AITO Specialist Travel Agents

Winners of the prestigious 2022 AITO Travel Writer of the Year Awards…

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AITO winners

AITO, the Specialist Travel Association (www.aito.com), is delighted to announce the results of its 2022 Travel Writer of the Year awards, the 25th year since the awards were launched.

The five awards were announced at AITO’s Meets the Media event at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London, on Tuesday night.

With over 350 entries for 2022, the judges reviewed each article according to four criteria, seeking copy that was inspirational, informative, interesting and well-written.

The five Travel Writer of the Year awards – and their winning entries – are:

  1. AITO Travel Writer of the Year

This is the most hotly-contested award and, over the past 24 years, some of the most respected travel journalists in the industry have featured on the roll of honour.The prestigious AITO Travel Writer of the Year (TWOTY) Over 1,500 words award was presented to Alicia Miller for Drink it in, a piece published in National Geographic Traveller. All judges agreed that Alicia’s article was “A fabulous word-trip.  The piece made us want to book it immediately; it was a clear winner”.In second place, for his article An expedition microcruise to Svalbard’s wild northern reaches, for The Financial Times, was Mike MacEacheran.In third place was Aaron Millar for his piece Going for gold, in National Geographic Traveller.

  1. AITO Travel Writer of the Year (TWOTY) Under 1,500 words

In first place, for his article Bushwalk with the Hadza of Tanzania, for The Daily Telegraph, was Richard Madden. The judges said it was “Well written, informative, inspiring and personal, but not afraid to question the ethics of travel”.In second place was James Stewart, whose piece, To Florence on foot; hiking Tuscany’s heavenly trail, was published in The Times.In third place was Claire Boobbyer for her article, Painted snails, cocoa and vegan pioneers, published in The Independent. 

AITO award winners
  1. AITO Young Travel Writer of the Year

This award celebrates travel writing talent in the under-30s.In first place was Imogen Lepere for her article in SuitcaseRiver deep, mountain high, which was described by the judging panel as “Undiscovered is an overworked word, but not here.  We share the writer’s unfolding amazement.  All-round excellent”.In second place was Charlie Metcalfe, with his article, Everyone turned to look at me, published in The Telegraph.In third place, for his article on How Chinese cuisine has shaped the city of Vancouver, was Connor McGovern, published in National Geographic Traveller.

  1. AITO Travel Trade Writer of the Year

This award recognises the many and varied challenges faced by travel trade writers – from a mix of complex travel industry issues to briefing agents on selling many and varied travel experiences.In first place was James Draven for his piece Nashville is back on song in TTG, about which one of the judges said: “Well written and informative – travel agents would very much appreciate this briefing”.  In second place was Shafik Meghji for his piece What posh white men do, which was featured in The Author.  In third place was Florence Derrick, for her piece, Singapore’s sustainable future, in ABTA Magazine. 

  1. AITO Travel Blogger of the Year

This category recognises the considerable – and expanding – influence of travel bloggers and their role within the travel writing community.In first place, the winning piece by Abigail KingIs dark tourism ethical?, published in Inside the Travel Lab, was described by judges as Difficult and inspirational.  Thoughtful and provoking”.In second place was Searching for sharks on Scotland’s wild west coast, by Lauren Jarvis, published by Loveexploring.com.  In third place, for her piece The rise of the female scuba diver in Jordan, published on BBC Travel, is Phoebe Smith.

AITO winners 2022

"Huge congratulations to all of the very worthy winners of this year’s awards. We had some fantastic entries for 2022, with over 350 wonderfully-written pieces to review. We’d also like to thank the judges for their time spent reading so many examples of great travel writing, with special thanks to those who very kindly sponsored the cash prizes for the winners.” Chairman of AITO, Chris Rowles

For further information on AITO’s Travel Writer of the Year Awards, visit www.aito.com.   Press:  For further information on AITO, please see www.aito.com or contact Travel PR on 020 8891 4440.  Alternatively, email Lizzie Cooper (l.cooper@travelpr.co.uk), Gemma Minto (g.minto@travelpr.co.uk) or Sue Ockwell (s.ockwell@travelpr.co.uk).  Out of office hours, please call 07831 126 356.Notes to editors: For the full 2022 shortlist, see here.

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