The ASTW Awards of Excellence for 2017

Australia’s top travel writers and public relations professionals were honoured at the annual ASTW Awards for Excellence gala held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast, Queensland on 19 August, 2017.

The top writer accolade, Travel Writer of the Year was awarded to Catherine Marshall who was judged on three stories published in Qantas magazine, The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald’s Traveller section. Catherine was also awarded Best International Story Over 1000 words.

“This is indeed a tremendous honour and an event to be celebrated with gusto. This accolade hinges on so many people: my editors; the operators who so kindly hosted me; the panel of judges; and the ASTW committee. A great big thank-you to Visit USA for sponsoring the Travel Writer of the Year award. I also thank AccorHotels for sponsoring the Best International Story Over 1000 Words category and Anthony Dennis for publishing my story,” said Catherine Marshall.

Photographer of the Year, with entrants judged on five images, went to Dan Avila: “It’s an extreme honour to receive this award for the second year in a row. The ASTW is a fantastic organisation of hard-working professionals who care deeply about the travel industry. It’s through these relationships that wonderful opportunities to take photos and write stories come about.”

The top PR Accolade, Communicator or Communications Team of the Year, was awarded to Donna Campbell and Pip Macken from DC&A Worldwide – Destination Canada.

“This award would not have been possible without the hard work of the team in Canada and Australia, who work together to curate the essence of Canada for Australian journalists, so they can experience the destination through their own eyes and tell their passionate stories,” said Donna Campbell.

These prestigious awards are now in their 24th year and are a highlight of the annual ASTW Convention, with over 140 guests travelling from across Australia to attend.

Other categories included Best Family Travel Story, Best Travel Broadcaster, Best Australian Story Over and Under 1000 words and Best Food Travel Story. Categories, winners and finalists are detailed below.

“ASTW members represent the leading writers, editors, publishers, content creators and public relations professionals of the Australian travel industry. Over 390 entries – a record breaking number – were received across the 19 Award categories with an exceptional calibre of entrants. Being named a finalist is an absolute honour and I congratulate you all,” said ASTW President Danielle Lancaster.

“I would also like to thank each of the sponsors, in particular with Visit Sunshine Coast, who were the major sponsor of this year’s convention. Finally, thank you to our esteemed judges from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the USA who gave their time to judge the awards, all commenting on the high quality of work.”

For more information on the ASTW or to become a member visit www.astw.org.au

FULL LIST of WINNERS:

1) Best Story about AGM Host Destination 2016 Cape Town, South Africa – Sponsored by ASTW

WINNER – ANGELA SAURINE
 Safari Surprises – Mamamia


OTHER FINALISTS
Aleney de Winter – Bites and Sites on the Streets of Stellenbosch – BoyEatsWorld
Shirley Sinclair – Drink in the Rugged Beauty – Sunshine Coast Sunday

2) Best Family Travel Story – Sponsored by Bound Round

Bound Round to sponsor major ASTW travel award

WINNER – ALENEY DE WINTER 

Angkor Away – Holidays with Kids magazine

OTHER FINALISTS

Penny Watson – Rolling with the Kids  – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Tiana Templeman – Land Ahoy – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
Julie Miller – Jumbo Tales – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
Sheriden Rhodes – Family Face Time – Traveller/Fairfax Media

3) Best Travel Presenter – Sponsored by TFE Hotels  

WINNER – GREG GRAINGER – GREG GRAINGER TV

OTHER FINALISTS
Ben Groundwater – Flight of Fancy – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Pamela Wright – radio broadcaster

4) Best Australian Story under 1000 Words – Sponsored by Tourism Australia

WINNER – MARIAN MCGUINNESS
A little Night Music in Sydney  – The Australian

OTHER FINALISTS
Ben Groundwater – A taste of the original Australia – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Mark Daffey – Luck Be a Lady– Escape/News Ltd

5) Best Australian Story Over 1000 words – Sponsored by Tourism Australia 

WINNER – KERRY VAN DER JAGT
On the Dreaming Track – Qantas Magazine

OTHER FINALISTS
Craig Tansley – It’s a Long Way to the Top – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Andrew Bain – Camel trekking in the Flinders Ranges – Traveller/Fairfax Media

6) Best Food Travel Story – Sponsored by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts

WINNER – JENNIFER ENNION
Arctic Jewels – Nourish

OTHER FINALISTS
Julie Miller – Eating in New Orleans– Traveller/Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – Great Southern Land – Qantas Magazine 

7) Best Responsible Tourism Story – Sponsored by Intrepid Travel

WINNER – LOUISE SOUTHERDEN
Lighting Up Kolkata’s Slums – Momentum.Travel

OTHER FINALISTS
Mark Daffey – Thunder on the Mountain – Wild Magazine
Ben Groundwater – Poverty as a tourism attraction: Can travel to a developing country really make a difference?  – Traveller/Fairfax Media

8) Best Adventure Story – Sponsored by G Adventures

WINNERS – TRACEY CROKE & JAYNE D’ARCY
Tracey Croke – The Revival of Mavrovo – Adventure.Travel
Jayne D’Arcy – A Sacred Journey – Jetstar Magazine

OTHER FINALISTS
Andrew Bain – Test your limits – Qantas magazine
Catherine Marshall – Africa’s Great Bat Invasion – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Andrew Bain – Grampians Peaks Trail  – Traveller/Fairfax Media
9) Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product – Sponsored by Nugggit 

WINNER – CAROLINE DAVIDSON – The Rees Hotel

OTHER FINALISTS
Kyoto Tourism – Alison Roberts-Brown
Glasgow Tourism – Laura Speirs 

10) Best Cruise Story – Sponsored by Cruise Lines International Association 

WINNER – JOHN BORTHWICK
Passage to Paradise – Weekend Australian

OTHER FINALISTS
Christine Retschlag – Beyond Bali – Holidays for Couples
Helen Hayes – She Sells the Seychelles – Vacations & Travel
Jocelyn Pride – A Voyage for the Soul – Cruise Passenger      
John Borthwick – Lao and Now – The Australian
11) Best International Story Over 1000 words – Sponsored by AccorHotels

WINNER – CATHERINE MARSHALL
On Board the Eastern & Oriental Express – Traveller/Fairfax Media

OTHER FINALISTS
Louise Southerden – Morocco Unplugged – Traveller/Fairfax Media
John Borthwick – Maldives Surfing – Trailblazers’ Incredible Legacy – Traveller/Fairfax Media

12) Best International Story Under 1000 words – Sponsored by Sarawak Tourism

WINNER – BEN GROUNDWATER
Mongolia’s Milk of Human Kindness – Traveller/Fairfax Media       

OTHER FINALISTS
Belinda Jackson – Of Pharaohs and Heroes – Luxury Travel Magazine
Kerry Van der Jagt – Ice and Isolation – Luxury Travel Magazine      

13) PR Campaign of the Year – Sponsored by ASTW

WINNERS
Arrival of Ovation of the Seas to Australia – Gail D’Arcy/Royal Caribbean
Experience Aloha – Hawaii Tourism Oceania/Walshe Group – Janaya Birse

OTHER FINALIST
Relaunch of the Ultimo Hotel – Kim McKay – Klick Communications

14) Best Tourism and Travel News Story – Sponsored by ZOIK 

WINNER – ANGELA SAURINE
Hot travel destinations FOR 2017 – Weekend Australian     

OTHER FINALISTS
Christine Retschlag – All Things Spice – Travel Bulletin
Mark Daffey – Let the Games Begin – Vacations & Travel

15) Best Travel Blog – Sponsored by Beyond Travel

WINNER – BOY EATS WORLD – Aleney De Winter

OTHER FINALISTS
Have Wheelchair Will Travel – Julie Jones
The Global Goddess – Christine Retschlag

16) Best Travel Photo – Sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand 

WINNER – KARA MURPHY
Richelieu Rock star – Boat International

OTHER FINALISTS
Mark Daffey – Usual Suspects – Get Lost Magazine
Dan Bannister – Ancient Stepwell in Jodhpur – Holidays for Couples
Dan Avila – Miles Away – Club Marine Magazine
Mark Daffey – Mirror Image – Lonely Planet Asia

17) Communicator or Communications Team of the Year – Sponsored by TravMedia

WINNER – DC&A WORLDWIDE – DESTINATION CANADA – DONNA CAMPBELL/PIP MACKEN

OTHER FINALISTS
Janaya Birse – Hawaii Tourism/The Walshe Group, Sabi Sabi Private Reserve
AccorHotels 

18) ASTW Photographer of the Year – Sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent

WINNER – DAN AVILA
Vanishing Warmth – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Spa Pool – Caravan and Camping with Kids Magazine
Snowy Istanbul – Just Luxe
Ranger Sarah – Kimberley & Pilbara Holiday Planner 2017
Washed Stones – Vacations & Travel Magazine

OTHER FINALISTS
               
Mark Daffey
Winter Wonderland – The Johnnie Walker House Edit
The Usual Suspects – Get Lost Magazine
Perahera Partying – Lonely Planet Asia
Mirror Image – Get Lost Magazine
Bo-Kaapster – Lonely Planet Asia

Danielle Lancaster
Badlands Sunrise – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Sand Dunes – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Lester – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Solomon Islands – Travel2Next
Whale Tail – Where Gold Coast

19) Travel Writer of the Year – Sponsored by Visit USA Australia 

WINNER – CATHERINE MARSHALL
Great Southern Land – Qantas Magazine       
After the Big Chill – The Australian
Africa’s Great Bat Invasion – Traveller/Fairfax Media

OTHER FINALISTS      

Penny Watson
Meals on Wheels – Traveller/Fairfax Media 
A Taste for Incognito – Vacations & Travel
Rolling with the Locals – Traveller/Fairfax Media    

Mark Daffey
The Avocado Canoe Club – Wild Magazine
Polar Opposite – The Johnnie Walker Edit
Here be Dragons – Great Walks

Kerry Van der Jagt
On the dreaming track – QantasLink Magazine
South Pacific Spring – Nat Geo Traveller        
Life in the Deep Freeze – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Jack Butters Award – Honorary award given to someone who has made an important contribution to the ASTW
WINNER –   Rama Gaind

Go slow in the Solomons

ASTW members continue to receive top travel industry accolades

Australian Society of Travel Writers  member Christine Retschlag has won the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Gold Award for Travel Journalism for her destination article entitled “Go Slow in the Solomons”, which was published in WellBeing.

Retschlag, who will travel to Macau in September to receive the award, said she visited the Solomon Islands not knowing what to expect. “Cheap, fresh lobster every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, some of the best snorkelling in the world, and the most friendly people. To be able to increase the awareness of a destination that relies so heavily on tourism for its survival, by capturing its magic in words and photos, is an incredible feeling.”

Retschlag is one of a number of ASTW members who have won global travel industry awards in recent weeks. Julie Miller won the NTIA award for Best Travel Writer for her story entitled “Elephant in the Room” about ethical elephant encounters in Thailand. Jocelyn Pride’s account of trekking north to one of the world’s very first ecotourism sites, “Alaska Untouched” won Best US Travel Destination Article at the IPW Travel Writer Awards in the US.

Meanwhile, ASTW writer members Tracey Croke (The Talas Travers, ambmag.com.au), Catherine Marshall (The Big Chill, The Australian) and John Borthwick have each been nominated as finalists in the 2017 NRMA Kennedy Awards for Excellence in the Outstanding Travel Writing category. The winner will be announced on 11 August at Royal Randwick in Sydney.

The ASTW’s own travel awards will be presented at a Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence gala evening on 19 August 2017. The celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications is part of the annual ASTW Convention to be held on the Sunshine Coast from 19-22 August 2017.

ASTW President, Danielle Lancaster offered her congratulations to those mentioned on behalf of the ASTW community. “The fact that these major travel industry awards and nominations are going to ASTW members is a fitting build up to our own travel industry event later this month. It will make for a very exciting evening”.

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

Bound Round to sponsor major ASTW travel award

Bound Round to sponsor major ASTW travel award

The Australian Society of Travel Writers is delighted to announce Bound Round will be sponsoring the award for Best Family Travel Story at the ASTW Awards later this month.

Bound Round is a new Australian company that aims to make it easier for families to book the perfect holiday. Fully online, Bound Round creates and distributes content for kids and families who love to travel. Its website is a one-stop travel research and booking platform, full of candid reviews of what makes the best family holidays.

The Best Family Travel Story category is for articles published about families with children travelling together in Australia or overseas. Stories may describe travel destinations or experiences and may range from a single destination to several destinations, products or activities. Stories may also include tips and advice on travelling to or in that destination specific to the needs of families.

The award is one of 19 to be presented at the ASTW Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence gala evening on 19 August 2017. The celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications is part of the annual ASTW Convention to be held on the Sunshine Coast from 18-20 August 2017.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Penny Watson, Rolling with the Locals – Traveller, Fairfax Media
  • Tiana Templeman, Land Ahoy – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
  • Aleney de Winter, Angkor Away – Holidays with Kids magazine
  • Julie Miller, Jumbo Tales – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
  • Sheriden Rhodes – Family Face Time – Traveller, Fairfax Media

Bound Round will also be presenting a prize to the winner on the night of the awards.

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

Finalists for 2017 ASTW Awards of Excellence

We are proud to announce the ASTW finalists for 2017.

Congratulations to everyone! We would also like to thank our sponsors for the awards this year.
If we have no sponsors, we have no awards. Thank you to each and every sponsor for your support. See you on the Sunshine Coast 18-20 August!

ASTW Travel Writer of the Year – sponsored by Visit USA Australia

Visit USA Australia

Penny Watson
Meals on Wheels – Traveller/Fairfax Media
A Taste for Incognito – Vacations & Travel
Rolling with the Locals – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Catherine Marshall
Great Southern Land – Qantas Magazine
After the Big Chill – The Australian
Africa’s Great Bat Invasion – Traveller/Fairfax Media

Mark Daffey
The Avocado Canoe Club – Wild Magazine
Polar Opposite – The Johnnie Walker Edit
Here be Dragons – Great Walks

Kerry Van Der Jagt
On the Dreaming Track – Qantas Magazine
South Pacific Spring – Nat Geo Traveller
Life in the Deep Freeze – Traveller/Fairfax Media


ASTW Photographer of the Year – Sponsored by Abercrombie and Kent

Visit Abercrombie and Kent

Danielle Lancaster
Badlands Sunrise – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Sand dunes – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Lester – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Solomon Islands – Travel2Next
Whale tail – Where Gold Coast

Dan Avila
Vanishing Warmth – Vacations & Travel magazine
Spa Pool – Caravan and Camping with Kids magazine
Snowy Istanbul – Just Luxe
Ranger Sarah – Kimberley & Pilbara Holiday Planner 2017
Washed stones – Vacations & Travel Magazine

Mark Daffey
Winter Wonderland – The Johnnie Walker House Edit
The Usual Suspects – Get Lost Magazine
Perahera Partying – Lonely Planet Asia
Mirror Image – Get Lost Magazine
Bo-Kaapster – Lonely Planet Asia


Communicator or Communications Team of the Year – Sponsored by TravMedia

Visit Travmedia
Janaya Birse – Hawaii Tourism/The Walshe Group, Sabi Sabi Private Reserve
AccorHotels
DC&A Worldwide – Destination Canada (Pip Macken/Donna Campbell)


Best Travel Photograph – Sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Visit Tourism Thailand
Kara Murphy – Richelieu Rock star  – Boat International
Mark Daffey   – Usual Suspects – Get Lost Magazine
Dan Bannister – Ancient Stepwell in Jodhpur  – Holidays for Couples
Dan Avila – Miles Away – Club Marine Magazine
Mark Daffey – Mirror Image – Lonely Planet Asia


Best Story about the AGM Host Destination – sponsored by the ASTW


Angela Saurine – Safari Surprises – Mamamia
Aleney de Winter – Bites and Sites on the Streets of Stellenbosch – Boy Eats World
Shirley Sinclair – Drink in the Rugged Beauty – Sunshine Coast Sunday


Best Family Travel Story – Sponsored by Bound Round

Visit Bound Round
Penny Watson – Rolling with the Kids – Traveller – Fairfax Media
Tiana Templeman – Land Ahoy – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
Aleney de Winter – Angkor Away – Holidays with Kids magazine
Julie Miller – Jumbo Tales – Flight Centre Travel Ideas
Sheriden Rhodes – Family Face Time – Traveller – Fairfax Media


Best Travel Blog – Sponsor by Beyond Travel


Visit Beyond Travel

Have Wheelchair Will Travel – Julie Jones
The Global Goddess – Christine Retschlag
Boy Eats World – Aleney de Winter


Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product – Sponsored by Nugggit


Visit Nugggit

Kyoto Tourism – Alison Roberts-Brown
The Rees Hotel – Caroline Davidson
Glasgow Tourism – Laura Speirs


Best Travel Broadcaster – Sponsored by TFE Hotels


Visit TFE Hotels

Ben Groundwater
Pamela Wright
Greg Grainger


Best Australian Story under 1000 words – Sponsored by Tourism Australia


Visit Australia.com

Ben Groundwater – A taste of the original Australia – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Marian McGuinness – A little Night Music in Sydney – The Australian
Mark Daffey – Luck Be a Lady – Escape/News Ltd


Best Australian Story over 1000 words – Sponsored by Tourism Australia


Visit Australia.com

Craig Tansley – It’s a Long Way to the Top – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Kerry Van Der Jagt – On the Dreaming Track – Qantas Magazine
Andrew Bain – Camel trekking in the Flinders Ranges – Traveller/Fairfax Media


 PR Campaign of the Year – Sponsor by ASTW


Relaunch of the Ultimo Hotel – Kim McKay – Klick Communications
Royal Caribbean – Arrival of Ovation of the Seas to Australia – Gail D’Arcy
Experience Aloha – Hawaii Tourism Oceania/Walshe Group – Janaya Birse


Best Food Story – Sponsored by Outrigger Resorts


Visit Outrigger Resorts

Julie Miller – Eating in New Orleans– Traveller/Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – Great Southern Land – Qantas
Jennifer Ennion – Arctic Jewels  – Nourish


Best Responsible Tourism story – Intrepid Travel


Visit Intrepid Travel

Mark Daffey – Thunder on the Mountain  – Wild Magazine
Louise Southerden – Lighting Up Kolkata’s Slums – Momentum.Travel
Ben Groundwater – Poverty as a tourism attraction: Can travel to a developing country really make a difference? – Traveller/Fairfax Media


Best Adventure Story – Sponsored by G Adventures


Visit G Adventures

Jayne D’Arcy – A Sacred Journey – Jetstar Magazine
Tracey Croke – The Revival of Mavrovo – Adventure.Travel
Andrew Bain – Test your limits – Qantas magazine
Catherine Marshall – Africa’s Great Bat Invasion – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Andrew Bain – Grampians Peaks Trail – Traveller/Fairfax Media


Best Cruise Story – Sponsored by Cruise Lines International Association


Visit Cruise Lines International Association

Christine Retschlag – Beyond Bali – Holidays for Couples
Helen Hayes – She Sells the Seychelles – Vacations & Travel
John Borthwick – Passage to Paradise – Weekend Australian
Jocelyn Pride – A Voyage for the Soul – Cruise Passenger
John Borthwick – Lao and Now – The Australian


Best International Story Over 1000 words – Sponsored by AccorHotels


Visit Accor hotels

Louise Southerden – Morocco Unplugged – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Catherine Marshall – On Board the Eastern & Oriental Express – Traveller/Fairfax Media
John Borthwick – Maldives Surfing – Trailblazers’ Incredible Legacy – Traveller/Fairfax Media


Best International Story Under 1000 words – Sponsored by Sarawak 


Visit Sarawak Tourism

Belinda Jackson – Of Pharaohs and Heroes – Luxury Travel Magazine
Ben Groundwater – Mongolia’s Milk of Human Kindness – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Kerry Van Der Jagt – Ice and Isolation – Luxury Travel Magazine                           


Best Travel and Tourism News Story – Sponsored by Zoik


Visit Zoik

Mark Daffey – Let the Games Begin – Vacations & Travel
Angela Saurine – Hot travel destinations  – Weekend Australian
Christine Retschlag – All Things Spice – Travel Bulletin

ASTW is pleased to partner with Visit USA

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (astw.org.au) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Visit USA as the sponsor for this year’s coveted Travel Writer of the Year award.

Visit USA (visitUSA.org.au) 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.

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.

Visit USA will be sponsoring the award along with a prize, which will see the winner gain entry to the Brand USA visiting journalist program.

The 2017 awards will be presented at the annual ASTW Convention on the Sunshine Coast on 19 August.

For more information about sponsoring awards, lunches or events, attending events as a member’s guest or for membership inquiries, 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, 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.

AccorHotels Group to sponsor major ASTW travel award

The Australian Society of Travel Writers (astw.org.au) is delighted to announce AccorHotels Group (accorhotels.com) will once again sponsor the award for Best International Travel Story Over 1000 Words.

AccorHotels Group is a world-leading travel and lifestyle group, and digital innovator, offering unique experiences in more than 4100 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in more than 3000 of the finest private homes in 95 countries.

The Best International Travel Story Over 1000 Words category is for destination articles about travel destinations or products outside Australia and may range from a single destination to several destinations, products or activities that are thematically linked.

The award is one of 20 to be presented at the ASTW Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence gala evening on 19 August 2017. The celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications is part of the annual ASTW Convention to be held on the Sunshine Coast from 19-22 August 2017.

AccorHotels Group will also be presenting prizes to winners on the night of the awards.

For more information about sponsoring awards, lunches or events; attending events as a member’s guest; or for membership inquiries, please visit our website 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, photographers and 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 joins the war on waste

As part of our very own “War on Waste” the ASTW is going “plastic bottle-free” and “clean and green” this year’s convention, awards and AGM (18-20 August) and we need your help.

If you’re coming please BYO reusable water bottle to use during the event and on the pre- and post-famils you’re doing .

BYO lanyard too if you have one lying around, to cut down on waste; spares welcome, for those who don’t bring one.

Thanks to our hosts Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast, there will be filtered water stations where we can refill our bottles. The Welcome Event will also be plastic bottle-free, biodegradable bamboo plates will be provided and leftover food will go to OzHarvest (which distributes surplus food to people in need, reducing landfill in the process).

Big thanks to Angela Saurine for getting the “sustainable AGM” ball rolling and to Peter Hook, Danielle Lancaster and the rest of the ASTW committee for coming together on this issue.

Let’s all help make the 2017 ASTW Cinventin and Awards our most sustainable event yet!

Did you know…? Caloundra Music Festival on the Sunshine Coast was the first festival in Australia to go plastic bottle-free, in 2013.

Do you give a crap?
On a related note, Penny Watson has kindly arranged for ASTW members to receive a 15 per cent discount when buying forest-friendly toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap, which donates 50 per cent of its profits to help build toilets in developing countries. Go to 
https://au.whogivesacrap.org/ and enter the code.

#ASTW #BYOH2O

ASTW names founder of G Adventures as convention keynote speaker

The Australian Society of Travel Writers has announced Canadian entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip as one of the keynote speakers at this years ASTW Convention and Awards Night to be held on the Sunshine Coast from August 18-22.

Poon Tip is the founder of adventure travel company and social enterprise G Adventures (www.gadventures.com.au), the world’s largest small-group adventure travel company. It has 23 offices worldwide and hosts 150,000 travellers a year on more than 650 tours (across all seven continents).

Passionate about travel’s power to change the world for the better, Poon Tip has become a global leader on social entrepreneurship, leadership, immersive travel and innovation. His myriad successes include founding the nonprofit foundation Planeterra in 2003; and bestselling first book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business.  His latest book Do Big Small Things, is a journal about life and travel that invites readers to share their own inspiration and creativity.

The ASTW looks forward to welcoming Poon Tip to the Sunshine Coast.

For more information about the ASTW, including sponsoring awards, lunches or events; attending events as a member’s guest; or for membership inquiries, please visit our website 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.

Sunshine Coast – Pamela Wright takes a sneak peak at the host city for ASTW Convention 2017

Committee member, Pamela Wright, investigates the 2017 host destination for the 2017 ASTW Convention and Awards

To whet the appetite for members who’ll be attending the ASTW Convention, Awards and AGM on the Sunshine Coast in August this year, whale watching tours will definitely be on the agenda.

Departing from Mooloolaba, a 20-minute drive from the Sunshine Coast Airport, this coastal town will play a central role where members can participate by swimming with the humpback whales. Something I’d love to do.

On a visit, last December, I was too late for the whale migration but, because Mooloolaba is the centre of the Sunny Coast’s great fishing industry, you can go on deep sea fishing charters and guided kayak fishing tours. I chose a more demure water activity. A sunset, two-hour cruise with Sunshine Coast Afloat on the Mooloolah River and canals – on a jet boat no less but this time minus the thrills and spills.

For three days, I stayed at The Mantra in a one-bedroom apartment with a view to the ocean from the balcony and a view across the hinterland to the Glass House Mountains from outside the lift. Downstairs, as you leave this excellent property, is O’Malley’s Irish pub and just beyond is the beginning of a long stretch of beachfront esplanade, full of bars, al fresco restaurants, outdoor cafes and fashion boutiques finishing up at the surf club, a great place to dine looking directly down to the beach.

Hiring a car was an option I took, mainly to drive into and through the Hinterland. I drove via Landsborough to Maleney for a wander through the six kilometres of walking paths in the Botanic Gardens and a walk through the township loaded with bookshops and galleries. Eumundi Markets, open as they are every Wednesday and Saturday, was a perfect stop on the way back to Mooloolaba via a surf lesson with Merrick’s Learn to Surf in Noosa, The World’s Best Surf Lesson “If I may say so myself” says champion surfer Merrick.
Ah Mooloolaba – just a taste of what’s to come.

Sunshine Coast Tourism: www.visitsunshinecoast.com
Sunshine Coast Afloat: sunshinecoastafloat.com.au
Merrick’s Learn to Surf: www.learntosurf.com.au
Tourism Queensland: www.queensland.com

 

An update from Bud at Tinmugs

One of the highlights of the AGM in Cape Town, and the one that required the most tissues, was the visit by Bud Higgins and some of the children her charity, Tinmugs, looks after. Bud’s story is inspirational, with many of our members writing some excellent stories in magazines and on their blogs. The money we donated to Tinmugs, along with some extra donations by some members and by a collection on the day, went to a good cuase – building a kitchen so that little tummies could be fed on site, rather than being prepared in Bud’s kitchen and shuttled to Overcome in the back of her car.

Bud and the children are so grateful. She sends us this message:nd“The roofing guys held us up for a month longer than expected, but we have made progress and the leaking roof of the old shipping container is now

“The roofing guys held us up for a month longer than expected, but we have made progress and the leaking roof of the old shipping container is now water proofed and the new windows which provide necessary light are terrific. Next is a new bench. Thank you again for providing the much needed funding to enable us to be more efficient in our endeavour to feed the poor kids of Overcome .

Warm wishes
Bud Higgins and the Tinmugs Kids x”

Tinmugs was the ASTW charity beneficiary for 2016 at our Convention in Cape Town, South Africa. Bud, originally from Queensland, Australian feeds and nurtures many starving children in a poor suburb of Cape Town.

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Hungry tummies are being fed

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New pots in a new kitchen cook up another day’s lunch

 

Please remember to send anything your write about Tinmugs or your experiences in South Africa before, during or after the AGM, to the secretariat – secreatariat@astw.org.au and to upload to TravMedia.