LATA Travel Writers of the Year 2013

14 May

The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) crowned the winners of its prestigious media awards in front of an audience of LATA Members and media guests at an event held at Peruvian restaurant, Coya, in Piccadilly on 13 May., supported by PromPeru.

Mutel Easter Island

Glen Mutel took top prize in the consumer category with his story on Easter Island: ‘To the Ends of the Earth’ published by National Geographic Traveller. Whilst Travel Trade Gazette’s Pippa Jacks was triumphant in the trade category with her story on Guyana: ‘On the Prowl’.

Jacks Guyana

Author and TV presenter Lucy Cooke took highly commended for her piece on Colombia: ‘Explore Colombia the Warrior Way’ published in in The Mail on Sunday; and writer Chris Peacock was recognised for his story on the Peruvian Amazon in National Geographic Traveller: ‘The River Wild’. Travel Weekly’s Joanna Booth was highly commended for her feature in Aspire entitled ‘Argentina, Quick, Quick, Slow’.

Peacock Peru

The jury also made a special mention of Bill Knott’s High Steaks published in British Airway’s High Life, a piece that perfectly reflected the trend of food as the focus for a travel article; and for Carolina Miranda’s The Perfect Trip Costa Rica in Lonely Planet that covered all bases for travelling to this increasingly popular destination.

The annual LATA Travel Writers of the Year awards recognises the writers who have, in the opinion of the LATA judges, written the most inspiring travel articles on one of the Latin American countries represented by the organisation. Earlier this year, LATA honoured Michael Palin at a House of Lords reception with the LATA Media Award for 2013 for his contribution to Latin America and tourism in general.

Palin LATA

LATA Chairman and Critical Divide CEO, Chris Pickard, praised the quality of entries received for this year’s awards with the judges receiving a record number of submissions.

“The judging panel this year not only had to deal with the increased quantity of entries, but also the fantastic quality of writing of so many of the pieces,” said Chris. “Glen’s story about Chile’s Easter Island touched the judges because it starts with him not being sure why he had made the long trip south, but by the end he and the reader are totally caught up by the magic of the location. It made me want to hop on a plane.

“Pippa Jacks’ piece was not only well written and informative, but it was also a brave and more unusual choice of destination than the norm you find in the trades. It made it clear to travel agents that while not every day they may have a client wanting to visit Guyana for the wildlife, but if they do, it is not a difficult trip to organise. An article like this can make a difference.”

Interest in the awards was so great this year that LATA is considering expanding its categories next year to encompass visual presentation, recognising the stunning use of Latin American imagery in the media, as well as digital and social media presence.

Winning prizes included a masterclass in Peruvian cuisine from none other than Ceviche’s celebrity-chef Martin Morales himself, as well as vouchers at the Argentine chain Gaucho and the Mexican restaurant Lupita East.