This year's judging panel are some of the leading lights of the travel world. Combined, they have a huge level of experience and expertise, especially around responsible and sustainable travel.
For some 13 years he worked as a tour leader, taking groups across the Sahara and overland through Africa, on trans-continental journeys from London to Kathmandu, led groups across South America from Lima in Peru to Rio in Brazil, and travelled or escorted groups in over 100 countries.
In 1981 he co-founded Explore Worldwide and was Operations Director for over 20 years as Explore became arguably the world's largest adventure tour operator. After selling Explore in 2000 he remains with the company as an Associate Director, having over 35 years’ experience of leading and organising group travel.
Currently Chairman of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) he has unrivalled experience of organising adventure and activity-based group tours.
Clare is Senior Destinations and Sustainability Manager at ABTA – The Travel Association and leads the association’s sustainable tourism work. She supports travel companies and destinations on issues spanning the environment, human rights, community impact, animal welfare and accessibility.
On animal welfare, Clare has driven widespread, international industry adoption of the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines.
Clare is also a board member of the Roundtable for Human Rights in Tourism and has worked in sustainability with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors globally, including in Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
She shares a love of Thailand’s food, culture, people, natural parks and scuba diving having spent six months living and travelling in Koh Lanta, Bangkok and Chang Mai.
A freelance travel journalist and author who has contributed to Wanderlust over many years, Martin travels all climes in search of original stories. Adventure, wildlife, hiking and environmentally sustainable travel are his particular passions. He first visited Thailand 30 years ago. Since then Martin’s love of the country, its people, traditions, landscapes and food has burgeoned on numerous further adventures in far-flung corners of the kingdom.
As Head of Sustainable Practice at the Travel Foundation, Julie helps destinations and tourism organisations to embed sustainable practice into business as usual. With a background in tour operating, selling holidays to Latin America and Asia, her approach is both accessible and practical.
After 10 years at the Travel Foundation, where she has worked with many tourism enterprises in holiday destinations, she firmly believes that sustainable tourism has the potential to bring benefits to both people and the environment as well as enhancing the visitor experience.
Julie’s personal travels include cycling from Bangkok to Phuket, an amazing adventure which took her off the beaten track. The warmth of the people, sensationally spicy street food, pristine beaches and rejuvenating massages made the adventure even more special.
Having co-founded Wanderlust magazine in 1993, Lyn is Editor-in-chief of Wanderlust Travel Media.
A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Lyn is still a writer and photographer in her own right. She is regularly consulted by tourist boards and governments on travel-related issues, especially regarding ethical tourism. She sits on several committees, including LATA (Latin American Travel Association), VJC (Visit Japan Committee) and IPN (Independent Publishers' Network).