Creativity in the travel industry finds many expressions. This year's entries in Travel Weekly's Magellan Awards indicate that, from ship designs to ad campaigns to customer communications, creativity surged in 2013.
Collectively, the entries reflect the full range of inspired talent that powers the industry and inspires billions of people to get out of their chairs and experience the renewing power of travel. More than 1 billion people will cross an international border this year to experience other cultures, make new friends, sample different foods, expose their ears to new languages and their eyes to new landscapes.
That doesn't happen by luck or chance. It happens because dedicated marketers, designers, copywriters, photographers, architects, graphic artists and travel consultants provide the creative vision that ignites a desire to expand one's horizons.
As you'll see in the pages that follow, the expression of creativity in the travel industry transcends mere description of where one is going and what one will do, or the pragmatic aspects of getting from Point A to Point B. Industry design reaches well beyond the merely functional. The best of industry creativity goes below the surface and touches the heart as well as the brain, and resonates deeply.
As you review the following pages, you'll see that some companies have won multiple awards -- in fact, sometimes in multiples of 10! These companies have infused their corporate cultures with a creative spirit that moves across departmental silos and reflects leadership that recognizes the importance of taking creative risks.
Indeed, as I visit businesses throughout the year, I see the reward for those risks -- Gold and Silver Magellans -- on proud display, from the waiting rooms of travel counselors to the C-suite offices of multinational, billion-dollar public companies.
We once again had the benefit of an extraordinary judging panel. Judges aren't remunerated for their duties, but volunteer out of a spirit of service. They all deserve a special thanks, and I want to give an additional shout-out to CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, PBS TV host Rudy Maxa and Patricia Schultz, author of "1,000 Places to See Before You Die," who have returned for their sixth consecutive year (most of the judges now have been with us for multiple tours, and we welcomed a few rookies in 2013). All are an important part of the Travel Weekly community, and it is their profound understanding and insight that add meaning to winning a Magellan.
(Note: While we're confident these judges could be objective and unbiased no matter whose work they were reviewing, we have taken steps to ensure that there isn't even the appearance of conflicts of interest. None critiqued entries in categories in which they work or have worked.)
It's no coincidence that the awards program was named after the first explorer who refused to be believe that there are limits to exploration. We like to think that the Magellan Awards themselves serve as an engine of inspiration for the industry. It's certainly rewarding and inspiring for me to be involved with the Magellans each year, and all of us at Travel Weekly hope that the work on the following pages serves as inspiration for you -- and that your name will be in the winners circle next year.
Arnie Weissmann Editor in Chief
For a full list of winners, 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: Hospitality, Travel Destinations, Cruise Lines, Online Travel Services, Airlines and Airports, Travel Agents and Agencies, Tour Operators and Ground Transportation.
The entry deadline was July 19. This year, more than 700 entries were submitted for consideration. Entrants were able to submit various multimedia elements, such as photos and video, print materials and websites.
A panel of 12 travel industry heavyweights judged the entries (none judged categories in which they work or have worked).
In determining winners, entries do not compete with one another, but are instead judged against a standard of excellence based on the long experience of Travel Weekly and considering the category entered.
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 may be multiple Gold or Silver winners in a particular category, or only Silver winners, or no winners at all.
Winners were announced Sept. 17.