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Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards

Australia's best travel writers and public relations professionals were honoured at the annual ASTW Awards.

Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards

Tuesday, 08 September 2015

Australian Society of Travel Writers Awards

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Australia’s best travel writers and public relations professionals were honoured at the annual ASTW Awards for excellence at a gala awards ceremony held in the spiritual heart of Australia at the Uluru Meeting Place, Ayers Rock Resort on Saturday evening 5 September.

The Awards ceremony was part of the annual convention and AGM of the society, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  Over 100 people travelled from across Australia to take part in the convention.

“The ASTW’s members represent the leading writers, editors, publishers, content creators and public relations professionals of the Australian travel industry.  Over 350 entries were received across the 16 Award categories with an exceptional calibre of entrants. I believe the judging was extremely close for some categories,” said ASTW president Kerry Heaney. 

“Indeed it is an honour to be a finalist in these awards and I congratulate all of the finalists together with the winners. I would also like to thank each of the sponsors together with Tourism Northern Territory, who were the major sponsor of this year’s convention.”

In all, 16 winners were announced with Ben Groundwater given the highest honour of Australian Travel Writer of the Year for 2015.

2015 ASTW Awards for Excellence






Travel Writer of the Year

Ben Groundwater

A day in the life of an Argentine cowboy
Where to find real cowboys
Why you should visit a Muslim country

SMH Traveller
The Age

Tourism NT

Travel Photographer of the Year

Jocelyn Pride


International Traveller
Luxury Travel

Nikon Australia

PR – Best Communicator or Communications team of the Year

Karena Noble

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia
The communication of the rejuvenation of an iconic Australian destination. This has resulted in a high demand in domestic and international markets and substantially increased occupancy for the Resort.

Not applicable – individual award


Best Travel and  Tourism Story

John Borthwick

Thailand’s cutting edge industry

The West Australian

Wellcamp Airport

Best Australian Travel Story

Andrew Bain

Savannah Strolling

Australian Geographic

Tourism Australia

Best International Travel Story – under 1000 words

Kerry van der Jagt

A feeling for ice

Get up and Go

Macau Government Tourist Office

Best International Travel Story – over 1000 words

Catherine Marshall

Myanmar: how tourism has transformed this south-east Asian hotspot

Fairfax Traveller

Accor Group

Best Adventure Travel Story

Andrew Bain

Small stature, great heights

Fairfax Traveller

Voyages Ayers Rock Resort

Best Responsible Tourism Story

Jocelyn Pride

The Mane Event

National Geographic
Traveller Australia
And New Zealand Online

Tourism Authority of Thailand

Best Cruise Travel Story

Kerry van der Jagt

Amazon River cruise in Peru: Close Encounters

The Sydney Morning Herald
The Age

South Pacific Tourism Organisation

Best Travel Story about the 2014 AGM host Destination FIJI  (NEW)

Catherine Marshall

The underwater milky way

Fairfax Traveller

Marine Tourism

Best Travel Blog or Travel App of the Year (NEW)

Rob Dunlop

Thirst For Sydney

Not applicable

Tourism Australia

Best Digital Innovation

Lee Atkinson

OzyRoadTripper does the Big Lap

Not applicable


Best Food Travel Story

Ben Groundwater

Where to find the best pizza in Naples

SMH Traveller
The Age

Juddery Family & Visit Canberra

PR – Best PR Campaign of the Year – Digital or Traditional

Klick Communications

Klick Communications developed a strategic campaign to increase awareness and visitation to the Mudgee Region, by engaging a new and younger generation of traveller. Klick acted on strategic insights and pre-campaign learnings to determine just who those visitors were, implementing both traditional PR and digital tactics to host the ultimate Mudgee Smuggler experience.

Not applicable



PR – Best Tourism Organisation or Travel Product

GTI Tourism

In March 2015, Vanuatu was hit by a category five cyclone which left devastation in its path. This caused havoc for Vanuatu's major industry, tourism, which accounts for around 6,000 jobs. Subsequent media coverage spiralled and with limited communications inaccurate information quickly spread, causing alarm amongst the travel trade and travellers.

Not applicable


For more information on the ASTW, visit