The bar just keeps getting higher.
Past entries have been impressive, but the entries submitted this year -- the fifth of the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards program -- demonstrate that the industry viewed last year's winning entries as the new baseline. What you'll see in the following pages represents a leap forward in inspired design, marketing and advertising.
The Magellans celebrate the full circle of travel and tourism experience. Creative minds representing every segment of the industry isolate the essence of products and destinations and create advertising and marketing narratives that inspire people to dream and travel. Agents -- traditional, online, home-based -- then develop campaigns that target the perfect consumer for each component of a trip. Designers and software developers tap into that same narrative and enhance the actual experience, either in three dimensions or on a touchscreen. Those who stand in the Magellan winners circle are those who not only have heightened creative sensibilities but who also have true insight into what makes traveling so rewarding.
We proudly showcase their accomplishments because we know that inspiration is, by definition, contagious. The 2012 Gold and Silver winners, whose work you can see in the following pages, can be proud not only of their own achievements but of their role in inspiring our industry to even greater heights.
More and more companies are also winning multiple Magellans, demonstrating mastery in a wide range of categories. Perennial multi-winners American Express and Travel Leaders, when including their affiliated brands and agencies, each netted more than 25 awards this year. And Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. set an all-time Magellan record with 39 trophies awarded to its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises brands, in aggregate.
Best Western came in with 17 Magellans, Viking River Cruises had 10 and the following companies received between five and nine: AMResorts, Aston Hotels & Resorts, Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority, Disney, Virtuoso, Funjet, Qatar Airways, Sabre, Sandals, Tauck, Uniworld, Holland America Line, Rocky Mountaineer and the Society of International Railway Travelers.
Once again, we had the benefit of an extraordinary judging panel -- Bruce Beckham, John "Johnny Jet" DiScala, Marc Mancini, Rudy Maxa, Tony McKinnon, Rod McLeod, Lalia Rach and Patricia Schultz -- and are very grateful to them for giving their time to review and score the entries. The judges aren't remunerated for their duties; they volunteer out of a spirit of service and commitment to the industry. They appreciate the importance of recognizing and rewarding exceptional achievement, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank them.
(One other note about the judging: While we feel confident that these judges could be objective and unbiased no matter whose work they were reviewing, we have taken steps to ensure that there is not even the appearance of conflicts of interest. None of the judges were given entries to critique in the categories in which they work or have worked.)
I'd like to add my personal, heartfelt congratulations to this year's Gold and Silver winners. One of the benefits for Travel Weekly in administering the Magellan Awards is the inspiration that comes during the process of reviewing, judging and putting together this special issue. We're impressed and inspired by the Magellan entrants and hope that the display of some of the work of this year's winners on the following pages will serve as inspiration for you, and that your name will be among the winners next year.
Editor in Chief
The Travel Weekly Magellan Awards
honor the best in travel and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all, from design to marketing to services.
The awards recognize a broad range of industry segments: Hospitality; Travel Destinations; Cruise Lines; Tour Operators; Online Travel Services; Airlines and Airports; and Travel Agents and Agencies.
The entry deadline was July 27. This year, more than 550 entries were submitted for consideration.
Entrants were able to submit various multimedia elements, such as photos and video, print materials and Web pages.
Entries do not compete against one another. They are judged instead against a standard of excellence, using a 100-point performance scale.
Judges were asked, for example, to consider how relevant the elements of an entry were to its sector of the travel industry, how well designed the supporting elements were and whether they found the entry "appealing or intriguing."
Those entries scoring between 90 and 100 were given Gold Magellan Awards, the top honor. These entries were considered by the judges to be clearly excellent and the best of the best.
Other entries that scored from 80 to 90 were deemed outstanding work and were awarded a Silver Magellan.
Therefore, there might be multiple Gold or Silver winners in a particular category, or only Silver winners, or no winners at all.
Winners were announced Sept. 5.