ASTW Announces 2018 Convention Key Dates, Hotel & Airline Partners

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) announces key dates and event partners for the 2018 Convention, ahead of registrations opening next week. Sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand, the convention will be held in Bangkok from 16-19 August at Anantara Riverside Hotels and Avani Riverside with an exclusive flight offer available from Thai Airways International.

Registration and flight bookings open 5 March via astw.org.au. Key dates include:

  • Convention registration: 5 March-15 April
  • Flight bookings: 5 March-30 June
  • Members notified of famils: from 4 May
  • Convention: 16-19 August 

The 2018 Convention consists of a three-day program of events; including speaker sessions and workshops, the annual general meeting, and events culminating in the Awards for Excellence gala dinner.

Award sponsorships and speaking opportunities are available for members and non-members. For sponsor enquiries, please contact secretariat@astw.org.au. For speaking opportunities, please send a pitch to pr@astw.org.au.

Tourism Authority of Thailand’s 2018 messaging “Open to the New Shades of Thailand” showcases the depth of Thailand’s tourism as a land of amazing diversity worth discovering further. A comprehensive pre and post famil program for media and PR members is themed around “Unique Thai Local Experiences” with a selection of 11 itineraries, from hillside villages to national parks and island retreats.

Set on the banks of the grand Chao Phraya River, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort is a thriving oasis offering a unique way to experience the City of Angels. Majestic palms swaying in the breeze. Spa treatments hidden within lush tropical gardens. Luxurious suites lit by the twinkle of the city skyline. Delectable meals fusing tastes from around the globe.

At AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel, wake up in rooms and suites with arresting views – each and every one looks over the river and the city skyline. Wine and dine sky high and toast to the City of Angels taking in the panoramic views of the city’s skyscape. Treat yourself to a spa day or lounge by the rooftop infinity pool.

During 2018, Thai Airways International celebrates 58 years flying travellers from the heart of Asia across the world and 47 years connecting Australians with the world’s favourite Asian city, Bangkok. THAI now flies 39 times a week from Australia with daily services from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and connections through its global hub, Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport, to popular destinations in Thailand and across Asia to India and Europe.

For more information about ASTW or to become a member, visit www.astw.org.au or contact Secretariat, Justine White, on secretariat@astw.org.au.

 

Tourism Australia and Tourism New Zealand support ASTW with sponsorship for 2019 convention awards

THE Australian Society of Travel Writers (astw.org.au) is pleased to announce that Tourism Australia and Tourism New Zealand have come on board as sponsors for key writing awards, to be announced at the 2019 ASTW Convention held in Cairns in October.

Helen Hayes, President of the ASTW said that the support of such prestigious tourism authorities is a massive boost for the Society and awards process.

“The support of two of the world’s leading tourism authorities is testament to the credibility of the ASTW Awards for Excellence, and to the high calibre of our members,” she said.

Tourism Australia is sponsoring two categories – Best Australian Story Over 1000 Words and Best Australian Story Under 1000 Words. Tourism New Zealand is sponsoring the Best Food Travel Story.

The 2019 Awards for Excellence are an annual celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communication, and will be presented at the annual ASTW Convention in Cairns, hosted by Tourism Tropical North Queensland. There are 21 categories, open to either writers, digital influencers or public relations members.  New this year is an award for the Best Travel Book – reintroduced after a hiatus of several years.

For more information about sponsoring awards, lunches or events; or for membership enquiries, please visit our website for more information or contact secretariat Justine White on secretariat@astw.org.au

About the ASTW

The ASTW is a 300-strong group of travel writers, editors, radio and television broadcasters and producers, bloggers, guide book authors and photographers (as well as travel industry public relations and marketing professionals) whose work appears regularly in major newspapers, magazines, airwaves and websites across Australia and the world.

All ASTW members must satisfy strict criteria to join and are obligated to substantiate their membership annually by providing details of their published output or industry participation. They must also adhere to a Code of Ethics. By ensuring that only bona fide applicants are admitted, the ASTW maintains its integrity and the professionalism of the travel industry.

Business Basics

ASTW are pleased to partner with Visit USA for a third consecutive year

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) is pleased to announce that Visit USA Australia (Inc) (Visit USA) have come on board as the sponsor for this year’s coveted Travel Writer of the Year award, announced at the 2019 ASTW Convention. Visit USA previously sponsored the 2017 and 2018 award, which were both won by Catherine Marshall.

Visit USA is a voluntary body that promotes travel to the United States of America. It is funded by individual members from the Australian Travel Trade as well as from associate members in the USA. The Board Members of the organisation work vigorously to promote the US as a desirable destination of choice.

President of the Visit USA organisation Australia, Lucy Rowe said that Visit USA is thrilled to sponsor the ASTW’s Travel Writer of the Year award for the third consecutive year.

She added, “We always enjoy our fantastic partnership with the ASTW on this hotly contested initiative to promote and reward the high level of travel journalism we have in Australia. We look forward to seeing who will take out the award this year”.

The Travel Writer of the Year is awarded to the writer member with the best portfolio of three published travel stories for the judging period. It is the most coveted of the 20 awards presented at the ASTW’s Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence, an annual celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications.

Established in 1992, this is a closely contested competition among peers, focusing on the very best published work of the year. Recognition of talent, a coveted trophy and prizes are the rewards for the winners.

The 2019 awards will be presented at the annual ASTW Convention in Cairns in October with major sponsor Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

For more information about sponsoring awards, lunches or events; attending events as a member’s guest or for membership enquiries, please view our website for more information or contact secretariat Justine White on secretariat@astw.org.au

About the ASTW

The ASTW is a 300-strong group of travel writers, editors, radio and television broadcasters, bloggers, guide book authors and photographers (as well as travel industry public relations and marketing professionals) whose work appears regularly in major newspapers, magazines, airwaves and websites across Australia and the world.

All ASTW members must satisfy strict criteria to join and are obligated to substantiate their membership annually by providing details of their published output or industry participation. They must also adhere to a Code of Ethics. By ensuring that only bona fide applicants are admitted, the ASTW maintains its integrity and the professionalism of the travel industry.

ASTW and HKTB’s Inaugural Rising Star Winner Announced

Justin Meneguzzi has been named the inaugural winner of the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) and Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Rising Star Award for his article Blood and Sand in get lost magazine.

Managing Editor of Fairfax Media’s Traveller.com.au, Craig Platt, who selected the winner from a shortlist of finalists, said “Justin Meneguzzi’s story on Calcio Storico in Florence is everything you want from a narrative travel feature. Despite being about a destination that is already well-explored by tourists, it is an evocative and fresh look at a part of Florentine culture that few visitors would experience.”

The judging panel also included HKTB Regional Director – Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Andrew Clark; author of the Hong Kong Precincts guidebook and ASTW committee member, Penny Watson; and award-winning freelance journalist and media industry academic, Lee Mylne.

Justin wins a hosted four-night famil to Hong Kong, sponsored by HKTB, with his subsequent story published on Traveller.com.au and considered for print. He also receives an annual Rising Star membership to the ASTW.

The award and prize will be presented at the Melbourne ASTW Christmas lunch on the 6 December, 2018 by ASTW President, Helen Hayes, and HKTB’s Public Relations and Media Manager, Natalie Brown.

Justin said, “I’m so thrilled to accept the Rising Star Award from the Australian Society of Travel Writers. I love being dropped into a new destination and exploring local haunts and hideaways with my trusty camera, learning from the locals and seeing a place through their eyes.

“I also believe travel can be a force for good, and that the stories we share play such an important role in breaking down barriers, which the world needs now more than ever. These are the stories I hope to share in 2019 and I can’t wait to work with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the team at Traveller.com.au.

Justin quit his job as a litigation lawyer in 2016 to pursue a career as a freelance travel journalist and photographer. He currently heads up the Global Content Team at Intrepid Group, working as part of the Creative team to deliver inspiring and informative travel content to travellers around the world.

The collaboration between HKTB and the ASTW is aimed at encouraging a new era of travel writers in Australia. This year’s award was open to writers and digital influencers who had their first paid travel story published in the past two years.

For more information on the ASTW, visit www.astw.org.au or for information about Hong Kong, visit www.discoverhongkong.com/au.

Rising Star Winner Announced

Congratulations Justin Meneguzzi, the ASTW’s inaugural “Rising Star” winner!

Justin wins a famil thanks to our award partner, Hong Kong Tourism Board, and the chance to have his HK story published on Traveller.com.au.

Special thanks to our judges, Hong Kong Tourism Board and Traveller.com.au.

Read Justin’s winning article Blood and Sand

ASTW CONVENTION TENDER 2020 OPEN

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) committee today released tender documents inviting destinations to bid for the ASTW 2020 Annual Convention and famil program.

According to ASTW President Helen Hayes, hosting of the annual convention is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase a destination to leading editors, writers, digital influencers, photographers, broadcasters and PR professionals from Australia and internationally.

“As a result of their support and involvement, convention hosts will receive significant media exposure in leading Australian and international magazines, newspapers, radio stations, television programs and numerous social media outlets”, said Ms Hayes.

“The 2018 convention generated in excess of 100 documented stories about the destination in leading Australian and international media outlets. This exposure has been instrumental in driving greater knowledge and increased tourism for these destinations”.

The successful tender will be required to demonstrate capacity to offer a tourism destination that is of interest to the Australian market; have facilities to host all elements of the convention; and the capacity to provide a comprehensive pre and post famil program for delegates.

The 2020 convention will be held over a weekend from late August and October, with a comprehensive pre and post famil program on offer.

Comprising more than 300 members, the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) has been the peak travel writing body in the country for more than 40 years. Members include writers, photographers, editors, radio and television presenters, filmmakers, bloggers, digital influencers and public relations representatives who are professionally engaged to produce articles, reviews, photographs, stories and social media commentary on national and international travel destinations and experiences.

To request a copy of the tender document or for further details, please email ASTW PR Representatives, Saskia Baker and Mandy Dwyer via email: PR@astw.org.au. Tender submissions are due by 15 March 2019.

For more information about the ASTW, see  ASTW Overview or email our Secretariat Justine White.

Budding Travel Writers Last Chance to Enter Awards

THERE are two weeks remaining for budding travel writers to enter articles for the inaugural Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) “Rising Star” award, with the winner to be announced on 30 November, 2018.

The award is open to writers and digital influencers who had their first paid travel story published in the past two years and who are not existing ASTW members. The award submission must be a travel related article under 1,000 words published between 31 October, 2016 and 31 October, 2018; featured in a print publication with a minimum circulation of 20,000 or in an online publication with a minimum of 10,000 unique visitors per month.


The winner will receive a trip to Hong Kong, including: return economy airfares; four nights’ accommodation; return Airport Express Line voucher; MTR pass with HK$200 credit; dinner at Ho Lee Fook; foodie tour of Sham Shui Po; tour of Tai Kwun – Hong Kong’s new centre for Heritage and Arts; and a traditional junk boat ride to view the nightly light and sound show – A Symphony of Lights. The winner’s subsequent Hong Kong story will also be published by Traveller.com.au and will be considered for Traveller’s print edition in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The winner will also receive a one-year “Rising Star” membership to the ASTW valued at AU$400 and will be invited to attend an ASTW Christmas lunch where they will be presented with their award. 

HOW TO ENTER

Entries are open from 1 August, 2018 to 31 October, 2018 via astw.org.au/rising-star

The winner will be announced on 30 November, 2018 on www.astw.org.au/news; www.facebook.com/australiansocietyoftravelwriters and will also be notified via phone. 

For more information on the award visit astw.org.au/rising-star or for information about Hong Kong, visit www.discoverhongkong.com/au

For more information, contact:
Natalie Brown, HKTB PR Manager – natalie.brown@hktb.com/ 02 8262 6810
Angela Thompson, ASTW PR representative – angela.thompson@travmedia.com/0481 368 018

Travel Writers Historic Collaboration

A collaboration between the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW), the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) has been formalised at the Society of American Travel Writers’ 2018 convention in Barbados.

Representatives from all three bodies were at the Hilton Barbados Resort to formalise the exciting new initiative in an agreement that will strengthen their ties and create an international partnership to benefit all members.

The societies have agreed to start the collaborative process by appointing three representatives to oversee it: Barbara Ramsay Orr and Danielle Lancaster as the outgoing Presidents of the SATW and ASTW along with Alastair McKenzie, the soon to be outgoing Chair of the BGTW.

Ms Lancaster flew to the convention with Delta Airlines to be a part of this ground-breaking move and commented on how extremely rewarding it was to meet with her esteemed colleagues and see their idea become a reality, after months of discussion.

She added, “I was honoured to be a part of this project, which would not have been possible without the generous support of TravMedia and Delta Airlines, who enabled me to attend the event on behalf of the ASTW committee.

“The power and reach of each of the organisations can be increased exponentially through this international partnering.”

Ms Ramsay Orr said, “We have much to share and to learn but together we also can own the global space to advocate for journalists on our shared travel and journalism issues.”

Mr McKenzie has been delighted with the overwhelming support he has encountered for this initiative, which for the most part has been “why haven’t we done this before?”

He has also been encouraged by how quickly the co-operation has moved forward. SATW and ASTW members have already been made part of the judging panel for the BGTW members awards, the Presidents of each organisation have already been made honorary members of the others and members of all three organisations are already talking together and advising each other as a community on the combined Facebook group.

Signing of the official collaboration between the ASTW, SATW and BGTW in Barbados on September 24, 2018.

Pictured are Alastair McKenzie outgoing chair of the BGTW, Barbara Ramsey Orr ex-president SATW, David Swanson the new president of the SATW and Danielle Lancaster ex-president ASTW.

Australian Copyright Council announces new affiliation with ASTW

The Australian Copyright Council (ACC) proudly announces a new partnership with the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW), bringing together two organisations who value creative Australia.

For years, the ASTW – a non-profit organisation – has been dedicated to supporting the more extensive travel media body, implementing a strict Code of Ethics to ensure a high standard of honest and unbiased travel reporting.

This alliance intends to provide travel writers and those associated with the rights to defend their creative expression, as well as delivering user-friendly and accessible legal advice.

Alongside the ACC, the ASTW stands as a backbone for integrity within Australia’s creative and media industries. The ACC looks forward to working closely with the ASTW.

For more information about the ACC, visit www.copyright.org.au

For media related enquiries contact:
Australian Copyright Council
www.copyright.org.au
Phone: +61 (02) 9101 2377
Email: communications@copyright.org.au