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”.