Discovery Communications, (more familiar to many as the Discovery Channel) also recently branched into travel marketing with Discovery Destinations.
Described by the company as a collection of distinct, independent destination properties that are positioned to deliver guests an extraordinary experiential vacation, the program offers vacations in such places as a shaker village, a 200-acre estate in Oregon, or on a private island off the Georgia coast.
Discovery Destinations leverage the Discovery media empire, to offer travel-inspired experiences where guests are able to immerse themselves in history, culture and education.
Media and travel industry experts say none of this blurring of the lines between media giants and travel marketing is all that surprising.
Frank Vertolli, cofounder of Net Conversion, a digital marketing agency that specializes in travel, says the moves that Discovery Channel and National Geographic have made speak to a broader consumer demand, particularly among Millenials, for unique experiences.
"It's becoming less about what you own and more about what you have done, where you have been and what you have been part of, for example," Vertolli explains.
The trend among media giants of marketing travel themselves also reveals an increased effort to reach audiences, in a world cluttered with more ways to consume media than ever before (television, cable, online), says Vertolli.
"You see many companies getting into the experiential space" Vertolli continues. "Virgin took a music brand and extended into hotels."
The benefit for the consumer meanwhile, is a more authentic travel experience, he says.
Leora Lanz, a full-time lecturer at Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration, adds that such diversifying also allows companies to increase their revenue streams and strengthen their brand.