To those in any aspect of travel marketing, sales or design, sussing out the meaning of travel in 2020 has been the equivalent of pondering that familiar Zen koan about the sound of one hand clapping. To us, the other hand—the traveler—has been\ missing for most of this year.
But the challenge of the koan is to wrestle with a paradox in order to be forced beyond conventional thought and get to essential truths. In previous years, we could simply tempt travelers with deals and access, food and drink, sun and sand, recreation and relaxation. But this year, all of us in the industry have had to meditate on the essence of travel, and how it can be communicated. We’ve had to come up with ways to keep alive hope, optimism and anticipation for the day when we’re all let back out into the wild.
Tour operators, travel advisors, cruise lines, air carriers, hoteliers, destinations, travel insurers and the tech companies that serve the travel industry rose to the challenge admirably, and the results of their work follows. Some were created for the period of time when travel proceeded without restriction; others were created during a time of great restriction. From concept to execution, all achieved a level of excellence that rose far above their competitors.
And that’s what the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards reward. Gold and silver Magellans are given to recognize the very best examples of design and promotion that balance the exact right words, materials, shapes, colors and technology to create an impression that moves a traveler, even when travel itself was not possible.
Magellan winners are those marketers and designers whose exploration of travel’s possibilities rings true and stands out. Their carefully crafted messages, whether spoken, printed, posted, broadcast, streamed or tweeted, expand the possibilities of what travel can mean.
The art of conceiving, composing and distributing inspiration on the sales and marketing side and the alchemical process that transforms abstract creative thought into physical beauty on the design side is reflected in what you’re about to see.
This year’s silver and gold Magellan winners are the industry’s marketers, designers, copywriters, videographers, architects, graphic artists, creative directors, photographers and travel consultants who not only captured the essence of travel but hold out the promise of what travel will bring once it resumes in full.
Magellan judges aren’t remunerated but are moved to volunteer in the spirit of recognizing and rewarding 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.
(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 were given entries to critique in categories in which they directly work or have worked.)
The awards are as much for the benefit of Travel Weekly’s readers as for those who entered the competition. As you review the Magellan Awards winners, we hope that you, too, agree with the judges that, indeed, the essence of travel has been captured.
Executive Vice President and Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly
The Magellan Awards honor the best in travel and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all, from design to marketing to services.
This year’s awards recognize a broad range of industry segments: Airlines and Airports; Cruise Lines; Destinations; Hospitality; Online Travel Services; Tour Operators; and Travel Agents and Agencies.
Entrants submitted various multimedia elements, such as photos and videos; print materials; and websites, and a panel of 15 travel industry heavyweights judged the entries (none judged categories in which they work or have worked).
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 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.
Therefore, there might be multiple gold or silver winners in a particular category, or only silver winners, or no winners at all.
MAGELLAN AWARDS JUDGES
A pioneer in travel, digital media, e-commerce and other frontiers, Bangs has published more than 1,000 magazine articles, 19 books and produced a score of documentaries. He produced the first internet travel site (www.mtsobek.com), the first travel CD-ROM (The Adventure Disc) and the first virtual expeditions (www.terra-quest.com) in the early ’90s and continued with more from there. He is currently executive producing and hosting Richard Bangs’ Quests for PBS.
Baumgarten is the CEO of Crewe Assoc., which provides consulting services to private companies and governments. He is the former President and CEO and Vice Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council. Baumgarten worked for Air France from 1970 to 1998 in various roles, including Executive Vice President of Corporate, International & Industry Affairs. Prior to leaving Air France, he held the position of Advisor to the Chairman.
Beckham is a consultant in the travel and tourism industry specializing in travel industry philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. He is the Executive Advisor and the former Executive Director and CEO of the non-profit organization Tourism Cares. Beckham is a Certified Tourism Professional, the former owner of a travel agency and packaged tour company, and a former president of NTA.
Dalgaard has 40 years of experience in different areas of the travel industry, including airline, retail travel agency and tour operator. He is the founder and President of international tour operator Avanti Destinations, Inc. He has held several positions at the USTOA, where currently he is Vice Chairman. He also has been on the advisory boards of the German National Tourist Office and Atout France for many years.
Greenberg is the travel editor for CBS News and host of the national CBS Eye on Travel radio show, broadcast from a different location around the world each week. He also hosts the public television show The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg, a series of 40+ half-hour episodes featuring travel news, must-have information, insider tips known only to a select few and hidden gem destinations not found in traditional guidebooks or brochures.
Heather Greenwood Davis
Davis is a contributing editor and on-air storyteller for National Geographic, a feature writer and columnist for The Globe and Mail, the resident travel expert on CTV’s national daily talk program The Social and the co-host of Get, Set, Go! on CHCH Morning Live. In addition, she is also the founder and voice behind Globetrottingmama.com, a site that documented her award-winning, yearlong trip around the world with her family.
John E. DiScala, aka Johnny Jet, has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited close to 100 countries. He is a travel blogger for National Geographic. He and his website JohnnyJet.com have frequently been featured in major publications and on network TV. He was named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers and writes about everything travel.
Lambert spent over 30 years with Avis Budget Group and its predecessor companies, where he held multiple senior leadership positions, both in the field and at a headquarters level. He is currently a Managing Director in the Scottsdale, Ariz., office of executive search firm Harvard Group International (HGI), focusing on multiple industries, including non-profit, travel and transportation, and sports and entertainment.
Maxa is the host and executive producer of Rudy Maxa’s World, the Emmy Award-winning public television travel series. His 95 television episodes air on public television stations nationwide and in 121 countries in 22 different languages on Travel Channel International. The voice of National Geographic Traveler’s “Walks of a Lifetime” podcasts, he also hosts the weekly travel radio show RM World Travel with Rudy Maxa and Robert & Mary Carey.
Misunas currently serves as an advisor and Board Director to various public and private businesses and acts as a principal of Essential Ideas, a consultancy specializing in the global travel and tourism, technology and online retailing fields. Previously, she was CEO of SABRE, CIO of American Airlines and CEO of Reed Travel Group. Misunas is a co-author of the publication Multi-Channel Distribution: The Essential Guide.
Quintos is a consultant for the travel industry on communications strategy, media relations, custom content and messaging. An award-winning journalist, she is an Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel Media. She is the former executive editor of National Geographic Traveler and was an editor at U.S. News and World Report and Caribbean Travel and Life. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund.
Robb is a travel industry consultant and serves as Board Chair for The Travel Institute. He started his long travel career in sales and sales management, representing an international airline and hotel group. He followed that with roles at Carlson Companies, including Global Vice President of Marketing. More recently, he focused on corporate and product strategies at La Macchia Enterprises.
John E. “Ned” Walker served as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of Delta Air Lines Inc., from 2008 until his retirement in 2014. Walker joined Delta from Continental Airlines Inc., where he served for 21 years as a leading communications strategist. He retired from Continental in 2008 as a member of the airline’s Management Committee and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications.
A hospitality industry veteran of more than 30 years, Wielgus is the founder of the International Advisor Group, a consultancy for the hospitality industry. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Celebrity Cruises and Azamara and Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Choice Hotels International.
Before his retirement, Wolff held several executive positions with Marriott International, including Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to Marriott, Wolff worked in executive positions with TWA, where he oversaw global reservations and airline training, and Hickory Travel, where he was President. In 2006, he received ASTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.