North American Travel Journalists Association Announces 2016 Award Winners for Excellence in Travel Journalism

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Grand Prize Winners: National Geographic Traveler, Aaron Huey, Andrew McCarthy, Adam Pitluk, and Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

The competition, now in its 25th year, honors the best of the best in travel media.

The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) has announced the winners of its 2016 NATJA Travel Media Awards Competition. Awards were given to publications, travel journalists, photographers whose work was published in print and online media from September 2015 through August 2016. Additionally, awards were given to the top convention and visitors bureaus, PR agencies or destination marketing organizations. The competition, now in its 25th year, honors the “best of the best” in travel media.

Submissions for this year’s awards competition grew by more than 20% compared to last year. Entries reflected an array of excellent journalistic and creative work. “Submissions were judged by seasoned journalists, editors, photographers and PR professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience. NATJA is appreciative to all its judges for the tremendous time and effort they took in reviewing this year’s entries. Given the caliber of the entries, the judging was not easy,” stated NATJA CEO Helen Hernandez.

This year’s Grand Prize winners were selected for their outstanding and creative story-telling, photography, and marketing efforts. Issue after issue, National Geographic Traveler infallibly combines stories and visuals that transport and inspire readers to explore the world. In Travel Journalism, Andrew McCarthy and Adam Pitluk are awarded for their captivating story-telling. This is McCarthy’s second consecutive Grand Prize. In Photography, the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” could not be truer of Aaron Huey’s work across all of his photography. The Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau takes the prize for Destination Marketing for its creative and informative marketing.

Additionally, one first place (Gold) winner is chosen in each of the categories along with 2nd (Silver), 3rd place (Bronze) and Finalists. Winners will be recognized at the 2017 NATJA Conference & Marketplace which will be held May 16th – 19th, hosted by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The mission of NATJA is to foster high quality journalism by supporting the professional development of its members, providing exceptional benefits and valuable resources, honoring the excellence of journalism throughout the world, and promoting travel and leisure to the general public.

A complete list of the winners and finalists is available on the NATJA website at

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Yanira Leon
since: 04/2009
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