BBC Travel is a feature section within BBC.com that offers high-quality content on destinations around the world that aim to amaze, immerse, inspire and connect. It is fuelled by new, unexpected and emotionally engaging stories from a global community of editors, writers, photographers and video journalists who provide a trusted perspective on the world of travel. We are independent, impartial and honest.
BBC Travel is targeted at curious, passionate readers who want to learn about the world as much as they want to travel there. They are professional, aspirational and intelligent. They are more concerned with the value of an experience than its price.
What is BBC Travel’s content strategy?
We tell readers about places they’ve never been and show them a new side to places they think they know. With an open mind, an eye for the surprising and a global voice, we inspire our readers to fall in love with the world – and humanity.
In a complex world of negative news and xenophobia at one extreme, and top 10 lists and substance-less roundups at the other, we’ve lost the experience and sheer joy of travel. BBC Travel aims to provide an antidote by celebrating the people, places and cultures that make this world so wonderfully diverse and amazing.
To do this, we tell stories with unexpected angles – on themes such as culture & identity, food & hospitality, and adventure & experience – that haven’t been covered before. Not only do we teach our readers something new, we change their perceptions about places and people. Through our travel stories, we connect readers to cultures around the world, and appeal to people who aren’t travelling at the moment as much as those who are.
We’re looking for experiential travel videos and multimedia presentations that inspire, entice and excite. Videos should be original, character-driven and filmed in a self-authored narrative style.
BBC Travel videos sit primarily on the BBC Travel webpage, but will be offered to BBC World News and BBC Languages for TV broadcasting and online posting as well.
The videos are tailored for mobile and digital audiences. Each digital video will be character-led and immersive, like a short documentary (usually around 3 to 4 minutes long). There is no reporter and no narrator. We will use text and subtitles to encourage mobile phone viewership.
HD 1080 H264 is the preferred format. We will send you templates for text and subtitles.
We require three versions of the same video:
- One clean version with split audio tracks – 4 minutes
- One version with text slides and subtitles – 2 to 4 minutes
- One version cut square for Facebook – maximum 2 minutes
We might also ask for a vertical version to be featured as ‘video of the day’ on the BBC mobile channels.
Additionally, we require some additional assets:
- Stills for promotion
- Time-lapses upon request
- Ambient video (for multimedia projects) upon request
The fee will be determined upon commissioning.
Pitches must fit the above criteria. Please submit a title (max 39 characters) and a short synopsis (50-100 words) briefly explaining the chosen topic/theme/angle, why you think it would work on the site, why it is relevant to our audience, how is it ‘shareable’ and why you should be filming the story, etc. And please send links to previous examples of your work.
Here are examples of some of our favourite videos:
The secret world of Granada’s Alhambra palace
Spain’s Caminito del Rey is not for the faint of heart
We are always open to new topics on destinations all over the world. You can also send specific pitches for our already-established series, including:
To the Ends of the Earth
In this immersive multimedia series, BBC Travel will take readers to some of the most remote places on the planet to find out what it’s like to live there. These places are renowned for their extraordinary locations, but those who take the trouble to get there will be rewarded by some seriously interesting food, people and traditions. We’ll uncover secret, cultural gems in difficult-to-reach and unknown destinations, while also meeting the local people along the way.
Using multimedia tools, we’ll tell their stories and showcase their destinations through narratives; short, documentary-style videos; drone footage; and bold and beautiful imagery.
A tempestuous isle of 1,000 shipwrecks (multimedia)
The Canadians bring back Gaelic culture (multimedia)
Canada’s tiny disputed island (multimedia)
In this immersive video and multimedia series, BBC Travel takes a look at culturally significant foods that are woven into a place’s heritage. We will cover destinations that have strong food traditions and unearth unknown food cultures, celebrating what makes them special or changing your perception about that place. We’ll explore ancient practices and highlight rare or endangered local foods and dishes. Most importantly, we’ll take the reader to these places and help them savour every moment. Examples from some written stories and videos:
The Icelandic bread baked by geysers (multimedia)
The Moroccan dish heated by a hammam (multimedia)
The cake French people cook on a spit (video)
In this new BBC Travel video and multimedia series, we will tell inspiring, first-person stories of people who made the bold choice to live in far away, romantic, remote or beautiful places that most people probably have never heard of.
Our protagonists are fulfilling a dream or a mission; they are creating their own worlds. They might be building their own castle in the desert, the last person left in a village at the edge of a jungle or the sole guardian of an ancient tradition. Living in unconventional or surprising ways, they will introduce our viewers to corners of the world that will amaze, surprise and inspire us for their natural and cultural beauty.
In this heavily character-led series, we will create an emotional connection with the viewer, appealing to universal themes and at the same time revealing the character’s sense of adventure, courage and freedom. These stories will be highly sharable for their positive and inspirational value and make readers fall in Love with the world and humanity.
The Icelandic model who shears sheep (multimedia)
The man who built a Chinese utopia (video)
We will thoroughly discuss the idea with you before filming. We are also happy to give guidance and advice throughout the production. We typically do two rounds of edits. Upon receiving your first cut, we will review it and provide feedback if necessary. Please let us know if you’ll be off the grid for some time and unavailable for edits.
Press trips, Sponsored Travel, Freebies, Comps and Discounts
BBC Travel does not allow press trips, sponsored travel, freebies, comps, funding assistance or media discounts, except in the rare case in which it is the only opportunity for press to be a part of something before the public launch, it is the only way to gain access to something or the story would be logistically unattainable otherwise. In all cases, this decision is up to the discretion of the editor, and any proposal to accept or attempt to receive such financial assistance should be referred to a senior editorial figure who will ensure the acceptance of such assistances does not compromise the BBC's editorial integrity.
Given the many permutations that sponsored travel can take, we expect you to let us know when pitching if the story stemmed from an experience for which you received any funding assistance, or if you’ll need to seek funding assistance to complete the assignment. In all cases, we need to approve it before commissioning, there is no assurance of coverage in exchange for such services and suppliers will not have an editorial say in the content.
We require all rights to videos (and any still photography) and will not purchase a piece that has been/will run elsewhere.
Please see our full author brief, for more information on our overall content strategy, style of storytelling, commissioning specs and rules, press trip/travel policy, etc.
Multimedia Editor – Anna Bressanin