Atlas Obscura, the media and experience company that promises to keep travelers off the beaten track, has added former Marriott Global Marketing Officer Karin Timpone and former HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen to its board of directors.
Both of these are expected to help Atlas Obscura grow in an uncertain environment as the brand’s heavy investments in experiences and travel – like a Chernobyl photography course and bird watching in New Zealand – have been brought online as the pandemic has largely shut down the travel industry. Last year the brand raised nearly $ 20 million in funding, a significant portion of which came from Airbnb.
In 2019, these investments accounted for almost 60% of brand sales. And surprisingly, the site’s media revenue is expected to double this year, according to an Atlas Obscura spokesperson. With the search for new brand partnerships with Tastemade and Graduate Hotels, the location’s turnover has exceeded the previous year. More will be announced later this year.
Former CEO David Plotz left the company after six years last October, and longtime media manager Warren Webster is now in charge. The site currently lists nearly 100 international trips for 2021.
Timpone was approached by Atlas Obscura and will be joining the site a year after leaving Marriott, where she spent seven years developing the brand’s Bonvoy loyalty program and expanding it to more than 135 million members. She previously held positions at The Walt Disney Company, Yahoo and Universal Studios.
“They wanted to purposefully expand their board, and I had a very unique career that depends on where the trends are going. I like to be at the early stages of something, ”said Timpone, who spent the summer studying financial technology at Harvard University. “This seems like the right time when the Atlas brand is already alive and where the world is going.”
“Lydia and Karin bring an incredible depth of experience and knowledge to the table that will be invaluable as we present our discovery mission to a global community of curious explorers,” said Webster CEO. “Atlas Obscura is the perfect brand for this moment. Getting people off the main mass tourism routes to the less traveled streets – and finding wonderful things to do at home or near home – that’s what we do. “