that are available? Is there anything in particular about the publication’s background that would be important for freelancers to keep in mind before pitching?

The publication has consistently focused on editorial promoting the destination and travel product concept, which we believe is the only information that helps travel agents truly sell travel. We cover market segments within the destination coverage. This engages our audience in selling specific vacations (properties/destinations) where they can put clients in the right environment.


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