The travel industry's growth curve continues to impress, as record numbers of travelers cruise, tour and fly across not only physical borders, but venture beyond the emotional, spiritual and intellectual boundaries they had unconsciously set for themselves.
Marketing and selling travel is unlike marketing and selling any other product or service. The growth it engenders within individuals and families who explore the world is both difficult to capture in words and imagery, yet can only truly be conveyed by the exact right words and images, whether spoken, printed, posted, broadcast, streamed or tweeted.
Likewise, travel-related design that elevates and excites the senses must, once a traveler has arrived, combine elements of culture, beauty, abstraction, dimension, media and material to elevate experiences beyond what a traveler could imagine.
The art of conceiving, composing and distributing inspiration on the sales and marketing side, and the alchemistry that transforms abstract creative thought into physical beauty on the design side, is what Travel Weekly's Magellan Awards recognize.
This year's Magellan winners themselves broke barriers and crossed boundaries, exploring new territories of creativity and rendering stirring landscapes no one had previously explored.
Traveling has never been easier; there are near-infinite travel options for consumers today, and only those who can craft a message that captures the authentic essence of what a complex experience holds will move a traveler to action.
When consumers encounter the work of the Magellan winners, they act. The diverse cultures, the scope of services and the sheer beauty of what the world offers can be overwhelming. Magellan winners narrow the choices by distilling experiences into understandable messages and designs that spark a decision.
Time and again, with a single sentence, an arresting design element or imagery that touches the soul, the industry's marketers, designers, copywriters, videographers, architects, graphic artists, creative directors, photographers and travel consultants not only trigger the impulse to escape the ordinary and travel to new worlds, but to assure that promises and delivery can be aligned.
Each year we review the entry categories, and this year we celebrate three new categories of travel experiences that we believe deserve distinct recognition. Congratulations to the Curacao Tourist Board, which took home an award in the new Cultural/Arts category, and Martinique for its Magellan in Waterfront Development. Both came under the Destinations category.
And while it may not surprise anyone that Airbnb entered the new Share Economy category under Hospitality, its winning of a Magellan wasn't assured. The judges, however, were impressed, and the company will receive its first Magellan.
Magellan judges aren't remunerated but are moved to volunteer in the spirit of recognizing exceptional efforts. It is the judges' profound understanding of both consumers and the underlying benefits of travel that make the Magellans meaningful. I want to again publicly share my deepest appreciation to them for putting in the time and effort required to collectively view and score thousands of entries.
And I'm hoping that you, too, will share in the inspiration that permeates the Magellan Awards as you review winners.
— Arnie Weissmann
Magellan Awards Judges
Bangs is the executive producer and host of the PBS program "Richard Bangs' Quests."
He served as executive producer and host of the Emmy-winning PBS series "Richard Bangs' Adventures With Purpose," and his companion book, "Adventures With Purpose," was named best book by the North American Travel Journalists Association in 2007. He was part of the executive team of Expedia.com and served as its editor at large.
"I have to tip my hat to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for their two commercials, 'The Secret' and 'Transformation.' Both are fireballs of wit: clever narratives that tell engaging apologues and suck the viewer into an irresistible place."
Baumgarten is the past president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, an international organization of travel industry executives that promotes tourism worldwide. Prior to that, he held various executive positions at Air France during a nearly 30-year career, including executive vice president of corporate, international and industry affairs.
Today he is chairman and CEO of Crewe Associates, a management consultancy.
On Delta Air Lines' advertising/marketing campaign: "The visuals are simple; one has to praise the way they were planned and shot, and that little dash of humor in the background makes the whole campaign. A good lesson about simplicity can be efficient."
Beckham is a consultant specializing in travel industry marketing, tour operations, travel industry philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. He is a founder of and the executive director emeritus of Tourism Cares, a nonprofit, philanthropic organization.
He is the former owner of a family-operated travel agency and tour company, a past president of the National Tour Association and a past chairman of the National Tourism Foundation.
"I was most impressed with the innovation on the use of websites, especially in the cruise segment. There were a couple of entries that really stood out. No. 1 is Norwegian Cruise Line's Freestyle key card that instantly yet unobtrusively indicates a passenger's status and/or brand loyalty to cruise service personnel when they show the key card."
Garfield served as president of the Walt Disney Travel Co. and executive vice president of worldwide sales and travel operations for Disney Destinations until his retirement in April 2014.
During his tenure, he oversaw the opening of five theme parks and 27 resort hotels as well as the launches of Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney.
Before joining Disney, Garfield served as chief marketing officer for Universal Studios Florida.
"A special nod to the outstanding multiproduct brochure developed by Seabourn to showcase the breadth and scope of their cruises in visually stunning photos supported by just the right amount of copy.
"In the area of pure, unadulterated luxury, the Villas at the Mirage website conveyed the unique benefits for those travelers looking for the ultimate Las Vegas experience 24/7."
Greenberg is travel editor for CBS News and host of the nationally syndicated "Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio" show, broadcast each week from a different remote location around the world.
He is co-author of Michelin's "Like a Local" guides and also serves as editor at large of Global Business Travel magazine.
Greenberg produces and co-hosts PBS' "The Royal Tour," which features one-on-one journeys through various countries with their heads of state.
"The one entry that resonated with me was the Seabourn-Unesco partnership. If a tourist sees something, a traveler experiences it, and the Seabourn approach to the World Heritage sites was an excellent way to involve and immerse their travelers in more than just another shore excursion. It has meaning, it has tangible history, and it gives an additional purpose to the journey."
John E. DiScala, aka Johnny Jet, travels more than 150,000 miles and visits 20 countries each year. He and his website JohnnyJet.com have frequently been featured on major network TV and in national publications. He appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte's syndicated radio show, "The Tech Guy," talking about travel and technology.
Budget Travel magazine named JohnnyJet.com one of the top money-saving websites for travel.
"Just as in the previous years, I'm amazed at the quality of the majority of applicants. My favorite this year was Seabourn's Antarctica video: It was so clean and crisp, I felt like I was there. It definitely made me want to visit my elusive seventh continent next January!"
Kwortnik is an associate professor of services marketing at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His research focuses on consumer behavior in service contexts, with special attention to service experience management.
His work has been published in the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Service Research and the International Journal of Research in Marketing.
"This was a Hilton year for me. I particularly liked Hilton's 'Our Stage, Your Story' marketing campaign. Hilton does a nice job of showing vignettes that are potential travel stories, best told with powerful imagery."
Lampl, a consultant and freelance travel writer, spent four decades with British Airways, serving as vice president of corporate communications for the Americas upon retiring in 2011.
During his tenure he managed the carrier's launch of services from numerous U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
"Very interesting that some are so complete [while others feature] very pretty videos but lack contact and booking information. The Dusit Thani Maldives definitely qualifies for one of the top presentations; it is very complete, with brochures, pictures, sales and marketing information, call to action and pricing."
Mancini is a travel industry speaker, educator and consultant who has authored or produced 12 books, 32 videos, 27 online courses and over 300 articles.
His firm helped design programs such as Marriott's Hotel Excellence, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau's Ke Kula O Hawaii and Norwegian Cruise Line's NCL University. While with CLIA, he was the creative force behind nearly 100 seminars, videos and online courses.
"The ultimate goal of a hotel video is to make you feel like you're seeing a property as it really is. No video I've seen does it better than the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort's 'A Day of Discovery.' The presentation uses a POV style and minimal editing to make you really feel that you're part of a family exploring the resort. It's a tricky approach that could have easily become cliched. Here it works in masterful fashion."
Maxa is host of "Rudy Maxa's World," a nationally syndicated travel/talk radio show. He also hosts a series of "Rudy Maxa's World" TV programs that are broadcast on PBS stations throughout North America.
The former Washington Post investigative reporter began covering the travel industry in 1990 as a contributor to the public radio business program "Marketplace."
On Best Western International's Mom Me-Time video: "Lovely, tear-jerker of a YouTube video, and with 39,000 views, it worked."
On Best Western's "Home Run Road Trip" social media campaign: "Someone at Best Western or its agency is coming up with good ideas for contests."
A 30-year industry veteran, Misunas is a principal of Essential Ideas, a consultancy specializing in travel and tourism, technology and consumer e-retailing.
Previously she was president and CEO of the Sabre Group and senior vice president/chief information officer of AMR Corp., formerly the parent company of American Airlines.
"I found Dreams Las Mareas to have gorgeous videos that told their story and the St. James's Club Morgan Bay to offer a wide variety of content as well as incorporating live chat to communicate directly with the property.
"I was delighted by Protravel's superb submissions in three categories and was especially impressed with their social media and content."
Following more than two decades as editor in chief of Travel + Leisure, Novogrod recently launched NNNext, a consultancy focused on the luxury marketplace.
Before joining Travel + Leisure, Novogrod served as editor in chief of House & Garden. Prior to that she was executive editor of Clarkson Potter, where she developed a series of lifestyle books, including "High-Tech," "French Style" and "American Country."
"Some of the best entries were Virtuoso's and AmEx's in terms of clarity of presentation and getting the message across, but coming from the editorial end of the media world, I must say I was a bit disappointed at times that so many good ideas were undercut by a less-than-successful graphic presentation and seemed a bit out of touch in terms of modernity and power as a result."
TripAdvisor's first Travel Advocate, Perrin offers travel advice on TripAdvisor's blog and in a "Wendy's Travel Tips" newsletter to 13 million members.
Wendy was formerly director of consumer news and digital community at Conde Nast Traveler, where she wrote a practical advice column, "The Perrin Report," for 17 years and a blog, "The Perrin Post," for eight years.
"I was most impressed with the hospitality marketing websites that show they know how to engage and speak to consumers by giving them knowledge that goes beyond just the hotel and making it fun.
"Hotel Bloom is a great example. Every room is unique because it has a different mural designed by a young, up-and-coming European artist."
Schultz, a Travel Weekly Masters Series contributing editor, is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller "1,000 Places to See Before You Die." She also served as executive producer of the Travel Channel's TV show based on the book.
On Holland America Line's Mariner Magazine, Winter: "A truly impressive publication, both visually and content-wise. While so many these days scrimp when it comes to quality photography, the images chosen throughout were beautiful -- and I am hard to please. The variety of destinations covered is appropriately varied -- Barcelona, South Pacific, Bermuda -- and well covered both in style and inspiration."
An editor with more than three decades in travel publishing, Stoddart currently provides content marketing solutions for travel clients via her consultancy, VS Content Strategies, and as executive editor of Residence for Percepture, a marketing communications agency.
Previously she spent 16 years as USA Today's editor in chief for travel and prior to that was the founding editor of Caribbean Travel & Life magazine.
"Great design and innovative approaches marked this year's standout entries. Especially impressive was the use of alternative media: Apple Vacations' Spotify playlists cleverly inspired users to book and 'relive' their vacations after their trip. 'Picture Your Selfie Here' from Cruise Planners/American Express was a smart, engaging way to capture social media buzz."
John E. "Ned" Walker served as senior vice president and chief communications officer of Delta Air Lines from October 2008 until his retirement in June 2014.
Walker joined Delta from Continental Airlines, where he was senior vice president of worldwide corporate communications.
Prior to joining the airline industry, Walker was a broadcast journalist in Colorado.
"Especially noteworthy is how many of the submitted elements were designed to engage more and more of the travel industry's growing millennial audience.
"The Micato Safaris brochure was an exceptional and masterful piece of traditional consumer collateral. It took you on a virtual safari, leaving you ready to pack your bags and fly to Africa."
A hospitality industry veteran of more than 30 years, Wielgus is founder of the International Advisor Group, a consultancy for the hospitality industry.
Previously, he served as senior vice president of marketing for Celebrity and Azamara Cruises and executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Choice Hotels International.
"The first entry that struck me as a standout was Contiki Legends' 'A True Travel Story.' It tugs at your heart and emotions about why travel is such a life-changing experience. Sometimes the destination takes a subordinate role to the real experience of seeing things through a different lens!"
The Magellan Awards honor the best in travel and
salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all, from design
to marketing to services.
awards recognize a broad range of industry segments: Airlines and
Airports, Cruise Lines, Destinations, Ground Transportation,
Hospitality, Online Travel Services, Tour Operators and Travel Agents
Entrants submitted various multimedia elements,
such as photos and videos, print materials and websites, and a panel of
17 travel industry heavyweights judged the entries (none judged
categories in which they work or have worked).
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."
entries scoring between 90 and 100 were given gold Magellans. These
entries were considered by the judges to be clearly excellent and the
best of the best.
Entries scoring from 80 to 90 were deemed outstanding work and were awarded silver Magellans.
there might be multiple gold or silver winners in a particular
category, or only silver winners, or no winners at all.
Winners were announced on Sept. 9.