The BGTW Annual Gala Awards Dinner is one of the highlights of the travel industry calendar. The prestigious event brings together around 220 BGTW members, ambassadors, ministers of state, travel and tourism CEOs and their top executives.
The 2023 British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) Annual Gala Awards Dinner (AGAD) took place on Sunday, 5 November at the Middle Temple Hall in London. A spectacular event it proved that the quality of travel writing, broadcasting, blogging and photography within the Guild is at an all-time high.
The traditional gala event on the eve of the World Travel Market was sponsored by Explore Charleston and Discover South Carolina. Guests enjoyed a Champagne reception sponsored by New Orleans & Company and three-course sit down dinner with excellent wines sponsored by Essential Costa Rica in lavish surroundings. With music and surprise entertainment in the form of singing waiters as well as the annual BGTW awards, the AGAD was undoubtedly a resounding success.
Some £3,570 was raised for the BGTW official charity, Charitable Travel Fund.
The AGAD was not just about members and Guild guests having a good time. There was also the serious business of handing out the BGTW’s auspicious awards. BGTW Joint Chair Stuart Render and Sarah Siese hosted the event, supported by the Guild’s Sponsorship Director, Renate Ruge.
Sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism, the BGTW International Tourism Awards (ITA), recognises excellence in tourism projects. The BGTW Members’ Excellence Awards, sponsored by Visit San Antonio, recognises the excellence of the Guild’s more than 200 members, in a series of categories.
Big winners on the night were the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, Glenmoriston, in Inverness which scooped the Best UK and Ireland Tourism Project; FLUGT – Refugee Museum of Denmark, Oksbøl, Denmark, which won the Best Europe Tourism Project; and The Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka, which carried off the Best Wider World Tourism Project
As for the BGTW Members’ Excellence Awards, Adrian Phillips took off possibly the most prestigious award of the night, the BGTW Travel Writer of the Year partnered by Visit Scotland; Bella Falk was acclaimed as the BGTW Travel Blogger of the Year, partnered with Tootbus; Aaron Millar was announced as the BGTW Travel Broadcaster of the Year, partnered with Visit Isle of Wight; and James Rushforth was the BGTW Photographer of the Year, partnered with Visit Isle of Man.
(For a full list of winners on the night go to our Awards page).
However, the real winners of the night were the travel and tourism industry in general and the British Guild of Travel Writers specifically for what was a most wonderful night.
BGTW AGAD 2023 Gallery
Commenting on the event, Stuart Render, BGTW Joint Chair, said: “The BGTW Annual Gala Awards Dinner has long been regarded as one of the most important events in the travel media calendar. This year, with more than 200 guests coming together in the spectacular surroundings of Middle Temple Hall in the City of London, we provided a much-needed opportunity for networking, great food and great entertainment.
“I would like to thank everyone who supported the event and congratulate the winners of our prestigious BGTW International Tourism Awards and Members’ Excellence Awards. It truly was a night to remember!”
Fellow BGTW Joint Chair Sarah Siese added, “We just couldn’t have held such a spectacular event without the support of our all amazing partners, including headline sponsors Explore Charleston and Discover South Carolina. I would also like to thank all the members of our wonderful board who helped realise this dream.”
Doug Warner, Executive Vice President of Explore Charleston, said “We are honoured to have partnered with the BGTW to recognise the many achievements of their members. Travel brings us together, and opens our hearts and our minds to the world.”
Surinder Manku for Visit Houston concluded: “The BGTW Annual Awards – what a great event and fabulous venue! Thank you.”
In previous years
Over the years, this event has become well-known as an evening of great company, great food and great entertainment. Here’s a selection of photos from previous Annual Gala Awards Dinners: