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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
Tropical North Queensland has been selected to host the Australian Society of Travel Writers 2019 Convention.
Cairns has been selected as host city following submission of the winning bid by Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) and Tourism and Events Queensland.
TTNQ Chief Executive Officer Pip Close was in Bangkok at the Australian Society of Travel Writers 2018 Convention when the announcement of the winning bid was made last night (August 18])
The convention, to be held from 18-20 October 2019, will attract 130 delegates for a 1.5 day conference plus an educational program showcasing the region.
Ms Close said the selection of Tropical North Queensland for the convention is particularly appropriate given that the focus of the 2019 convention will be sustainability.
“Tropical North Queensland has two World Heritage areas with Ecotourism Australia-accredited operators,” Ms Close said.
“This convention will give us an outstanding opportunity to promote these natural environments and the sustainable way they are managed.
“Bringing this prestigious event to Cairns is part of TTNQ’s strategy to master our region’s story and be the gateway to the thousands of stories across the length and breadth of the destination.
“Tropical North Queensland won the bid based on the diverse travel experiences we offer and the timing is perfect with millions of dollars of tourism infrastructure just completed or under construction,
The city’s newest hotel, Riley, which opens in November 2018 will host the convention. It is the first of three new five-star hotels from the Crystalbrook Collection to open in Cairns with the next two hotels opening in 2019.
The Australian Society of Travel Writers is the peak travel writing body in Australia, with more than 300 members who provide exceptional media coverage of travel destinations and experiences.
The society’s annual convention may be held anywhere in the world, with previous destinations including South Africa, Fiji, Vietnam, South Korea, China, Malaysia and New Caledonia.
Convention host cities receive significant media exposure in leading Australian and international press, social media, websites, radio and television programs, and travel guides.
The 2017 convention was held on the Sunshine Coast, which received substantial national and international media coverage, driving greater knowledge of and increased tourism to the area.
Australia’s top travel writers and public relations professionals were honoured at the annual ASTW Awards for Excellence gala held at Anantara Riverside, Bangkok Thailand, on 19 August, 2018.
These prestigious awards are now in their 25th year and are a highlight of the annual ASTW Convention, with more than 120 guests travelling from across Australia to attend.
The top writer accolade, Travel Writer of the Year, sponsored by Visit USA Australia, was awarded to Catherine Marshall for a second consecutive year. She was judged on three stories published in Qantas magazine, The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald’s Traveller section.
Ms Marshall was also awarded Best Food Story sponsored by United Airlines and the Best International Story under 1000 words, sponsored by the Insurance Council of Australia.
“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 this award,” said Catherine Marshall.
ASTW Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent, went to Dan Avila, “It’s an extreme honour to receive this award for a third consecutive year. 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.”
In a clean sweep, Dan also won the inaugural Best Instagram Photo sponsored by the ASTW 2018 Convention destination host Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Best Travel Photo sponsored by Thai Airways International.
The top PR accolade, Communicator of the Year, sponsored by TravMedia, was awarded to Pip Macken from DC&A Worldwide – Destination Canada.
Ms Macken said she was thrilled to be recognised among such amazing talent and thanked the ASTW and its members for their loyal support and encouragement.
“Working for Destination Canada is truly the dream job and I’m so grateful to have the chance to work alongside Aussie writers and photographers who are such fantastic Canada advocates.”
Other categories included Best Family Travel Story, Best Australian Story Over and Under 1000 words and Best Food Travel Story. All 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. More than 490 entries – a record breaking number – were received across the 20 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 the Tourism Authority of Thailand, who were the major sponsor of this year’s convention. Finally, thank you to our esteemed judges from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Norway, India, Sweden and the USA. Each award has three independent judges, each of whom gives their time to judge the awards. All commented on the high quality of work.”
For more information on the ASTW or to become a member see How to apply
FULL LIST of WINNERS:
TRAVEL WRITER OF THE YEAR
SPONSORED BY VISIT USA AUSTRALIA
WINNER – CATHERINE MARSHALL
A budding romance – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Down to earth – The Weekend Australian
A town called Marfa – Qantas magazine
Kerry van der Jagt
Day of the Dead – Vacations & Travel magazine
Memories are made of this – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Jordan history tour – Traveller/Fairfax Media
Into the wilds – The Weekend Australian *no link
A sandy road to Qld beachside adventure – The West Australian
Turn and face the strain – Adventure.com
ASTW PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by ABERCROMBIE & KENT
WINNER – DAN AVILA
Cable Beach Camels – Holidays with Kids
Abu Dhabi Sunset – Signature Luxury Travel & Style Magazine
The Road to Hana – Signature Luxury Travel & Style Magazine
Pre-dawn Patagonia – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Ningaloo Nature – Vacations & Travel Magazine
Walking on thin ice – Vacations & Travel
Midnight sun – Vacations & Travel
Crystal clear – Vacations & Travel
Concordia – Vacations & Travel
Bad breath – Vacations & Travel
Speckled humpback – Dockwalk
Manta parade – Southern Boating
Turtle trio – Southern Boating
Molokini crater convergence – Escape/News Ltd
Finding Nemo in the Similans – International Traveller
COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by TRAVMEDIA
WINNER – PIP MACKEN – DC&A WORLDWIDE – DESTINATION CANADA
Peter Hook – Hook Communications
Donna Parkin – Parkin PR
Shelley Winkel – Tourism Queensland
THE JACK BUTTERS AWARD
Honorary award given to someone who has made an important contribution to the ASTW
WINNER – PETER HOOK
BEST STORY ABOUT AGM HOST DESTINATION 2017: SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND
Sponsored by VISIT SUNSHINE COAST
Sand Dunes And Sunsets – Julie Miller – Nat Geo Australia
A Sandy Road To Qld Beachside Adventures – The West AUSTRALIAN
BEST FAMILY TRAVEL STORY
Sponsored by FAMILY TRAVEL
WINNER – SHERIDEN RHODES
A million-star experience on a floating hotel – Traveller/Fairfax Media
BEST AUSTRALIAN STORY UNDER 1000 WORDS
Sponsored by TOURISM AUSTRALIA
Roderick Eime – Adventures in the Kimberley – Courier Mail
Jennifer Ennion – Snorkel with seals off Tasmania’s southeast shores – Weekend Australian
Catherine Best – Branching out – The Australian
BEST AUSTRALIAN STORY OVER 1000 WORDS
Sponsored by TOURISM AUSTRALIA
WINNER – BRAD CROUCH
Only in S.A. – Escape/News Ltd
Tracey Croke – Mountain biking in Far North Qld – Rad Season
Christine Retschlag – You’ll discover a bounty of beauty – Australian Senior
Celeste Mitchell – Everybody loves the Sunshine – Australian Traveller
BEST FOOD TRAVEL STORY
Sponsored by UNITED AIRLINES
WINNER: CATHERINE MARSHALL
Wildlife on the move – The Weekend Australian
WINNER: DAN AVILA
My bison moment
BEST RESPONSIBLE TOURISM STORY
Sponsored by INTREPID TRAVEL
WINNER: LOUISE SOUTHERDEN
Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan: A sustainable hotel in the Dana Biosphere Reserve –Traveller/Fairfax Media
Angela Saurine – Creatures Great and Small – MindFood
Kara Murphy – How to choose an ethical elephant encounter in Thailand – International Traveller
Krysia Bonkowski – Small but mighty – Jetstar magazine
BEST ADVENTURE STORY
Sponsored by G ADVENTURES
WINNER: RODERICK EIME
Riding the Revolution – Australian Road Rider
BEST TOURISM ORGANISATION OR TRAVEL PRODUCT
Sponsored by ASTW
WINNER: GLASGOW TOURISM – LAURA SPEIRS
Aiofe Finnegan – Tourism Ireland
Alison Roberts Brown/Leah Froelich – Visit Monaco
BEST CRUISE STORY
Sponsored By CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (CLIA)
WINNER: CRAIG TANSLEY
Tears of Joy – The Financial Review
BEST INTERNATIONAL STORY OVER 1000 WORDS
Sponsored by ACCORHOTELS
WINNER: KERRY VAN DER JAGT
Day of the Dead – Vacations & Travel magazine
BEST INTERNATIONAL STORY UNDER 1000 WORDS
Sponsored by INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA
WINNER: CATHERINE MARSHALL
On the Fragrance trail in Oman – Financial Review
PR CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR – DIGITAL OR TRADITIONAL
Sponsored by ASTW
WINNER: DC&a wORLDWIDE – DESTINATION CANADA – dONNA
CAMPBELL AND PIP MACKEN
Voyages – Field of Light Season 2 launch – Karena Noble
Mudgee Let’s Skip Town – Klick – Kim McKay
TFE Hotels & Frank PR – Doggie Degustation by – Caitlin Georghiou
BEST TOURISM AND TRAVEL NEWS STORY
Sponsored by PEREGRINE ADVENTURES IN HONOUR OF KRIS MADDEN
WINNER: ALENEY DE WINTER
The Capital of Cool – Vacations & Travel magazine
BEST TRAVEL BLOG
Sponsored by OUT AND ABOUT WITH KIDS
WINNER – THE GLOBAL GODDESS – Christine Retschlag
BEST TRAVEL BLOG POST
Sponsored by FAMILY TRAVEL
WINNER: BOYEATSWORLD – The Call of Cambodia
BEST TRAVEL PHOTO
Sponsored by Thai Airways International
WINNER – DAN AVILA
Pre-dawn Patagonia – Vacations & Travel
Rob Dunlop – Clouds cling to mountaintop – Vacations & Travel
Kara Murphy – Molokini Crater convergence – Escape/News Ltd