On 14 May 2019, the Latin American Travel Association announced the winners of the LATA Media Awards 2019 at a prestigious event held at RSA House in London, sponsored by Norwegian.

Now in its 16th edition, the LATA Media Awards aim to celebrate inspiring and creative Latin America stories and photography across the British travel media scape encouraging travel to the region.

For 2019, LATA added an additional two categories to the existing seven, including the ‘regional feature of the year award’ recognising the impact of regional media in the UK, and the ‘Latin America round-up feature of the year’ highlighting the power and importance of round-up features.

The winning articles and photography were selected based on a range of criteria such as originality, narrative, impact on the reader and the accuracy of research.

Maria Badakh head of international destination marketing at Jacobs Media Group Chris Pickard chair of LATA Foundation
Maria Badakh head of international destination marketing at Jacobs Media Group Chris Pickard chair of LATA Foundation

This year’s judging panel featured Adrian Phillips, writer/broadcaster and MD of Bradt Travel Guides; Baroness Hooper, lawyer and honorary president of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for Latin America; Hugh Thomson, leading author, broadcaster and film-maker; Martin Morales, founder of the restaurant group Ceviche and award-winning Peruvian chef; and Colin Stewart, chairman of LATA, and the UK and Ireland director at Air Europa.

The event was attended by key members of the Latin American travel industry, the diplomatic community and some of the UK’s most esteemed travel journalists and photographers. LATA also welcomed representatives from headline sponsor Norwegian that showcased its latest developments including free Wi-Fi onboard long-haul services, and a number of new flight routes such as the recently launched London to Rio service.

Read Mark Bibby Jackson’s voyage to Central America in Central America Travel: Pupusas and the Garifuna Beat, and Roatan Honduras and Banana Republics.

The winners and runners-up are:

Colin Stewart, Chair of LATA and freelance journalist Russell Maddicks

Best Consumer National Print Feature, sponsored by Hurtigruten
Winner: Stanley Stewart, ‘To the end of the earth’, The Sunday Times. Credited for its strong writing, informative features, and impact on readers who have not previously travelled to Argentina.
Runner-up: Sarah Marshall, ‘Fall in love with Iguazu and its people’, The Sunday Telegraph.

Consumer Magazine Feature of the Year Award, sponsored by the Galapagos Conservation Trust
Winner: Sam Harrison, ‘Had he lived, Che Guevara would have been 90 this month…’ N by Norwegian. Credited for its fresh ideas around a well-covered topic. Described as an ambitious and thoughtful piece of travel journalism.
Runner-up: Lucy Gilmore, ‘The big chill’, House & Garden.

Best Consumer Online Feature of the Year Award, sponsored by Ceviche
Winner: Simon Parker, ‘On holiday in Mexico’s murder capital – what it’s really like down in Acapulco’, The Telegraph (Online). Credited for being a bold piece of untraditional travel writing that grabs the reader’s attention and delivers a key tourism message throughout.
Runner-up: Shafik Meghji, ‘An Antarctic voyage: becoming a “citizen scientist”, Rough Guides.

Best Regional Feature of the Year Award, sponsored by Norwegian
Winner: Steve Hogarty, ‘A new leaf’, City AM Magazine. Credited as a stand-out, well written feature that scored highly consistently across all the judging criteria.
Runner-up: Lizzie Pook, ‘The High Life’, City AM.

Best Latin America Round-up Feature of the Year Award, sponsored by Bradt Travel Guides
Winner: N by Norwegian team (Amy Booth, Sam Harrison, Sarah Warwick, Nicola Rayner, and Celia Woolfrey), ’21 things you didn’t know about Buenos Aires, N by Norwegian. The judges felt this round-up actively sought new angles for Buenos Aires and featured imaginative elements that inform both first-time and returning visitors to Buenos Aires.
Runner-up: Telegraph team (Adrian Bridge, Michael Kerr, Anthony Lambert, Tristan Rutherford, and Steve McClarence), ‘The best train journeys in Latin America for 2018’, The Daily Telegraph.

Best Trade Publication Feature of the Year Award, sponsored by LOTUS & LOTUS LATAM
Winner: Laura French, ‘Tip of the Iceberg’, Travel Weekly. Credited for fulfilling its purpose as a trade publication feature, offering informative information for the retail trade, appealing to travel agents and therefore likely to impact sales to the Patagonia region.
Runner-up: Adam Coulter, ‘Latin America as an adventure capital’, Selling Travel.

Blog Post of the Year Award, sponsored by Las Iguanas
Winner: Luke Waterson, ‘The Road to Choquequirao: Is this Peru’s next Inca Trail?’ Adventure.com. Credited for its strong adventure narrative from start to finish while also tackling the politics of tourism, most notably overtourism.
Runner-up: Abigail King, ‘Ice Climbing in Patagonia’, Inside the Travel Lab.

Best Self-Published Feature of the Year Award, sponsored by LATA
Winner: Vanessa Humphrey, ‘Chile: A passage from the land of salt and stars to the “end of the world”, Steppes Travel Blog. Credited as an excellent first-person account of Chile that would encourage travellers to visit the destination.
Runner-up: Jim Morrison, ‘How the Peruvian Pelican Reflects Changes in the Environment – Discover’, Discover Silversea Blog.

Top Published Latin America Photo of the Year Award, sponsored by Forward Keys
Winner: Jonathan Gregson, ‘Across Patagonia’, Lonely Planet. Credited as a technically brilliant shot featuring amazing scenery, colourful contrasts and original features that make it a perfect example of travel photography.
Runner-up: Simon Chubb, ‘Queen of the Pantanal’, Wanderlust.

LATA is the representative body of the Latin American travel industry. For more information, please visit www.lata.travel.