PASADENA, CALIF. – The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) announced the winners of the 29th Annual NATJA Travel Media Awards Competition. Awards were made to publications, travel journalists and photographers, and destination marketing organizations. Winning entries from major publications included The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Bloomberg Businessweek, National Geographic Traveler, American Way, Matador Network, and Air Canada enRoute. Among the destination marketing organizations receiving honors were Discover Puerto Rico and Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau. A complete list of the winners and honorable mentions is attached below.

“The past year has been one of the most challenging and tragic years within memory. Necessarily, the travel and tourism industries were substantially shut down, and while we are cheered by early signs of recovery, we are all aware losses and challenges will continue to mount for some time,” noted Helen Hernandez, CEO of NATJA. “Yet, despite this landscape of loss, NATJA members and others not yet part of our NATJA family, have sucked it up, made needed adjustments, and produced a remarkable body of work. Many submitted their work in this year’s competition, and we are well satisfied–though not surprised–to see that the range and quality of submissions have increased, and the bar for this year’s awards is the highest we have seen over the last twenty-nine years of the NATJA Award’s existence. Thank you to all who submitted in this difficult year for your efforts. We hope you will celebrate with us this year’s winners. ”

One first place (Gold) winner is chosen in each of the categories along with 2nd (Silver), 3rd place (Bronze), and Honorable Mentions. To qualify for an award or honor, work had to be published from September 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. Founded in 1991, NATJA is a travel journalism industry leader that fosters high-quality journalism by supporting the professional development of its members, providing exceptional program benefits and valuable resources, honoring the excellence of journalism throughout the world, and promoting travel and leisure to the general public.

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Category 300: Travel Magazine

Category 301: Independent Travel Blog


Category 100: Destination Travel

Category 101: Illustrated Story

Category 102: Long-Form Narrative/Personal Essay

Category 120: Lifestyle, Personality and Profiles

Category 121: Luxury and Resort Travel

Category 122: Sports, Recreation and Adventure

Category 123: Cruises

Category 124: Historical Travel

Category 125: 60+ Travel

Category 126: Family Travel

Category 127: Culinary Travel

Category 128: Cultural Travel

Category 129: Eco, Environmental or Volunteer Travel

Category 130: Health and Wellness Travel

Category 131: LGBTQ+ Travel

Category 132: Accessible Travel

Category 140: Travel Video

Category 141: Travel Documentary

Category 142: Travel Web Series

Category 143: Travel Podcast

Category 150: Photography – Cover or Feature Photo/Illustration

  • Gold: François Ollivier, “Cover photo for Air Canada enRoute September 2020 Food Issue”, Air Canada enRoute
  • Silver: Barb Sligl, “Le Refuge“, Just for Canadian Dentists Magazine
  • Bronze: Therese Iknoian, “Abandoned Chernobyl Ferris wheel at night“, HI Travel Tales

Category 151: Photography – Landscape, Seascape, Nature

Category 152: Photography – Portrait, People

  • Gold: Tanveer Badal, “American Way Las Vegas Opener”, American Way
  • Silver: Rose Palmer, “Doing It For The Gram“, Quiltripping
  • Bronze: Wendy Gunderson, “London Gentleman“, Film Road Trip

Category 153: Photography – Sports, Recreation, and Adventure

Category 154: Photography – Photo Essay

Category 155: Photography – Cultural

  • Gold: Wendy Gunderson, “Everything is Relative“, Film Road Trip
  • Silver: Michael Hodgson, “Into the night at Berlin Christmas Garden“, HI Travel Tales
  • Bronze: Magdalena Rittenhouse, “Kyudo: One Arrow One Life”, KONTYNENTY, Poland
  • Honorable Mention: Ruy Barros, “A Dance Like No Other”, American Way

Category 160: Travel Book or Guide

  • Gold: Frances Mayes with Ondine Cohane, Always Italy, National Geographic
  • Silver: Kim Seely, Uncharted: A Couple’s Epic Empty Nest Adventure Sailing From One Life To Another, Sasquatch Books
  • Bronze (tie): Randy Johnson, Hiking North Carolina
  • Bronze (tie): Suzanne Roberts, Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel, University of Nebraska Press
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Emilien Crespo, Soul of Los Angeles – A guide to 30 exceptional experiences, Jonglez Publishing
    • Lea Lane, Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 Countries

Category 161: Trade Travel Article

Category 162: Travel Tips & Advice During a Pandemic

Category 163: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility


Category 200: Visitors’ Guide

  • Gold: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, “HUNTSVILLE – Official Destination Guide to Huntsville/Madison County”
  • Silver: Arkansas Tourism, “2020 Arkansas Travel Guide”
  • Bronze: Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, “Chapel Hill Orange County 2020 Official Visitors Guide”
  • Honorable Mention: South County Tourism Council, “South County Rhode Island Visitor Guide”

Category 201: Destination Video

  • Gold: Love Catalina Island, Catalina Island Tourism Authority, “No Man is An Island”
  • Silver: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, “Huntsville: Hope is Not Cancelled”
  • Bronze: South County Tourism Council, “Find Your Way Back Video”

Category 202: Social Media or Marketing Campaign

  • Gold: Discover Puerto Rico, “Puerto Rico Virtual Vacay”
  • Silver: Visit Indiana, “The 20 IN 20”
  • Bronze: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, “Saving ‘Savor the San Juans’”
  • Honorable Mention: Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, “Underground Railroad Month”

Category 203: Big Idea

  • Gold: Discover Puerto Rico, “Puerto Rico Virtual Vacay”
  • Silver: Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, “Travel Awaits”
  • Bronze (tie): Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, “Santa Monica Shines”
  • Bronze (tie): Visit Indiana, “The 20 IN 20”