ATTA honours African writers


(Posted 29th June 2017)

Last night saw the inaugural Avis Atta Media Awards 2017 take place in London to recognise excellence in African travel journalism. Eleven journalists were honoured by the African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta), the organisation that promotes tourism to Africa, for their 2016 / 17 published work featuring their travels to Africa.

The acclaimed writer A.A. Gill was recognised with a special posthumous lifetime achievement award for his positive promotion of tourism to Africa, with his daughter Flora collecting the award on the family’s behalf.

ATTA’s Chair, Julian Edmunds, who is also the CEO of Coastal Aviation in Tanzania, said of A.A. Gill when announcing the award: ‘A.A. Gill was a hugely acclaimed journalist who could write on any subject but this award honours his travel writing and in particular his positive promotion of his beloved Africa. He is quoted as saying: ‘You either get the point of Africa or you don’t. What draws me back year after year is that it’s like seeing the world with the lid off‘.

Legendary Africa and wildlife specialist travel writer Brian Jackman also received a special award for his contribution to understanding African tourism. Julian said no journalist has contributed more to understanding African tourism than Brian Jackman.

Also receiving awards were journalists Emily Bamber, Chris Leadbeater, Sue Watt, Sarah Gilbert, James Draven, John Malathronas, Lisa Grainger and Steve King.

The awards were held at the Royal Over-Seas League in London’s St James’ and presented by BBC World News presenter Peter Okwoche and the awards sponsor Avis’ Jeanette Harper, director of travel and partnerships at Avis Budget Group.

ATTA Chief Executive Nigel Vere Nicoll said: ‘We are delighted with the enthusiasm that travel writing journalists showed in entering the awards and with the excellent standard of entry. Not only do these awards celebrate the incredible calibre of journalism on offer, but also help to shine light on the stunning attractions of tourism to the Africa continent. The continent is a traveller’s heaven, home to incredible wildlife, rugged landscapes, hidden jungles and secret retreats, all begging to be explored. The lure of Africa is stronger than ever, and through the travel writing of our award winning journalists it is brought to life‘.

Julia Kemp, director of global and travel partnerships at Avis, then added: ‘We are thrilled to have co-created the hugely successful Avis Atta Media Awards to celebrate African travel journalism and broadcasting. The quality of entrants was outstanding and we look forward to growing the awards in years to come‘.

Chosen from more than 90 entries, the winners of the Avis Atta Media Awards were:

1. Best News Coverage on African Tourism (Trade Press)Kenya Safaris: Park Life in Travel Weekly by Emily Bamber

2. Best Cultural Article on an African DestinationWill the real Zanzibar please stand up? in National Geographic Traveller by Chris Leadbeater

3. Best Wildlife Feature in a National NewspaperCecil the lion’s legacy: Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, one year on in the Independent by Sue Watt

4. Best Wildlife Feature in a National MagazineGorillas in our midst in Wanderlust by Sarah Gilbert

5. Best Blogger / Vlogger on AfricaKenya: Lines in the sand in National Geographic Traveller by James Draven

6. Best Online Coverage on AfricaMozambique: Superstar slum in National Geographic Traveller by John Malathronas

7. Best National Newspaper Coverage of AfricaIncredible safari lodges, a private island resort and geodesic domes: Tanzania’s new luxuries uncovered in The Telegraph by Lisa Grainger

8. Best Magazine Coverage of AfricaAll aboard the Lunatic Line: Kenya’s faltering colonial relic in Vanity Fair by Steve King

9. Best Feature on African environment / conservation issuesSafari in Malawi: Watching 500 endangered elephants rehomed in the Independent by Sue Watt

10. Special Award: Contribution to understanding African tourism – Brian Jackman

11. Lifetime Achievement Award for the positive promotion of Africa – A. A. Gill