Coming off a record 2016 and posting double-digit growth into 2017, National Geographic Travel announces additional global expansion plans for Europe and Asia and broadens its portfolio of travel-related media offerings.

The expansion includes the launch of a weekly two-hour travel programming block, the appointment of new executives, a special luxury edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine, and the development of the new National Geographic Travel Lab.

“National Geographic is leveraging the unique power of our brand to reinvigorate and reinvent our ancillary businesses, and our Travel business is a key piece of that,” said Declan Moore, National Geographic Partners CEO. “Furthering the knowledge and understanding of our world is, and always has been, at National Geographic’s core and we believe travel is essential to advancing that mission.  For more than a century we have been showing our audience the wonders of the planet and through our travel offerings, we can also take them there.”

National Geographic Travel’s international growth and development continues with the appointment of Nathan Philpot. Philpot, who has extensive experience in the travel industry, has been named Director, National Geographic Expeditions Europe & Africa and is charged in part with developing and launching the branded consumer travel experiences across Europe and Africa.

Within the Expeditions business, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World continues to grow since launching in January 2015 with 24 charter members. The collection is now up to 55 properties in remarkable destinations around the world, spanning 30 countries and 6 continents. They recently released their first Sustainable Tourism Impact Report, showcasing sustainable tourism in action among their members.

In travel media, National Geographic is strengthening its Travel franchise with the launch of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s first-ever luxury edition, which will be distributed next month to a targeted circulation of 350,000 National Geographic subscribers. The special edition will feature content relevant to the affluent traveler, including luxury hotels, fine dining, and bespoke travel experiences.

Additionally, Andrew Nelson has been tapped to lead a newly formed NG Travel Lab, which will serve as a one-stop shop for custom content creation, distribution and marketing. The team will provide creative client solutions across multiple platforms, from ideation to execution, spanning digital, social, video and print platforms while working with our regional labs in Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Television programming will also reflect National Geographic’s emphasis on travel, with a dedicated travel block starting in July. The two-hour programming section will run every Thursday from 6 to 8:00 PM ET.