Inspire Global is delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural Inspire Global Media Awards 2023 in association with headline destination South African Tourism. The winners were revealed at an exclusive event in London on Tuesday 4th April 2023, attended by over 80 senior media travel editors, journalists, and Inspire Global members.
The IGMAs recognise excellence across the travel media landscape, celebrating individuals and organisations bringing to life stories of sustainable, positive impact tourism. With over 150 submissions received, the IGMA Judges rewarded entries that raised awareness on positive impact travel, striking a good balance between providing readers and listeners with a wider understanding of tourism as a vital contributor in creating socio-cultural, environmental and economic benefits, while painting a colourful picture of the destination or experience.
Judges included Graham Boynton, award winning author and international journalist; Debbie Flynn, Managing Partner, Global Practice Leader at FINN Partners; Jim Millward, leading travel marketeer and Director of Spruce Marketing; Alessandra Alonso, award-winning founder and MD of Women in Travel CIC, Rachel Lewis, Campaign & Partnership Manager at South African Tourism; Mike Kelly, co-owner of luxury family Tour Operator Coral Tree Travel; and Byron Shirto; CEO of Inspire Global.
The awards included a candid panel discussion on the role of the media in positive impact tourism storytelling, moderated by Graham Boynton with panellists Meera Dattani, Senior Editor, Adventure.com; Pat Riddell, Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK); Ben Ross, Head of Travel, The Telegraph; Sophie Griffiths, Editor and Chief Purpose Officer, TTG Media.
Debbie Flynn comments, “I am absolutely delighted that Finn Partners and our clients played such a big role in these inaugural awards. We were so happy to see Belize, Intrepid Travel, Greece and Sunlife all being part of this community celebrating the best of positive impact travel writing. As a judge I was so impressed with all the entries and fabulous to catch up in person with so many esteemed writers and editors.”
Lyn Hughes, Founding Editor at Wanderlust Travel Media, recipient of the Positive Impact Outstanding Contribution Award states, “There are plenty of travel media awards out there but there were none recognising the positive impact that storytelling can and should have. So well done to Inspire Global for launching these much-needed and timely awards. I am thrilled and honoured to have won the inaugural Positive Impact Outstanding Contribution Award. When we launched Wanderlust magazine in 1993 our goal was to highlight the type of travel that positively benefits communities and the environment as well as the traveller themselves. So, it’s a particular joy to win this award when we are celebrating our 30th anniversary.”
Byron Shirto, CEO of Inspire Global, observes, “It’s important we have a joined-up narrative when communicating positive impact travel to consumers, and the media are a very important link in the tourism supply chain. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the media support, reflecting consumer sentiment and a renewed travel trade focus to make sustainable travel the norm.”
The IGMAs recognise excellence across the travel media landscape, celebrating individuals and organisations bringing to life stories of sustainable, positive impact tourism.
Consumer Newspaper Feature of the Year (UK & Europe) sponsored by Visit Greece
Winner – Andrew Purvis for ‘Buy a holiday and grow a wildlife sanctuary’ in the Daily Telegraph
Highly Commended – Shelley Rubenstein for ‘Closed for Maintenance: How the Faroe Islands Shook up the Voluntourism Game’ in The Independent
Consumer Newspaper Feature of the Year (Rest of the World) sponsored by South African Tourism
Winner – Chris Haslam for ‘Our notion of luxury is as morally unacceptable as drink driving’ in the Sunday Times
Highly Commended – Sarah Marshall for ‘The best way to see this mysterious mountain kingdom – now the gates have been unlocked’ in The Telegraph
Overall winner for Newspaper Feature of the Year sponsored by South African Tourism
Chris Haslam for ‘Our notion of luxury is as morally unacceptable as drink driving’ in the Sunday Times
Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year (Africa & Indian Ocean) sponsored by Visit Morocco
Winner – Emma Gregg for ‘A new dawn’ in National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Highly Commended – Summer Rylander for ‘Behind the scenes of a fundraising expedition in southern Africa’ in Adventure.com
Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year (Americas & The Caribbean) sponsored by Visit Morocco
Winner – Karen Gardiner for ‘How tourism revived a once-decimated Newfoundland fishing community’ in Adventure.com
Highly Commended – Shafik Meghji for ‘Sustainability and survival in the Bolivian Amazon’ in JRNY Magazine
Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year (Asia, Australasia & Oceania) sponsored by Visit Morocco
Winner – Mark Stratton for ‘The Big Question: Can even ‘ethical’ elephant tourism ever be truly ethical?’ in Adventure.com
Highly Commended – Nori Jemil for ‘The first astronomers: How Australia’s Indigenous Elders read the night sky’ in Adventure.com
Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year (UK, Europe and non-geo specific) sponsored by Visit Morocco
Winner – Eddi Fiegel for ‘Sustainable Spain’ in Wanderlust
Highly Commended – Lauren Jarvis for ‘Take A Walk on the Rewilding Side’ in Grazia
Overall winner Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year sponsored by Visit Morocco
Eddi Fiegel for ‘Sustainable Spain’ in Wanderlust
Trade Publication Feature of the Year sponsored by Intrepid Travel
Content Storyteller Video of the Year sponsored by Visit Greece
Winner – Simon Calder for ‘From rainforest walks to island retreats and rooftop gardens, how Singapore nurtures people and planet‘ published on The Independent website
Highly Commended – Simon Parker for ‘Living with elephants in Botswana‘ published on The Telegraph website and Journeysmiths
Podcast Programme of the Year sponsored by FINN Partners
Positive Impact Storyteller of the Year sponsored by Belize Tourism
Winner – Emma Gregg
High Commended – Phoebe Smith
Positive Impact Outstanding Contribution sponsored by Sunlife
Winner – Lyn Hughes