Recent British Guild of Travel Writers AGM destinations

Did you know that the British Guild of Travel Writers holds its AGM in destinations around the world? In this post we’ll take a look at some of the places that have hosted the event.

The reason for our AGM

Under our constitution, we are obliged to hold an annual general meeting (AGM). Importantly, it’s an opportunity for members to review the running of the organisation over the previous 12 months and hold the board accountable.

Members can raise questions and debate issues facing the Guild. It’s also possible to introduce amendments to the constitution which governs how the British Guild of Travel Writers operates.

Importantly, the AGM is also a forum for members to discuss the organisation’s future direction plus the states of the travel industry and media landscape.

The benefits to members of attending our AGM

Our membership is made up of leading travel media professionals based across Britain and beyond.

The busy schedules of our journalists, presenters, bloggers and photographers means relatively few opportunities for Guild members to gather together. Typically, our members travel frequently and work to tight deadlines. The AGM provides a framework for Guild members to meet in person. Social contact at our AGMs results in the forging of friendships and professional contacts.

It’s also an opportunity for attendees to spend time in a destination and produce work inspired by what they experience in the host destination.

During the 2019 AGM in Charleston members stayed at the newly opened Hotel Bennett
During the 2019 AGM in Charleston members stayed at the newly opened Hotel Bennett, resulting in several reviews and mentions in features.

The 2019 AGM in Charleston

The 2019 AGM was hosted by Charleston, South Carolina. Attendance by our 81 members resulted in dozens of travel features, blog posts and hotel reviews. The coverage encompassed national newspapers such as The Telegraph, The Independent, and The Times. Online coverage was posted on members’ blogs and sites such as Our Man on the Ground and Rough Guides.

Attending the 2019 AGM presented opportunities for Guild members to see historic buildings such as the United States Custom House in Charleston, South Carolina
Attending the 2019 AGM presented opportunities for Guild members to see historic buildings such as the United States Custom House in Charleston, South Carolina.

“I can honestly say that this was the most impactful group of journalists that we have ever had the opportunity to host. Granted, this was a major undertaking of time, talent and resources, but we found our efforts matched by an unparalleled level of professionalism and commitment to excellence in planning and executing the visit and exerience,” commented Douglas Warner, the Director of Media Relations at Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau less than six months after our visit.

A member viewing a historic facade in downtown Charleston during the 2019 British Guild of Travel Writers AGM
A Guild member viewing a historic facade in downtown Charleston during the 2019 AGM.

The 2018 AGM in the New Forest

Not all British Guild of Travel Writers AGMs take place abroad.

The 2018 AGM was a domestic event, hosted by the New Forest. A total of 82 of our members travelled to Hampshire to attend the meeting that took place at National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. Tours of the New Forest plus familiarisation trips to the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Hampshire resulted in the publication of travel features in print and online.

A Guild member photographs during a familiarisation trip at a British Guild of Travel Writers AGM
A Guild member photographs during a familiarisation trip following an AGM.

The 2017 AGM in Reims, France

A cohort of 87 Guild members travelled to France’s Champagne region for the 2017 AGM, held in Reims.

Familiarisation trips resulted in members writing about visits to Champagne cellars, historic cities and sites associated with the Knights Templar.

Guild members attending the 2017 AGM in France's Champagne region
Guild members attending the 2017 AGM in France’s Champagne region.

The cancellation of the 2020 AGM

The 2020 AGM was hosted online.

Unfortunately, due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Malta’s plans to host the 2020 British Guild of Travel Writers AGM were cancelled.

Malta previously hosted an AGM in 2008, attended by 86 Guild members.

As travel restrictions lift as the coronavirus lockdown eases, no doubt thoughts of our members will start turning to future travel plans. That includes pencilling the 2021 AGM into their diaries.

Guild members learning about the cultural heritage of the Champagne region during a visit to the cellars where Veuve Clicquot Champagne is produced
Guild members learning about the cultural heritage of the Champagne region during a visit to Veuve Clicquot’s cellars.

Hosting a British Guild of Travel Writers’ AGM

If you are interested to hosting a future AGM, sponsoring an event or commissioning members to undertake work, please contact the Guild Secretariat.

Additionally check out this page about hosting the AGM.

British Guild of Travel Writers' Chairperson Simon Willmore raises a glass of Champagne at the 2017 AGM in the Champagne region of France
BGTW Chair Simon Willmore (then Board Member) raises a glass at the 2017 AGM in the Champagne region of France.

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