Journalist Arnie Weissmann quit his job and sold most of his possessions in anticipation of a journey around the world. He had been researching various destinations but was having little luck finding information about many of the sights he wanted to see. He visited several travel agencies to get more information but discovered that, although the agencies were helpful, they simply did not have a resource with up-to-date information about every country he wanted to visit.
Arnie traveled for a year and a half, camping his way through 10 countries in Africa, cutting an arc through Europe from the Rock of Gibraltar to Athens, exploring the antiquities of the Middle East, trekking the Himalayas in India and Nepal and riding the rails through China. All the while, he was discovering fascinating details he wished he had known before setting out—insider tips that would have made planning his trip much easier. As he traveled, Arnie wrote articles about what he was learning, and he was happy to find that there was strong interest in the type of advice he was providing: More than 40 newspaper travel sections, from The Washington Post to The Los Angeles Times, printed his articles. When he returned to the U.S., Arnie continued to write about travel, but he found himself thinking often about the need for comprehensive information in the travel industry.
Arnie and his travel agent began working on a format for a subscription service that would truly serve the needs of travel agents and travelers.
Among the first decisions made was that the publication would contain no advertising—it was important that the reports be completely honest about the pros and cons of a destination. The next requirement was that the information be updated regularly (today, a global network of correspondents and a staff of in-house editors revises reports daily). Arnie also saw the importance of making the product comprehensive—to include every country in the world. Finally, he wanted the information to be made freely available to the consumers of travel; as a result, all travel agent subscribers are given permission to print copies of the reports for their clients. The reports were first issued on paper in what would eventually become five volumes: International Profiles, North America Profiles, City Profiles International, City Profiles North America, and Ports of Call.
The first copy was printed in Waco, Texas, on October 6, 1986. After reviewing them at the printer, Arnie put a couple of copies in his car. On the way to the Interstate and back to Austin, he passed a Waco travel agency, stopped in, and made the first sale.
He had put together the first prototype country – Benin – in November 1985, but it took 11 months to get the first edition ready for the printer.
The data from all printed volumes was combined into one electronic product, Weissmann's World®: a Windows®-based software program that allowed travel agents to access, customize and print out reports for their clients.
Reed Elsevier buys Weissmann Travel Reports from Arnie Weissmann.
Reed Elsevier restructures the Reed Travel Group as Cahners Travel Group within Cahners Business Information.
Boston Ventures purchases Northstar Travel Media (formerly Cahners Travel Group) from Reed Elsevier.
Intelliguide Professional was launched—formerly Weissmann Travel Reports—the travel industry's first destination intelligence system. It incorporated everything travel professionals valued in Weissmann Travel Reports for more than 19 years. In addition, it contained many new features and more content, such as real-time risk assessments on global destinations, search and custom-reporting capabilities, over 500 destination e-postcards, photos and travel-related news briefs.
Weissmann Reports was launched—formerly Intelliguide Professional.
Weissmann Reports becomes part of NTM's next-generation online product, travel42.
Weissmann Reports transformed into an online stand-alone product. All of its valued content is available with the latest POIs and Destinations to travel advisors in the travel42 platform.
"The travel42 platform greatly enhances and expands the scope of Weissmann Reports, the travel agent resource I started more than 25 years ago. With travel42, you not only get the same trustworthy information you've always found in Weissmann Reports, but it's in a wonderful, user-friendly interface and contains much more information. I still rely on it for every trip I take! It's better than ever."
Arnie Weissmann, Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly
and Founder, Weissmann Reports