Global Travel Awards Unveiled

Global Travel Media Alliance (GTMA), unveiled the inaugural Global Travel Awards at TravMedia’s International Media Marketplace (IMM) held in New York in January 2020.

The GTMA awards will honour the 2020 Global Travel Writer, Global Travel Photographer, and Global Travel Communicator.

The GTMA is a collaboration between the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) and the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW).

In September 2018, the three organisations, which represent the top travel writers, photographers, and PR professionals in three regions of the world, signed an agreement to identify synergies, to share best practices, and to collaborate on bi-national projects. The Global Travel Awards, open to members of SATW, BGTW and ASTW, represents a significant initiative.

***** Entry period extended until 11.59 p.m. HST (Hawaii Standard Time) which is 8.59 p.m. AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)  on March 10, 2020.

Accor Hotels Logo

2020 Global Travel Writer is sponsored by AccorHotels. The prize includes a five-night stay at the legendary Raffles Singapore. Originally opened in 1887, the Raffles Singapore reopened last August following a painstaking, two-and-a-half-year restoration. The winner will be among the first to experience this new chapter for an iconic hotel, now a flagship property for Accor.

Gaynor Reid, Vice President Communications and CSR Accor Asia Pacific, said that Accor is delighted to be involved in the inaugural Global Travel Awards because it will bring together the very best travel writers from around the world and help to inspire people to travel more and experience more of this beautiful planet. “With 5,000 hotels and resorts globally, including almost 1,200 in Asia-Pacific, Accor is the most diverse hotel operator in the world with the broadest geographical footprint. We are always keen to help support great storytelling around the wonders of travel.”

Abercrombie & Kent logo

2020 Global Travel Photographer is sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent, which will award an exciting Arctic Cruise Adventure to the winning photographer. The 15-day trip for two aboard the luxurious, all-balcony ‘Le Boreal’ will journey in search of the polar bear — from the Svalbard Islands to the remote east coast of Greenland on to the West Fjords of Iceland – in the company of an award-winning Expedition Team of scientists, historians and a dedicated photo coach.

Geoffrey Kent, Founder and Co-Chairman, Abercrombie & Kent said: “As the world’s leading luxury and adventure travel company with over 55 offices in more than 30 countries, we are pleased to sponsor this new global award to honour the best travel photography of the year. Distinctive images that capture authentic experiences inspire curiosity and fuel the desire to travel.

TravMedia Logo

2020 Global Travel Communicator is sponsored by TravMedia, the travel industry’s global media networking platform. TravMedia will award a PR firm or individual for their work in PR communications focused on sustainable travel. The three organisations are committed to the promotion of responsible, sustainable and balanced tourism, and this award is designed to reward that effort on a global level. The winner will receive a $5,000 Apple gift card.

Owner and CEO of TravMedia, Nick Wayland, said they are thrilled to be supporting the collaboration of the travel media organisations spread across three regions of the world. “Awards highlight the hard work and dedication of individuals in our industry, and it’s exciting to see our colleagues recognized for their contribution in promoting both great destinations and sustainable travel.”

Judging will be by an independent panel, three per category (nine total) of top travel editors, photographers, and PR professionals representing the US-Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. Contest rules are on the awards website,, and entries will be accepted from January 31 – February 28, 2020. Winners will be announced on May 12, 2020. #GTMAawards

For more information contact:
ASTW: Mandy Dwyer or Saskia Baker –
SATW: David Swanson or Barbara Ramsay Orr –
BGTW: Alastair McKenzie –

whitsundays heart reef


The Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) committee has called for tenders inviting destinations to bid for the ASTW 2021 and 2022 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 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.

Comprising more than 340 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:

Tender submissions are due: 2021 – 1 July 2020.

Download the tender document here

ASTW Bushfire Appeal

How ASTW members can help bushfire recovery

We have started 2020 with a baptism of fire affecting many Australian families and communities, some already struggling with drought. The nation’s profound thanks must go to the frontline services facing the fires head-on and the emergency responders.

With a situation that is continually changing, it is difficult for people who are out of the affected regions to know how they can help. Donating to a wide range of recognised charities (link to charities to donate to) is a good start, but the recovery from the bushfires, in particular, will need a long-term effort.

How can ASTW help?

As travel industry professionals, we all realise that many regions across Australia remain unaffected by the bushfires and continue to offer incredible and unique Australian experiences. We can use our skills as communicators to spread the word that these doors are still open.

Even more importantly, we can help communities recover by sharing stories about their regions when they are welcoming visitors again. Check the ASTW Facebook page for updates shared from local tourism bodies as these regions come back into the tourism realm.

Tourism Australia, in consultation with State Tourism Offices, has developed a Bushfire Information page on This page contains information about the key tourism regions in Australia that have been affected by the bushfires and is updated daily.

We can all help by supporting the communities that have been affected by buying their products and drinking their wine.  Check the ASTW Facebook page for links to charities and ways to help bushfire recovery.

How can writers help?

  • Share your Australian stories on the Australian Society of Travel Writers Facebook page, so they can be reshared with a broader audience.
  • Use your social media channels and websites to share positive stories on Australian travel to appropriate regions.
  • Pitch regional tourism stories to editors and publications

How can PR members help?

  • Work with your clients to find ways to support those affected.