The main benefit of being an ASTW member, and the main reason travel industry professionals join the ASTW, is the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded travel writer and PR members at ASTW events.
There are regular ASTW lunches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, subsidised by a travel industry sponsor. There’s an annual Trivia Night (usually held in Sydney) and a Wine & Wickets cricket day between writers and PRs.
The ASTW also runs professional development seminars, workshops and webinars for writer and PR members. Previous seminars have covered topics as varied as social media, copyright, travel photography and what writers want from PRs. Members have the opportunity to be speakers and presenters at these events.
PR members have the opportunity to sponsor lunches on behalf of their company or clients to showcase their travel product. Lunches may also be replaced by another event such as a cocktail party, dinner or weekend away.
The highlight of the ASTW calendar is the AGM, Conference and Awards for Excellence, which is usually held between August and November, in Australia or overseas. The weekend conference includes seminars, workshops, guest speakers and the gala awards night. As well as being an exciting event, the AGM conference and awards weekend provides considerable media exposure and sponsorship opportunities for PR members and their clients.
The annual ASTW Awards for Excellence are open only to ASTW members and are a celebration of excellence in travel writing, photography and public relations. In 2016 there were 14 award categories for writers, and three for PR members. The host of the annual AGM offers a prize for the best published travel story, and sometimes best image, about the host destination.
ASTW members have access to the full membership list on the ASTW website. This list is not available to non-members because of privacy legislation.
ASTW writer members receive a complimentary profile on TravMedia.com, the world’s largest online news portal and social network for the travel industry, founded by ASTW member Nick Wayland. Receive breaking news from travel brands; opportunities from media and PRs; access media releases, images and video content; and network with members via the platform.
The ASTW website’s members-only area offers several benefits, including:
Search the entire membership database to find members who have travelled to or specialise in a particular destination, write for particular publications or represent clients you are looking to contact
Receive information about deals, discounts and product offers
See, register and pay online for ASTW events, such as lunches, seminars and the AGM.
Resources for members about travel writing and PR, such as how to run a small business, how to more effectively communicate with the media (for PRs), photography workshops and websites, and more.
The ASTW newsletter is emailed to members and posted on the ASTW website after each committee meeting – usually about 6-8 times a year – and keeps members up to date with coming events, awards and other items of interest.
Discounts and deals
ASTW members qualify for numerous travel industry discounts and deals. Some are on-going; some are one-offs publicised in the ASTW newsletter or on the website. Following are the discounts and deals currently offered to ASTW members:
DriveAway Holidays is Australia’s leading wholesale supplier of worldwide car hire, motorhome rentals, European leasing and USA and Australia motorcycle hire and tours. With more than 60 suppliers in over 8,000 locations throughout 130 countries, ASTW members are welcome to a generous discount on our already competitive prices. To book or receive a quote, please provide your full name (as on the ASTW membership list) your pick up and return dates, times, locations and preferred car size/number of people travelling, to email@example.com and attention it to Ashleigh Robinson, Marketing Partnerships Manager.
Korjo, Australia’s leading brand of travel accessories, offers ASTW members 50 per cent off any of its 120+products, which include adaptor plugs, money belts, locks and electrical items – if there is any travel product that you need, Korjo is likely to have it! Simply visit the Korjo website www.korjo.com choose your product/s and contact Kay to arrange your discount on (P) (03) 9822 9252 or (e)firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment can be made by credit card, direct deposit or cash. Samples, catalogues and images can also be arranged. Melbourne-based ASTW members are welcome to visit Korjo’s showroom at 441 Auburn Road, Hawthorn. Other members will receive their products by mail; there may be postage charges depending on delivery time and/or the size of the order but this can be discussed when the orders are placed. Korjo also welcomes all ASTW members to contact us for advice and assistance whether it is to ask what adaptor you may need for each destination or perhaps to write an article on new products, must-have lists or travel goods industry insights.
Lonely Planet offers ASTW writer members, on request, printed editions of their Lonely Planet travel guides (subject to availability) for confirmed assignments. This does not apply to e-books. Please allow six business days for delivery. Contact Laura Hamilton, Media & Communications Manager, Australia and New Zealand: email@example.com
TRAVEL INSURANCE DIRECT
Travel Insurance Direct, underwritten by Lloyds TSB, offers ASTW members a special rate on their annual travel insurance policies. Partners and dependent children are also covered when they travel with the policy-holder. For more information and to request a quote, visit the Travel Insurance Direct website, www.tid.com.au, and enter the promotion code “TIDASTW”. The quote automatically recalculates with the discount included.