The best awards programs do more than just make the winners feel proud. They can inspire an industry, and judging from the entries submitted to the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards program, the travel industry has shown increasing signs of inspiration in each of the four years since the Magellans launched.
Now, I don't want to suggest that Travel Weekly should share in the credit for the highly creative design, marketing and advertising entries you'll see in the following pages. All recognition is due to those who applied their creative sensibilities, talents and efforts to produce truly impressive results. But I'm glad that we've been able to provide a credible platform to celebrate and share the work of the industry's top marketers and designers.
The following pages also provide ample proof that no one type of company -- large or small, agency or supplier, established or new -- has a monopoly on talent. Our judges were as impressed by low-budget efforts as by companies with deep pockets.
And in 2011, more companies won multiple awards than ever before. Leading the pack were American Express and its affiliated companies and agencies, Royal Caribbean International and Travel Leaders affiliated brands, all of which received more than 15 Magellans. Best Western Hotels and Viking River Cruises were in the "10 or more" category, and AMResorts, Aston Hotels and Resorts, Azamara Club Cruises, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Norwegian Cruise Line, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Tauck Tours and Trafalgar each received five or more.
Once again, we had the benefit of an extraordinary judging panel -- Bob Dickinson, John "Johnny Jet" DiScala, Peter Greenberg, Rudy Maxa, Lalia Rach, Patricia Schultz and Burt Wolf -- and are very grateful to them for giving their time to review and score the entries. The judges aren't remunerated for their duties, but 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 silver and gold 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.
Arnie Weissmann Editor in Chief
To view the report in its entirety, click here.
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: Hotels and Resorts; Destinations; Cruise Lines; Tour Operators; Online Travel Agency Services; Airlines and Airports; and Travel Agents and Agencies.
The entry deadline was Sept. 9. This year, more than 450 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. 27.