George Stone has been named the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Travel and will lead all of its travel content, including as the editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Stone, most recently an editor at large based in Singapore, has been a writer and editor for Traveler for 18 years. In a statement about his promotion, National Geographic said that he had created editorial content and covered global travel trends and emerging markets during his three-year tenure there, and "worked to strengthen National Geographic Travel's global brand by building strategic relations with travel and tourism industry stakeholders and fostering ongoing relationships with partners."
National Geographic said that Stone had led several initiatives, including Traveler magazine's "Travelers of the Year list," which it said "celebrates everyday people who travel with passion and purpose," and its annual Traveler 50 project, which looks at travel and urban design.
He will report to Susan Goldberg, the editorial director of National Geographic Partners (the name of the National Geographic Society following its deal with 21th Century Fox) and editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine. The previous editor in chief of National Geographic Travel, Maggie Zackowitz, retired in December.
Stone will also oversee National Geographic Travel's digital and social media strategy.
In a phone interview with Travel Weekly from Singapore, where he will only be for a few more days before relocating to Washington, Stone said he would like to better bridge the gap between the print and digital strategies at National Geographic Travel, which have operated relatively separately in the past.
Beyond that, he said his greater mission is to inspire travel. “How can you inspire confidence in a world that seems intimidating, daunting right now in ways that maybe it hasn’t in the past?” he said. “It’s not sound logic that staying in your home is safe and going away is not.
"So engaging these conversations, creating pathways so that people will see [that travel is] accessible, safe and an enriching experience is probably a way over time to encourage and empower people to say that, 'I can do that.'”
Senior editor Michelle Baran contributed to this report.