14 October 2015 by Ronan Gay
On Tuesday 13 October, we attended the Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2015. Held at the Royal Geographical Society, London, the evening was a celebration of the best travel guides across the globe.
Hosted by Lyn Hughes, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wanderlust, and Phoebe Smith, Editor of Wanderlust Magazine, we heard from previous finalists and winners, guest speakers and this year’s finalists.
To begin the evening, we heard from Phoebe, before she introduced Paul Goldstein to the stage. A renowned travel photographer and guide, Paul’s irreverent humour and anecdotes laid the platform for a fun-filled evening with plenty of memorable stories.
The audience also heard from the legendary Bill Bryson, discussing his own travel experiences, time in England and the difficulty in selecting the finalists from over 2,000 entries.
Guest speakers included Bill Bryson, author of 'Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe', amongst other popular books
After hearing from some of the previous finalists and winners – both in person and via live video – Wanderlust introduced this year’s finalists. A special award was presented to Dheeraj ‘Monty’ Bhatt, having been nominated consistently over the past ten years. Described as a "translator, medic, concierge, history teacher, bodyguard, big brother and best mate", Monty has enabled countless people to enjoy the charms of India far more than otherwise possible.
The winning prize was presented to Mark Steadman, a guide through Asia, whose “warmth and enthusiasm leapt from the (many, many) pages of testimonials” received by Wanderlust. The silver award was given to Orlando Haraseb, a Namibia guide, of whom it is said “you can’t travel to Namibia with Orlando and not burst into tears when it is time to say goodbye.” Sue Guthrie, a highly experienced guide through Ethiopia, received the bronze award.
We would like to offer our congratulations to Mark, Orlando, Sue and Monty. At Wexas, we appreciate the importance of well-respected, knowledgeable guides who go the extra mile to make a trip as best it can possibly be.
About the World Guide Awards
Set up in 2006, the awards ceremony was created in honour of Wanderlust Co-Founder Paul Morrison, who held a strong passion for recognising the importance of quality guides and how they can make a positive impact on people’s travel experiences.
The World Guide Awards seek to identify the very best travel guides from anywhere in the world and present the gold, silver and bronze winners with a bursary to be spent on an education or charity trust of the guide’s choice.
For full details of the World Guide Awards, please click here.