Winners of the prestigious 2016 AITO Travel Writer of the Year Awards
19 October 2016
The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) has announced the results of its 20th Travel Writer of the Year awards. This year saw the highest number of entries since the awards began in 1997, with 240 articles submitted, all of an exceptionally high standard.
For the first time, AITO introduced a brand new category – Travel Trade Writer of the Year.
Additionally, after much deliberation, and following a suggestion from a high-profile writer, there were two separate categories for the Travel Writer of the Year Award: Under 1,500 words (for articles commissioned to be short and punchy) and Over 1,500 words (for those that can be as long and descriptive as the writer wishes).
Shortlisted from a total of 240 entries, the names of those who scored highest are as follows:
The top 10 places for the AITO Travel Writer of the Year award 2016 (Over 1,500 words) were as follows:
1. Liz Edwards, The Sunday Times Travel magazine
2. Hannah McKeand, SUITCASE magazine
3. Chris Haslam, The Sunday Times
4. Sarah Barrell, National Geographic Traveller
5. Alicia Miller, The Sunday Times Travel magazine
6. Nick Boulos, Wanderlust
7. Paul Bloomfield, The Sunday Telegraph
8. Nicky Holford, The Guardian
9. Sue Watt, The Daily Telegraph
10. Martin Hemming, The Sunday Times
11. Kerry Christiani, Lonely Planet Traveller
12. Annie Bennett, The Financial Times
The top 10 places for the AITO Travel Writer of the Year award 2016 (Under 1,500 words) were as follows:
1. Michelle Jana Chan, The Daily Telegraph
2. Aaron Miller, The Times
3. Rachel Johnson, Town & Country magazine
4. Matthew Teller, BBC News magazine
5. Ben Lerwill, Rough Guides
6. Nigel Tisdall, Marie Claire magazine
7. Jeremy Head, The Guardian
8. Simon Heptinstall, The Mail on Sunday
9. Richard Mellor, The Explorer
10. Jamie Lafferty, The Guardian
11. Sarah Bailey, Red magazine
12. Janine Di Giovanni, Harper’s Bazaar
The top eight places for the AITO Young Travel Writer of the Year award 2016 were as follows:
1. Francesca Angelini, The Sunday Times
2. Simon Parker, The Daily Telegraph
3. Emily Ames, SUITCASE magazine
4. Alex Allen, The Sunday Times
5. Cathy Adams, Escapism
6. Sophie McGrath, The Lonely Planet Traveller
7. Hazel Plush, The Daily Telegraph
8. Nicola Trup, The Independent
The top five places for the Travel Trade Writer of the Year 2016 were as follows:
1. Joanna Booth, Aspire
2. Josephine Price, ABTA magazine
3. Meera Dattani, Travel Weekly
4. Tamara Hinson, Travel Weekly
5. Sophie Griffiths, TTG
6. Lauren Jarvis, Selling Travel
The top five places for the AITO Travel Blogger of the Year award 2016 are as follows:
1. James Draven, Dearlydepartures.com
2. Emma Gregg, AllAboutEverywhere.com
3. Mike Gerrard, TravelDistilled.com
4. Hannah Summers, Burgersandbruce.com
5. David Whitley, Countrybycountry.com
6. Phoebe Smith, Wanderlust.com
Acknowledgements: Travel Writer of the Year Awards 2016
Our Sponsors and Judges
The Travel Writer of the Year awards are always extremely hotly contested and, over the past 19 years, some of the most respected travel journalists in the industry have featured on the role of honour (see past winners’ page). It recognises excellence in the huge field of travel writing, and this prestigious award is always an impressive entry on any writer’s CV.
Many thanks to our sponsors this year, who are offering prizes to the 5 category winners. In addition AITO would like to thank our judges for their time and dedication to finding articles with that winning-formula: well-known, interesting, informative and inspirational. This year we also had 12 AITO members participating in the first round of judging, of whom we offer our sincerest thanks and appreciation.
Sunvil - Young Travel Writer of the Year
Tucan Travel - Blogger of the Year
Classic Collection - Travel Trade Writer of the Year
On Foot Holidays - Travel Writer of the Year (Short)
Ramblers - Travel Writer of the Year (Long)Our judges
Derek Moore – AITO Chairman
Desmond Balmer – Joint Editor of The Good Hotel Guide and former Editor of The Observer
Christopher Kirker – Former Owner and Chief Executive of Kirker Holidays and former AITO Chairman
Sue Ockwell – Managing Director of Travel PR and former Chief Executive of AITO
First-round Judges (AITO members)
Alison Hall - InnTravel
David Owen - Kudu Travel
James Palmer-Tomkinson - PT Ski Ltd
Martin Garland - Expressions Holidays
Aled Evans - Undiscovered Destinations
Melissa Hirst - Pettitts
Tav Kelly - KE Adventure Travel
Ted Wake - Kirker Holidays
John Thirtle - Geodyssey
Jess Millett - Tucan Travel
John Telfer - Explore
James Mundy - InsideAsia Tours
The winners will be announced, and the awards presented, at this year’s AITO Meets the Media event, held between 3pm and 6pm on Tuesday 18 October at Central Hall, Westminster. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm on Friday 7 October 2016.
AITO 2016 TRAVEL WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) has today announced the short list for the prestigious annual AITO Travel Writer of the Year awards. The five categories – Travel Writer of the Year (Over 1,500 words), Travel Writer of the Year (Under 1,500 words), Young Travel Writer of the Year, Travel Trade Writer of the Year and the Travel Blogger of the Year– were shortlisted from a total of 240 entries, which is the highest number received since the awards started in 1997.
AITO Travel Writer of the Year (Over 1,500 words):
AITO Travel Writer of the Year (Under 1,500 words):
AITO Young Travel Writer of the Year:
AITO Travel Trade Writer of the Year:
AITO Travel Blogger of the Year:
The winners will be announced, and the awards presented, at this year’s AITO Meets the Media event, held between 3pm and 6pm on Tuesday 18 October at Central Hall, Westminster.Please RSVP to email@example.com 6pm on Friday 7 October 2016.
If you are a bona fide journalist and would like to attend AITO’s Meet the Media event, please apply for an invitation, quoting your usual outlets and your interests, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone who entered the AITO Travel Writer of the Year awards. Entries were of an extremely high standard, and the competition for places on the short list was more intense than ever. Good luck to those shortlisted!
For further information, visit www.aito.com.
Ends/ 15 September 2016Press:For further information on AITO, please contact Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email Rebecca Milne (email@example.com) or Sue Ockwell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2015 AITO Awards
Best AITO Operator, Agent and Affiliate
The Association of Independent Tour Operators (www.aito.com) celebrated its 40th anniversary at a special dinner and awards ceremony last night (Tuesday 23 February) in the dazzling Gladstone Library and Reading & Writing Room of the Royal Horseguards Hotel, London.
Over 150 AITO Tour Operators, AITO Agents, Affiliated Business Partners and Tourist Offices, Social and Honorary members and special guests attended. Simon Reeve – the British author, television presenter and explorer – was the special guest for the evening and delivered an inspirational speech. AITO was also delighted that Colin Murison Small, its founder and very first chairman, was able to attend the event.
AITO’s members’ awards, which have been reintroduced after a gap of a few years and are now based around client reviews on AITO.com. The categories were AITO Tour Operator of the Year, AITO Agent of the Year and AITO Affiliate of the Year.2015 AITO Tour Operator of the Year
This award goes to the member which has had exceptional customer reviews on AITO.com during 2015. The number of reviews had to be 10% or more of the total annual passengers carried to ensure a true reflection of that company's performance.
Gold: Peter Sommer Travels
Silver: CICERONI Travel
Bronze: The Mountain Company
2015 AITO Agent of the Year
This award goes to the AITO Agent which has made bookings with the largest number of AITO tour operators during 2015 as voted by AITO’s tour operators.
Gold: Traveller’s World Salisbury
Silver: Journeys à la Carte
Bronze: Deva Travel
2015 AITO Affiliate of the Year
This award goes to the AITO Business Partner which provided the best service and product in 2015 as voted by AITO tour operators and agents.
Joint Gold winners: 3For and Holiday Extras