In October 2005, I was shortlisted for both the Best Writer on Hotels and Best Writer on Car Rental in the annual Carlson Wagonlit Travel Business Travel Journalism Awards.
In November 2005, I won the Photograph of the Year award in the British Guild of Travel Writers annual Members' Awards for 2005. The winning picture was of a Mosuo minority girl rowing across Lugu Lake in Yunnan province, China, and was published in a photo-feature about Lugu Lake's matriarchal Mosuo society in CNN Traveller magazine.
I am a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Golf Travel Writers Association
Panels and presentations:
In 1995 and 1996 I served on the prestigious How to Pow Wow Task Force, a voluntary panel of senior travel industry figures and Press which helps orientate new delegates at the Travel Industry Association of America's annual Pow Wow trade marketplace, addressing audiences of 600 people on each occasion. I addressed the Public Relations World Congress in Chicago in 2000 and have given presentations to the Spotlight Canada Media Workshop and the SeeAmerica Forum, both in London.
And another thing:
I organised a major charity auction at World Travel Market in November 1997 in aid of two causes – a trust fund I set up for the young daughters of TTG's US correspondent Barbara Land, who died suddenly a year earlier, and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The auction was supported by many leading travel companies including airlines, tour operators, ferry companies, hotels and cruise lines, with more than 60 lots auctioned by TV personality Russell Grant and myself. It raised £24,000, while the trust fund raised the $45,000 needed to pay for the university education of Barbara's three daughters. I also helped launch the Young Travel Writer of the Year Award, in Barbara's memory, on behalf of TTG and in conjunction with US tourism organisation Travel South, and ran it until I left TTG in 2002. The award has now been presented to six young journalists. Past winners include gapyear.com founder and Government youth adviser Tom Griffiths and author Rich Knight, now a producer for BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
A question I'm often asked. The answer is anywhere that has beaches, mountains, snow, deserts, rivers, canals, forests, crystal clear and warm water for diving, great golf courses, photogenic and friendly locals, good beer or wine, good cuisine, great bars or pubs, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and more great bars or pubs. I guess that rules out Southend!
Thanks for your interest