The judging panel for the inaugural TravMedia Awards comprised many of the most high-profile journalists, PR professionals and industry specialists in the UK today. Drawn from sectors including national newspapers, glossy magazines, trade media, travel industry brands and leading PR agencies, our 24 judges are industry leaders with the perfect credentials for making the big decisions.
Having grown up in Bermuda and Saudi Arabia, travel is in Amanda’s DNA. She studied Travel & Tourism, then headed global marketing for Eurotunnel. In 1998, Amanda created Hills Balfour, a leading travel, tourism and lifestyle communications agency. Amanda launched Hills Balfour Dubai in 2017. In 2018, Hills Balfour in Europe and the Middle East joined MMGY Global. As President, Amanda leads an exceptional team managing key accounts, destination strategy and integrated marketing for some of the biggest brands in tourism.
Amanda is the award-winning travel editor of Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and Boots Health & Beauty magazines. She’s a regular contributor to Family Traveller and the Telegraph, has written seven books, has appeared on TravelGuru.tv, Radio 4’s Traveller’s Tree and Channel 5’s The Hotel Inspector. As happy in a VW Camper in Cornwall as she is in a Seychelles hotel, she’s jumped off waterfalls in Bavaria, tracked leopards in Oman, dived with Galapagos sharks, and danced the Trinidad carnival covered in mud!
Anne has over 20 years’ experience in hospitality and the travel industry. For the past 10 years she has been focused on PR work at national tourist boards and leading in-house PR teams. Anne is responsible for all internal and external PR work at Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency, including defining and delivering its PR strategy.
Barry supervises all travel-related content across CNN’s digital products. Based in London, he helms a team of staff reporters and international freelancers, working closely with CNN Travel’s teams worldwide. Neild joined CNN in 2006, working for its digital news operations before switching to travel in 2015. Previously he worked as a correspondent for AFP, reporting headline news from destinations including Afghanistan, China and Iraq.
Helen has amassed over 25 years’ travel PR experience working across a diverse range of clients from transport and aviation, hotels, cruise, organisations and destinations, both UK and overseas. She has directed global and pan-European campaigns on behalf of clients and always ensures strategic objectives are met. Over the years Helen has successfully managed client communication through many crisis and issues as well as creating and driving recovery strategies.
Jane Dunford is travel editor of the Guardian (part-time) and a freelance writer and editor. Sustainable travel, outdoor adventure and wellbeing are among favourite topics. She’s also a founding member of tree-planting non-profit Forests Without Frontiers (forestswithoutfrontiers.org) which is working to reforest degraded land, initially in the Carpathian mountains of Romania.
Jane was travel editor of The Times for the last decade and worked as deputy travel editor for five years before that. She has edited The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and has written for a number of titles including The Telegraph, The Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, Conde Nast Traveller and Family Traveller. This year, as well as freelance writing, she is editing The Good Hotel Guide. She also undertakes copywriting, content strategy and PR training.
Jane was Travel Editor of the Daily and Sunday Express for 25 years. After Express Newspapers were sold to Trinity Mirror in 2018, many of the editorial sections merged. Jane now works across six national newspapers, including the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, editing, commissioning and writing travel and news stories.
Responsible for ABTA’s PR & Media team, with aims of promoting the industry, educating customers, updating members and responding to industry issues, Jonathan is a communications specialist with over 15 years corporate in-house, consumer and trade PR agency experience working for household-name brands in issue-rich sectors. A spokesperson for ABTA, his recent projects include informing and preparing the market for Brexit to ensure customers continue to travel with confidence.
During her 25 years in communications, Julia has specialised in the luxury, lifestyle and travel sectors. She heads global communications for Dorchester Collection, and has held senior roles in three continents including as global VP of communications for Kerzner International (One&Only Resorts, which she launched), and worldwide comms for Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, The Savoy Group and Thistle Hotels. Julia’s in PR Week’s Power Book, and is one of their five hospitality 'Big Shots'.
Jules is one of the most respected and well-known PR practitioners in the travel industry with over 20 years in the field. A founder member of LOTUS, joining in 2007 after 10 years at board level with other leading agencies, she has grown the agency into one of the dominant forces in travel PR with an enviable client portfolio of national and regional tourist boards, flagship transport brands, global hotel chains and the world’s largest collection of specialist travel brands.
Laura Millar has been a journalist for nearly 24 years, and started specialising in travel a few years ago. As a result of her passion for destinations, she has written for nationals including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Mirror, The Express, and other titles including Evening Standard, Stylist, Escapism, Woman & Home, TTGLux, New Zealand Herald, The Scotsman, City AM and more.
Laurel has amassed over a decade’s experience leading global communications and marketing teams in Europe, Asia and the US, and is currently head of communications for Viator, a TripAdvisor company and the world’s leading site for tours, activities and experiences. Laurel oversees consumer, corporate, B2B, internal and executive communications, together with B2B and consumer content marketing. In previous roles, she’s led communications for TripAdvisor Experiences, TripAdvisor Rentals, and worked with brands including Las Vegas, Malaysia Airlines and Park Plaza Hotels.
Lisa Minot has been Travel Editor of The Sun for 21 years and is a regular contributor to TV and radio. While she's travelled to all four corners of the globe in her hunt for the best holidays for Sun readers, she never happier than relaxing at her caravan in the South of France, where she has enjoyed holidays for over 40 years.
In 1992 Lyn and late husband Paul Morrison schemed out their ideal travel magazine on the back of an airline sickbag, and from there launched Wanderlust from their spare bedroom. The award-winning magazine thrives and has been joined by digital channels, events and extensions such as the Wanderlust World Guide Awards and Wanderlust Photo of the Year. Lyn is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, member of other industry bodies, and is regularly consulted on issues including sustainable tourism.
Lynsey is one of the best respected names in UK travel PR. Her unrivalled media contacts are testimony to 25 years representing tourism businesses worldwide. Lynsey set up Heaven Publicity in 2011 after 18 years working in-house. She works tirelessly with her team to inject insights into today’s travel, tomorrow’s trends and future ‘unknowns’. Inquisitive by nature, Lynsey loves unique ways of uncovering the extraordinary in the ordinary. Clients cover sectors including adventure, ski, family and luxury travel.
Nim’s passion for Canada was first ignited Christmas 1982 when she first skied in Quebec and skated the lake atop Mount Royal in Montreal. Having skied, skated, snowmobiled, seen icebergs, built igloos, watched the northern lights, seen shooting stars, witnessed whale behaviours, walked with polar bears and floated up to grizzly bears in zodiacs, it’s always with a glowing heart that she sees Canada shared with the world through good journalism.
Philip Trippenbach runs the digital influence and strategy team at Edelman London. His team deploys data-driven and predictive techniques to provide strategic communications consultancy. Under Philip’s guidance Edelman London is deploying psychometric techniques and digital audience analytics for more effective communications strategy consulting to global clients. Edelman global clients include ASICS, Astra Zeneca, Microsoft, Novartis, and Samsung. He has written two books: ‘30 Second Sci Fi’ and ‘Collected Tweets Vol. 1’.
Phil has delivered award-winning digital, consumer, corporate and trade PR in agency and global in-house roles across the travel industry for over 20 years, including at Virgin Holidays and Cheapflights, part of KAYAK. He now leads integrated corporate and consumer communications in the UK for dnata Travel Group, owner of Travelbag, Netflights and Travel Republic, among others, and part of the Emirates Group.
Pippa joined TTG (Travel Trade Gazette) as features writer in 2006, quickly rising to become Editor (2014-2017). In her role as Group Editor, she steers a team of 16 editorial staff, across TTG Media’s print magazines, digital channels and events. Pippa talks regularly on radio and TV about travel and was named Editor of the Year (Business Media) at the PPA Awards in 2017. TTG Media was named Independent Publishing Company of the Year in 2019.
Rachel has worked in travel for 25 years and has been Kuoni’s spokesperson for the past five years. She’s worked for mass-market operators and independent start-ups, spent six years running TUI UK’s press office and founded her own consultancy, ROR Communications. She’s well-versed in talking to the media about destination trends and has been at the forefront of some of the biggest news stories of the last two decades. She’s a regular conference speaker and has made many TV and radio appearances.
Stuart is Tourism Australia’s PR Manager for the UK & Northern Europe and has worked in tourism marketing and PR in both Europe and his native Australia. He has previously led both inhouse and agency teams representing airlines, tourism boards, OTAs and global hotel and resort brands, among others. Originally a Sydneysider, he has called London home for the past seven years.
Sue’s enjoyed working in travel for over 30 years. She was in-house with French specialist VFB, then Chief Executive of AITO - The Specialist Travel Association – before creating Travel PR. Passionate about the environment, she’s convinced the industry can survive, thrive and improve despite the challenges of climate change, given practical, fact-based advice. She says: “Make every trip count, and carbon offset your life (www.worldlandtrust.org), not just flights. With determination and creativity, we can adapt.”
Sue Whitehead is Director and co-founder of Hume Whitehead Ltd, a leading PR, marketing and representation agency with a global portfolio of high-profile travel and tourism clients. Sue has more than three decades of experience in travel and hospitality, with previous roles including Regional Director EMEA for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Marketing Director of two of the UK’s largest hotel groups and ten years in marketing and operations with the world-renowned Orient Express organization.