BGTW announces winners at gala dinner

BGTW revealed top international tourism projects for 2019 in its International Tourism Awards and announced the best travel writers, photographers, bloggers and broadcasters at the Members’ Excellence Awards.

An illustrious group of travel industry experts, destinations, journalists and content creators gathered at The Savoy hotel in London on Sunday 3 November 2019 to celebrate the best tourism projects worldwide and outstanding travel coverage by its members. The event was sponsored by Rocky Mountaineer, the luxury train operator with routes through the majestic Canadian Rockies.

The evening kicked off with a Welcome Champagne Reception in the Savoy’s elegant River Room, sponsored by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, a group of amazing hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

International Tourism Awards winners

The three projects came top in these awards, which recognises the best tourism projects in three categories.

ITA – Best Tourism Project in UK and Ireland

Sponsored by Travel Connection Group

Winner – Walthamstow Wetlands, Tottenham, London

Highly Commended: Britain’s Muslim Heritage Trails and V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum


ITA – Best Tourism Project in Europe

Sponsored by Backwaters Cruising

Winner – Commonwealth War Graves Commission Experience in northern France

Highly Commended: Bauhaus Museum Weimar – Weimar, Thuringia, Germany and Oodi – Helsinki Library, Finland

ITA – Best Tourism in The Wider World

Sponsored by Three Little Birds PR

Winner – Black Lemur Camp in Madagascar – Parc Andrafiamena Andavakoera, Madagascar

Highly Commended: The Route of Parks of Patagonia, Chile and Zeitz MOCAA – Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa

You can see the full list of Finalists for the ITAs here.

BGTW Members Excellence Awards logo

BGTW Members’ Excellence Awards

The BGTW has also announced the winners of its 2019 Members’ Excellence Awards, recognising excellence among travel writers, photographers, bloggers and broadcasters.

The BGTW Writer of the Year, the top award given by the Guild, was won by Emma Thomson for travel features that have appeared in The Sunday Telegraph and National Geographic Traveller.

Best UK Travel Feature – James Stewart

Best Europe (non-UK) Travel Feature – Adrian Phillips

Best Wider World Travel Feature – Jon Holmes

Best Short-Read Travel Feature – Mike Unwin

Best Transport Feature – The Kenneth Westcott-Jones Award – Emma Thomson

Best Travel Guidebook – The Adele Evans Award – Hilary Bradt

BGTW Blogger of the Year – Kirstie Pelling

BGTW Broadcaster of the Year – Adrian Phillips

BGTW Photographer of the Year – James Rushworth

BGTW Writer of the Year – Emma Thomson

About the BGTW Members’ Excellence Awards

Entries for the Members’ Excellence Awards were judged by a panel of international travel professionals representing all areas of travel journalism.

About the BGTW Annual Gala Awards Dinner

Simon Willmore, Chairman of the BGTW, said of the event. “The BGTW International Tourism Awards provide the opportunity for members to nominate the most innovative and important tourism projects they have visited over the last year that they believe deserve wider recognition. Our three winning tourism projects have a positive impact on the community and the environment. And in winning the award for BGTW Writer of the Year, Emma Thomson has demonstrated why travel writing plays an important role in telling a story, clearly, succinctly and with passion. This year’s shortlists were testament to the breadth of the knowledge and experience offered by Guild members who produce the best of travel coverage featuring independence, insight and expertise.”

A charity raffle in aid of the LATA Foundation, the Latin American Travel Association’s charitable arm that works to support social and environmental projects throughout Latin America, raised more than £4,500.

Jennifer Howze
By: Jennifer Howze Journalist, Writer, Editor, Content Consultant