AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators

AITO Awards

Travel Writer of the Year Awards – Tuesday 9th November 2021

The 200+ strong Specialist Travel Association, AITO (, is delighted to announce the much-delayed 2020 shortlist for its prestigious annual Travel Writer of the Year Awards.

Over 300 articles were submitted, in response to AITO’s call to the industry’s finest to submit their travel tales, with the judges seeking features that were inspirational, informative, interesting and well-written. 

The judges were, as always, very impressed by the quality of writing and the wide range of destinations and subject matter. 

Please find the full shortlist below:

Travel Writer of the Year+-


AITO Travel Writer of the Year 2020 (Over 1,500 words)

Adrian Phillips
Emma Gregg
Emma John
Juliet Rix
Lisa Grainger
Mark Stratton
Nick Trend
Stanley Stewart
Steven King

AITO Travel Writer of the Year 2020 (Under 1,500 words)

Alex Allen
Benjamin Parker
Chris Haslam
Ianthe Butt
Juliet Rix
Karen Gardiner
Kerry Walker
Meera Dattani
Monisha Rajesh
Nigel Tisdall

AITO Young Travel Writer of the Year 2020

Amelia Duggan
Benjamin Parker
Charlotte Wigram-Evans
Erica Bush
Farida Zeynalova
Georgia Stephens
Hugo Brown
Jonathan Wells
Tamsin Wressell

AITO Travel Trade Writer of the Year 2020

Anthony Pearce
Erica Bush
Hollie-Rae Brader
Katie McGonagle
Lauren Jarvis
Meera Dattani
Stuart Forster

AITO Travel Blogger of the Year 2020

Abigail King
Heidi Fuller-Love
John Carter
James Draven
Jamie Lafferty
Kerry Walker
Lauren Jarvis
Mike MacEachran
Phoebe Smith
Ramy James Salameh
Shafik Meghji
Stuart Forster

If you would like to register to attend the event and meet Tour Operator’s and Tourist Boards who will have new stories and experiences to share, please contact Laura Forbes at Travel PR –

Tour Operator of the Year+-


The prestigious AITO Tour Operator of the Year award is awarded annually to those tour operators with the highest ratings on, judged from AITO Reviews. The award is presented at an AITO members only event, the Annual General Meeting, in July. Below are the winners from 2015 to present.


Gold  Inside Travel Group
Silver  Peter Sommer Travels and On Foot Holidays
Bronze  McKinlay Kidd


Gold  The Mountain Company
Silver  Peter Sommer Travels
Bronze  McKinlay Kidd


Gold  Peter Sommer Travels
Silver  Expert Africa
Bronze  Absolute Escapes


Gold  McKinlay Kidd
Silver  Peter Sommer Travels
Bronze  Casas Cantabricas


Gold  Peter Sommer Travels
Silver  CICERONI Travel
Bronze  The Mountain Company