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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Australian Society of Travel Writers Announce 2016 Awards for Excellence



Australia's top travel writers and public relations professionals were honoured at the annual ASTW Awards for Excellence at a gala awards ceremony held at Durbanville Hills in Cape Town, South Africa on 18th August 2016.

The top writer accolade, Travel Writer of the Year, which is judged from a selection of three stories by the writer, was awarded to John Borthwick. John, has been a member of the ASTW since 1990 and his award-winning stories were published in both the travel sections of The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald's Traveller section. Finalists in the hotly contested award were Kerry van der Jagt and Craig Tansley. John was also named the winner of the Best International Story over 1000 words.

While having received awards in the past, John was particularly thrilled to receive the awards this year thanking the sponsor South African Tourism, the editors for their support in publishing his stories, the PRs and tourism boards for getting him to the places and congratulated his fellow finalists saying it was an honour to be on any step on a podium with them.

Photographer of the Year went to Dan Avila for images published in Vacations & Travel magazine and on Luxe.com. Dan was delighted with his win, saying “ I am extremely excited to have won this award - it is a huge honour.”

The top PR Accolade, Communicator of the Year, was awarded to Klick Communications. Kim McKay Founder and Director was in Cape Town to accept the award, saying “Klick Communications is honoured to be recognised by the esteemed Australian Society of Travel Writers. Communications Team of the Year is a prestigious award that we are so proud to call ours for 2016”.

These prestigious awards are now in their 23rd year and are a highlight of the annual ASTW Convention for the ASTW, with over 70 guests travelling from across Australia to attend.

Other categories included Best Family Travel Story, Best Travel Broadcaster, Best Australian Story and Best Food Travel Story. Categories, winners and finalists are detailed below.

“The ASTW members represent the leading writers, editors, publishers, content creators and public relations professionals of the Australian travel industry. Over 300 entries were received across the 17 Award categories with an exceptional calibre of entrants,” said ASTW President Danielle Lancaster.

“There were 3 finalists for each category, and being named a finalist is an absolute honour in itself. I would like to congratulate all who were named as being the best in their field and I would also like to thank each of the sponsors together with South African Tourism, who were the major sponsor of this year's convention. We also thank the many judges who gave their time to judge the awards. This year, we had esteemed judges from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland and the USA with many commenting on the high quality of work.”

The Jack Butters Award is an honorary award given to someone who has made an important contribution to the ASTW and this year was awarded to the team that created and ran the ASTW Trivia Night for the past 20 years – Mike Smith, David McGonigal, Glenn A. Baker and Laura Spiers.

Jack Butters, was the founding president of the Australian Society of Travel Writers in 1975 and a Life Member, who championed the need to define the ethics that govern responsible travel writing.

Now, 41 years later his vision, aspirations and ambition for the future of the ASTW have been more than realised and continue to flourish and gain global recognition. While the travel industry has changed dramatically over the years, members have learned to adapt to the ongoing challenges of a profession, and an industry, that is constantly evolving, especially in social media.

For the detailed history of the ASTW please visit:

FULL LIST of WINNERS:
1) Best Story about AGM Host Destination 2015 - Sponsored by Voyages Indigenous Tourism
WINNER – MARIE BARBIERI
The Red Beating Heart – Australia & New Zealand magazine
OTHER FINALISTS
Justine Costigan - Written in the Stars – Jetstar magazine
Angela Saurine - The Heart of the Rock – Best Weekend – News Ltd

2) Best Family Travel Story – Sponsored by Signature Media  
WINNER – MARK DAFFEY
Are We There Yet? -– Traveller – Fairfax Media             
OTHER FINALISTS
Belinda Jackson- Dolphin Island Fiji: Family Experience for a chosen few- Traveller – Fairfax Media
Helen Hayes - Salzburg - A Favourite Thing – Holidays with Kids magazine
Sheriden Rhodes - Island Life Revisited - Five Star Kids Magazine           

3) Best Travel Broadcaster – Sponsored by Tourism and Events Queensland 
WINNER – GREG GRAINGER – GREG GRAINGER TV 
OTHER FINALISTS
Ben Groundwater – Beauty and the Backpacker travel web series – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Quentin Long – Mornings/Today Extra - Channel 9

4) Best Australian Story – Sponsored by Tourism Australia
WINNER – KERRY VAN DER JAGT
Where to swim and sing with dolphins - Traveller - Fairfax Media
OTHER FINALISTS
Andrew Bain - Cape Crusaders - Traveller - Fairfax Media
Celeste Mitchell - Girls Just Wanna Have 4WD Fun - Escape - News Ltd

5) Best Food Travel Story – Sponsored by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts 
WINNER – CARLA GROSSETTI
A Taste of History – Cuisine magazine
OTHER FINALISTS
Sue Wallace - Summer in Aspen – Delicious
Sue Gough Henly - Dining for the Greater Good – Australian Traveller magazine

6) Best Responsible Tourism story – Sponsored by Intrepid Travel
WINNER – JOCELYN PRIDE
Alaska Untouched - Wellbeing           
OTHER FINALISTS
Kerry van der Jagt - Monaco's Prince Albert is on a Mission to protect the environment - Traveller - Fairfax Media
Andrew Bain - Nature's treasure trove – Traveller - Fairfax Media

7) Best Adventure Story – Sponsored by G Adventures 
WINNER – LEE ATKINSON
Driving Across the Simpson Desert – Traveller – Fairfax Media
OTHER FINALISTS
Andrew Bain – Back to Peak Performance – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – Drums of the Jungle God – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Roderick Eime – Southern Exposure – MINDFOOD magazine

8) Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product – Sponsored by ZOIK
WINNER – CAROLINE DAVIDSON – Rocky Mountain International – The Real America
OTHER FINALISTS
Karena Noble – Voyages Indigenous Tourism
Leigh Maloney – The Little Nell

9) Best Cruise Story – Sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Oceania
WINNER – CRAIG TANSLEY
Maldives Luxury Adventure - Traveller - Fairfax Media
OTHER FINALISTS
John Borthwick – Burmese Daze - Traveller - Fairfax Media
Jocelyn Pride – It's (not) all Akademik – International Traveller magazine

10) Best International Story Over 1000 words – Sponsored by AccorHotels 
WINNER – JOHN BORTHWICK
Where the Cold War Thawed – Weekend Australian 
OTHER FINALISTS
Craig Tansley – Where Cross Country Skiing is a Religion – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Marian McGuinness – Scents and Sensibility – Weekend Australian

11) Best International Story Under 1000 words – Sponsored by Macau Government Tourist Office
WINNER – TIM RICHARDS
A Boy and A Coin – Traveller – Fairfax Media
OTHER FINALISTS
Rob McFarland - Cowboy in Training – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Kerry van der Jagt - In Wake of Van Gogh – Traveller – Fairfax Media

12) PR Campaign of the Year - Sponsored by TravMedia 
WINNER - KARENA NOBLE - Launch of Field of Light, Uluru
OTHER FINALISTS
Kim McKay - Positively Wellington Tourism
Natalie Schofield - Westin - World Sleep Day

13) Best Tourism and Travel News Story – Sponsored by ASTW 
WINNER – LEE MYLNE
Traversing the Long, Open Road – Travel Bulletin 
OTHER FINALISTS
Kristine Madden - The Wheel of Fortune – Travel Bulletin
Sheriden Rhodes - Well, well, well – Traveller – Fairfax Media

14) Best Travel Blog – Sponsored by TFE Hotels 
WINNER – RENE YOUNG – Together We Roam
OTHER FINALISTS
Aleney de Winter - Boy Eats World           
Jayne Gorman - Girl Tweets World

15) Jack Butters Award – ASTW
WINNER –   Mike Smith, David McGonigal, Glenn A. Baker and Laura Spiers, for going over and above by organising the trivia night for the past 20 years.

16) Communicator or Communications Team of the Year – Sponsored by TravMedia 
WINNER – KLICK COMMUNICATIONS
OTHER FINALISTS
Karena Noble
AccorHotels

17) Photographer of the Year – Sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand
WINNER – DAN AVILA
Alone in the Universe – Luxe.com
Love on the Bosphorus – Vacations & Travel magazine
Heaven - Luxe.com 
OTHER FINALISTS                       
Jocelyn Pride - Three Pillars of Travel: Protect/Respect/Reflect                       
Mark Daffey - Antiquity/Harmony/Destiny           

18) Travel Writer of the Year – Sponsored by South African Tourism
WINNER – JOHN BORTHWICK
Where the Cold War Thawed – The Weekend Australian
Burmese Daze - Traveller - Fairfax Media            
In the Wake of Cape Crusaders Traveller - Fairfax Media           
OTHER FINALISTS   
Kerry van der Jagt
Where to Sing and Swim with Wild Dolphins – Traveller - Fairfax Media                        
Grin and Bear It - Traveller - Fairfax Media
Myanmar: Floating on a wave of hope for a new beginning - Traveller - Fairfax Media
Craig Tansley
Coming Up Trumps - Traveller - Fairfax Media            
The Last Great Ski Town - Traveller - Fairfax Media            
Maldives Luxury Adventure on a Budget - Traveller - Fairfax Media           
For more information on the ASTW, visit www.astw.org.au


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